Dating to the 16th century, the Scuola Grande di San Rocco is one of the most beautiful buildings in Venice. It was constructed from white marble to house a charitable society dedicated to San Rocco, regarded by many as a protector against the plague. It was designed like most other scuole in Venice, with two halls (one on the ground floor and the other above), with a staircase and landing topped by a dome connecting the two.
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Numerous architects worked on the Renaissance-style building in the 16th century, including Bartolomeo Bon and his son Petro, as well as Sante Lombardo, Antonio Scarpagnino and Giangiacomo dei Grigi,
In 1564, soon after the scuola’s completion, the artist Tintoretto was commissioned to paint a central panel on the ceiling of the Sala dell’Albergo. He later adorned the walls and ceilings of both the Salla dell’Albergo and the Sala Superiore with a complete cycle of paintings, considered by many to be his greatest masterpiece.
Be sure to admire the Salla dell’Albergo paintings, which include “The Glorification of St. Roch', “Christ before Pilate” and “The Crucifixion”. The ceiling of the Sala Superiore is adorned with scenes from the Old Testament, while the walls feature those from the New Testament. Through these works, the entire biblical story from Fall to Redemption is on display, with mirrors positioned to help visitors view them.
Other works of note in the Scuola Grande di San Rocco include paintings by Titian and Palma il Giovane, together with ornate 17th-century wooden panels by Francesco Pianta in the Chapter House. Don’t miss a visit to the adjacent chapel of San Rocco, which also features works by Tintoretto.