(b. ca. 1465, Grosio, d. 1549, Venezia)

Scuola Grande di San Rocco: Façade

Campo di San Rocco, Venice, Venice

The Scuola Grande di San Rocco is the best preserved, as regards the architecture and fittings, of Venice's six Scuole Grandi (Major Guilds) which for many centuries, together with the minor Confraternities, formed the thick network of brotherhoods of a religious nature. These were set up to help the poor and the sick, or to protect the interests of individual professions, or to help the weak and needy members of non-Venetian communities living in the city.

The guild dedicated to San Rocco of Montpellier who died in Piacenza in 1327 and whose remains are thought to have been brought to Venice in 1485, was legally recognized in 1478. Its aim was to relieve the suffering of the sick, especially those stricken by the epidemics.

The present building of the Scuola was begun in 1517 by Bartolomeo Bon who designed it and supervised the work until 1524. In 1524 his work was continued by Sante Lombardo, who, in turn, three years later was replaced by Scarpagnino. Following his death in 1549, the last architect giving the final touches to the building was Giovanni Giacomo de' Grigi, finishing in September 1560.