The magnificent Scuola Grande di San Rocco, the seat of the confraternity of the same name, was built between 1517 and 1560.
San Rocco (Saint Roch) was a 14th century French saint, who devoted his life to nursing victims of the plague, whose patron saint he became. The saint was particularly venerated in Venice and in 1485 his mortal remains were stolen from Voghera, where he had died, and transferred here. Since 1490 they have been housed in the church of San Rocco, which stands across from the scuola.
Following the plague of 1576 San Rocco was made a patron saint of Venice. Each year, on August 16th (the saint's feast day), the doge and his entourage would pay a visit to both the scuola and the church.
The Scuola Grande di San Rocco is a showcase for the work of one man, the Venetian painter Jacopo Robusti (1518-94), better known as Tintoretto, who, from 1564 to 1588, produced more than sixty paintings for it.
The heart of the Scuola is the splendidly ornate Sala Grande, where meetings and religious celebrations were held. In addition to paintings by Tintoretto, the Sala Grande contains an extraordinary series of wooden carvings by Francesco Pianta (1634-90).