Like many medieval saints, French-born St. Rocco (St. Roch) died young, but thanks to his work healing the sick in the 14th-century, his cult became associated with the power to cure the plague and other serious illnesses. When the saint’s body was brought to Venice in 1485, this scuola began to reap the benefits, and by 1560 the current complex was completed, work beginning soon after on more than 50 major paintings by Tintoretto. This scuola is primarily a shrine to the skills of Tintoretto, one of the city’s acknowledged grand masters of the paintbrush but an artist that often divides critics. Begin at the upper story, the Sala dell’Albergo, where an entire wall is smothered by Tintoretto’s mind-blowing “Crucifixion” (as well as his “Glorification of St. Roch,” the painting that actually won him the contract to paint the scuola). In the chapterhouse, Old Testament scenes adorn the ceiling: “Moses Striking Water from the Rock,” “The Miracle of the Brazen Serpent” and “The Miraculous Fall of Manna.” The paintings around the walls, based on the New Testament, are generally regarded as a master class of perspective, shadow, and color. The paintings on the lower floor were created much later in the 1580s, led by one of the most frenzied “Annunciations” ever painted, while “The Flight into Egypt” is undeniably one of Tintoretto’s greatest works.
Scuola Grande di San Rocco (Confraternity of St. Roch)
Campo San Rocco 3052, adjacent to Campo dei Frari
Our Rating Hours Daily 9:30am–5:30pm Transportation Vaporetto: San Tomà (walk straight ahead on Calle del Traghetto and turn right and immediately left across Campo San Tomà; walk straight ahead on Ramo Mandoler, Calle Larga Prima, and Salizada San Rocco, which leads into the campo of the same name—look for crimson sign behind Frari Church) Phone 041-5234864 Prices Admission 10€ adults (price includes audioguide); 8€ ages 18–26; 18 and under free Web site Scuola Grande di San Rocco (Confraternity of St. Roch)