Places | Scuola Grande di San Rocco

 

Scuola Grande di San Rocco (San Polo, Campo di San Rocco 3052, tel. 041/523-4864, http://www.scuolagrandesanrocco.org, daily 9:30am-5:30pm, €10, audio guide €5) was the last confraternity founded and the best preserved in Venice. The interior avoided looting during Napoleon’s sojourn in the city in 1797 and is filled with 73 paintings by Tintoretto alone. The ambitious artist won the competition to paint the first canvas inside by famously installing a completed work rather than the sketch judges were expecting. He avoided a prison sentence by donating the painting and later became a member of the scuola where he spent the next 23 years decorating the institution.

Enormous wall and ceiling paintings fill the rectangular Sala Terrena on the ground floor that was open to the public and where religious ceremonies were held, and upstairs in the Sala dell’Albergo where members still gather. Tintoretto began work on the Sala Capitolare next door in 1574. Most of the paintings are religious in nature and recount stories from the New Testament, including the Fall of Man and the Sacrifice of Isaac, and New Testament themes like the Last Supper. The Sala dell’Albergo contains Tintoretto’s competition-winning entry St. Roch in Glory and a stunning Crucifixion.

Your guide to Italy.
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