Scuola Grande di San Rocco - Scuola Grande di San Rocco information and pictures
Scuola Grande di San Rocco
was founded as a charitable organization for the sick. It was built between 1515 and 1549 in honour of San Roco who was the saint of contagious diseases. Many people believed that by donating money to build the Scuola di San Rocco will be spared from the plague.
St. Roch of Montpellier recovered from the plague and tended the sick. Scuola Grande di San Rocco was built in his honor and is a fine example of Renaissance architecture. Throughout the ages, Scuola Grande had been a hospital, the seat of the Cancelleria, residence of the Chaplain, archives, and a warehouse. In more recent history, the building was used for meetings, as a warehouse, and some facilities and rooms have been used by the personnel of the Scuola.
Scuola Grande has a dramatic exterior and impressive interior. The building resembles the other Scuole minori, and the rooms of the ragionataria, the capitolo, and the albergo are good examples. The building plan is designed according to traditional schemes, with large and medium rooms. The façade is a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture, made of Istrian stone and marble. Stone and marble contrast with the painted plaster and the brickwork, dominating the panorama of this Gothic city.
Above the main floor and on the façade, a niche keeps the statue of San Rocco (Saint Rock), created by an anonymous author in the 15th century. There are more than sixty paintings by Tintoretto who submitted a finished work instead of a sketch and was commissioned to paint and decorate the ceiling. The Fall of Manna, The Brazen Serpent, and Moses Striking Water from the Rock represent 3 afflictions – hunger, disease, and thirst - that the followers of San Rocco and the saint himself sought to relieve. All paintings in the church are by Tintoretto, his son Domenico, and his assistants. The paintings in the sala terra retell episodes from the life of Virgin Mary. The walls in the sala superiore feature scenes from the New Testament, and the ceiling - from the Old Testament. They retell the story of Fall and Redemption. The main works here include Adoration of the Magi, Annunciation, the Assumption of Mary, and the Flight into Egypt. Described in Matthew 2:13-23, the Flight into Egypt is a biblical event that is often shown in art. Sala dell'Albergo features the Crucifixion, Christ before Pilate, and Ascent to Calvary. In Christ before Pilate, the figure of Christ stands out against the crowd while Pilate is portrayed as a hypocritical judge. The famous painting of Mihaly Munkacsy was strongly influenced by the composition of Tintoretto’s Christ before Pilate.
The design of the church is similar to other sodality institutions in the city, with two walls, one at the first floor and the other at ground floor. The ground level (Sala Terra) has two aisles and a nave, with an entrance from the square. Scuola Grande di San Rocco is built in the Renaissance style, and the asymmetrical marble façade is elaborately decorated with cornices with colored inserts, timpanums, arches, and capitals. Today, la Scuola Grande is a museum that features the artworks of Jacopo Tintoretto.
Where is Scuola di San Rocco: Campo San Roco, Santa Croce and San Polo district
Opening hours: Daily from 9AM to 5:30PM; during the winter 10AM to 4PM
How to get there: By vaporetto- San Toma stop
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