The Scuola Grande di San Rocco was founded in the late fifteenth century. It is one - and certainly the best preserved - of Venice's six Scuole Grandi (Major Guilds) which for many centuries, together with the minor Confraternities, formed the network of brotherhoods of religious nature. These were set up to help the poor and 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 Scuola Grande di San Rocco was very popular because its patron saint was renowned for offering protection from the plague, an increasingly common threat. 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.
After several transfers the Scuola's headquarter was built on the Campo di San Rocco. The grandiose building was begin in 1517 and the finishing touches lasted until 1560. Four years later Jacopo Tintoretto began his pictorial decorations of the rooms. This work, which took him until 1588, constitutes one of the most fascinating pictorial undertakings ever known: from 1564 to 1567 the 27 canvases on the ceiling and walls of the Sala dell'Albergo (Hall of the Hostel), from 1576 to 1581 the 25 canvases on the ceiling and walls of the Sala Superiore (Upper Hall); from 1582 to 1587 the eight large canvases in the Sala Inferiore (Ground Floor Hall); in 1588 the altarpiece.
In addition to studying our comprehensive exhibition of the paintings, we recommend that our visitors take a virtual tour in the Scuola Grande di San Rocco starting from the homepage of the Scuola.
View of Campo di San Rocco
Campo di San Rocco, Venice
Façade of the Scuola Grande di San Rocco
Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Venice
|Summary of paintings by Tintoretto|
|1540s | 1550s | 1560s | 1570s | 1580s|
|Scuola Grande di San Marco | San Rocco|
|Scuola Grande di San Rocco | Madonna dell'Orto | Palazzo Ducale|
|Mythological and allegorical themes|
|Old Testament themes | Graphics|