Hidden treasures

The reredos of the Chapter Hall of the Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice

Unknown places & works
dossali-san-rocco

The reredos of the Chapter Hall of the Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice

When visiting the Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice - perhaps one of the most significant monuments of the lagoon city - one is always struck by the incredible canvases made by Jacopo Tintoretto in the second half of '500 ... The Scuola, however, houses many more treasures!

The Chapter Hall, for example, is entirely covered with walnut dossals enclosed amongst striking allegorical sculptures made by Francesco Pianta between 1657 and 1676.

The sculptor himself provides the titles and descriptions of his works in the long scroll supported by a statue of Mercury on the left side of the staircase doorway. The representation constitutes a moralizing iconographic programme, based on the juxtaposition of vice and virtue, and ends with a tribute to the arts of sculpture and painting.

Following the order indicated by the sculptor, at the beginning we find Melancholy, represented as a man with a sad face and long wavy hair, wrapped in a large cloak; Honour, depicted as a handsome young man with delicate features, adorned with a flag, a necklace and a sceptre; Avarice, an austere figure with a flowing beard, carrying under his belt ledgers and coin bags; Ignorance, with bestial ugliness; Science, represented as an old man intent on reading a book.

We then find the Distinction between good and evil (a naked young man seen from the back); the winged Fury, chained and blindfolded; the Spy, with a covered face... Among the latter is placed the magnificent Library with five shelves filled with books (64 in total!), a masterpiece in the field of wooden sculpture for the realism with which all its elements are rendered.

Continuing we find Scandal, a bearded old man elegantly dressed – the musical instruments at his feet indicate that he neglects serious things and worries about vain ones; Honest Pleasure, a fine looking young man with long hair; Sculpture represented by the orator Cicero, and, finally, Painting, the last one made by Pianta, personified as expected by Tintoretto. The painter’s working tools are further evidence of his extraordinary sculpting abilities.

If you wish to visit the Scuola Grande di San Rocco and other unusual areas of the city with an exclusive private guided tour of Venice, contact us immediately! Our guides will organize a private itinerary, tailored for you!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Venice: The relief of the man with the pipe at Palazzo Loredan on the Grand Canal

palazzo-loredan
Mysteries & Legends

One of the oldest buildings on the banks of the Grand Canal is Palazzo Loredan, built in the 13th century and currently seat of the Tow...

View

Verona: The equestrian monument at Cangrande della Scala in Verona

cangrande
Big Names

One of the most famous people in the history of Verona is surely Cangrande della Scala, Lord of Verona from 1308 to 1329, the year of h...

View

Verona: Venetian walls in Peschiera del Garda

peschiera-del-garda
Historical Curiosities

Today Venice is ‘merely’ the capital of a region in Italy, but once it was the capital of an Empire that extended to the Eastern Me...

View

Venice: The Crypt of St. Mark's Basilica

san-marco-cripta
Unknown places & works

St. Mark's Basilica in Venice is probably one of the most famous and visited churches in the Western world. Every day, thousands of tou...

View

Top posts

Verona: The jousts in the Verona Arena

arena-di-verona
Historical Curiosities

The Verona Arena is undoubtedly the symbol of the city in the Veneto region, and one of the most famous Roman monuments of Italy. All t...

View

Padua: The Museum of the History of Medicine in Padua

Museo-di-storia-della-Medicina
Unknown places & works

If you are tired of the usual museums filled with paintings and sculptures, you might find the Museum of the History of Medicine in Pad...

View

Treviso: The 'Barco' of Caterina Corner, Queen of Cyprus, in Altivole

barco-altivole
Big Names

One of the most charming figures of the history of Venice is certainly Catherine Corner, queen of Cyprus (1454-1510). At the age of 18,...

View

Venice: The Sirens and the lace from Burano in the Venice lagoon

merlettaie
Mysteries & Legends

The island of Burano island in the Venice lagoon is definitely a magical place: filled with small colourful houses, delicious cookies, ...

View