Paintings in the Sala Superiore (1576-81)
by TINTORETTO

In 1574, seven years after the pictorial decoration of the Sala dell'Albergo was finished, the decision was taken to proceed the redecoration of the Sala Superiore, the Upper Hall. Tintoretto began to work on the ceiling canvases in 1575 and the first painting, The Brazen Serpent, was finished in August 1576. The decoration was completed in the summer of 1581.

The ceiling decoration consists of three large rectangular and ten oval paintings, all by Tintoretto, which are complemented by eight rhomboid canvases executed by Giuseppe Angeli in 1777-78 as substitution for Tintoretto's original tempera paintings. The ceiling paintings reflect a theme based on interaction between the Old and New Testaments and the charitable aims of the Brotherhood of San Rocco: "The salvation and healing of the suffering humanity through a miracle of the Old Testament which is a forerunner of the Redemption of mankind through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross".

The ceiling paintings are the following:

  1. The Brazen Serpent (rectangular, in the centre)
  2. Moses Drawing Water from the Rock (rectangular)
  3. The Miracle of Manna (rectangular)
  4. The Fall of Man (oval, around No. 2)
  5. The Eternal Father Appears to Moses (oval, around No. 2)
  6. The Pillar of Fire (oval, around No. 2)
  7. Jonah Leaves the Whale's Belly (oval, around No. 2)
  8. The Vision of Ezekiel (oval, at the side of No. 1)
  9. Jacob's Ladder (oval, at the side of No. 1)
  10. The Sacrifice of Isaac (oval, around No. 3)
  11. Elisha Multiplies the Bread (oval, around No. 3)
  12. Elijah Fed by the Angel (oval, around No. 3)
  13. The Passover (oval, around No. 3)

Tintoretto painted ten large canvases for the long walls of the room (five on each), an altarpiece, The Apparition of St Roch, for the altar wall and two saints, St Roch and St Sebastian, for the wall opposite to the altar. The paintings on the walls depict various scenes from the New Testament. They are the following:

  1. The Adoration of the Shepherds (on the wall opposite to the entrance)
  2. The Baptism of Christ (on the wall opposite to the entrance)
  3. The Resurrection of Christ (on the wall opposite to the entrance)
  4. The Prayer in the Garden (on the wall opposite to the entrance)
  5. The Last Supper (on the wall opposite to the entrance)
  6. The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes (on the entrance wall)
  7. The Raising of Lazarus (on the entrance wall)
  8. The Ascension (on the entrance wall)
  9. Probatica Piscina (on the entrance wall)
  10. The Temptation of Christ (on the entrance wall)

You can take a virtual tour of the rooms in the Scuola Grande di San Rocco starting from the homepage of the Scuola.

Preview Picture Data File Info Comment
View of the Sala Superiore
1576-81
Oil on canvas
Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Venice

1120*850
True Color
192 Kb



View of the Sala Superiore
1560
Oil on canvas
Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Venice

1172*900
True Color
186 Kb



View of the Sala Superiore
1560
Oil on canvas
Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Venice

1154*800
True Color
194 Kb




Summary of paintings by Tintoretto
Religious themes
1540s | 1550s | 1560s | 1570s | 1580s
Scuola Grande di San Marco | San Rocco
Great decorations
Scuola Grande di San Rocco | Madonna dell'Orto | Palazzo Ducale
Mythological and allegorical themes
Portraits
Other works
Old Testament themes | Graphics