Ceiling of the Sala Capitolare at the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, preparatory surveys

About the project

The Scuola Grande di San Rocco is the site of Tintoretto’s most celebrated cycle of paintings – dating to 1577. 

The story of how he initially only charged for his materials and then negotiated a modest salary, sheds light on patronage in 16C Venice but also on the role of the confraternity and the significance of San Rocco in Venice, as patron saint of plague sufferers.

Ahead of a major project to conserve the vast ceiling structure with its canvases and framing elements, Venice in Peril joined with the Scuola Grande di San Rocco to fund the technical surveys and condition reports that will inform the main project. 

The CIRCE laboratory which is a department of IUAV, Venice’s University of Architecture, integrated photogrammetric images and laser scans to produce section images where every batten in the roof space that anchors the great ceiling can be located with minute precision.

Meanwhile Ca’ Foscari University undertook condition reports of the paint, canvases and frames which revealed the use of similar working methods and materials (such as the one square metre canvases, sewn together) as those used for Tintoretto’s huge canvases in the church of Madonna dell’Orto. 


Project location

In brief

  • This project involved funding two reports in 2017-18. They cost €15,000 and were  commissioned by the Council of the Scuola Grande di San Rocco.
  • The reports enabled the Scuola to plan the next phase involving a fundraising strategy and design of the conservation project itself.
  • Venice in Peril has funded similar enabling projects, such as that for the Codussi Staircase at the Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista.
  • The research departments and specialist labs of Venice’s two universities, IUAV and Ca’ Fhttp://www.interimtestsite.co.uk/wp/architecture/staircase-by-mauro-codussi-at-the-scuola-grande-di-san-giovanni-evangelista/oscari, are a key component in many of the conservation projects undertaken in the lagoon.
  • Images reproduced with permission of CIRCE/IUAV and Fondazione Ca’Foscari show, (top left thumbnail) two samples of the type of canvas used (top left) test area for paint analysis, from the  ‘Miracle of the Manna’ one of the largest canvases.
  • For more on the Scuola Grande di San Rocco.

More images