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In the heart of Venice where art, culture and devotion meet

The Scuola Grande di San Rocco is a lay confraternity founded in 1478. The popularity of the cult of St. Roch, whose remains had been in the possession of the brotherhood since 1485, contributed to the latter’s rapid expansion to the extent of it becoming the richest Scuola of the city.

At that point it was decided to build a new monumental headquarters and engage Tintoretto to decorate it with his most celebrated pictorial cycle, illustrating episodes from the New and Old Testaments. It is the only one of the historic Scuole Grandi to have survived the fall of the republic.

It is a unique site, where over 60 paintings are preserved in their original setting in a building that has hardly undergone any alteration since its construction.
The confraternity is still active today, carrying out its traditional charitable duties as well as looking after its extraordinary artistic patrimony.

News

Information

Opening Hours and admission

  • Scuola Grande 09.30 – 17.30. The ticket office closes at 17.00. The Scuola Grande is open daily all the year round, except for Christmas Day and January 1st.
  • Church 09.30 – 17.30. The Church is open daily all the year round, on Christmas day, Easter Sunday and January 1st, limited opening: 9.30 – 12.30.
  • Entry fees qualify as contributions to the restoration and maintenance of the artistic patrimony incorporated in the Scuola and its Church, as well as to our various charitable activities. Payment may be made in cash, or by debit or credit card. Read more
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Focus

On 22nd May 1564, the Banca and Zonta (the Scuola’s supervisory boards) decided to have the ceiling decorated at their own expense, beginning with the central oval panel. It was decided to announce a competition among the best painters in Venice, Giuseppe Salviati, Federico Zuccari, Paolo Veronese and of course, Tintoretto, who had to present their drawings to the Scuola within a month. According to Vasari’s account however, while the others were still working on their projects, Tintoretto took everyone by surprise. He actually managed to install his painting of St. Roch in glory in the centre of the ceiling, provoking the indignant reaction of the clients, who claimed they had only asked for drawings and had not commissioned the work itself. But the painter replied that this was his way of drawing, that he knew no other way and finally that if they did not want to pay him for the work, he would donate it to them. On 22nd June the Scuola accepted the gift, and a few days later they ordered that the painting should not be removed.

Benefactors

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