The GRANDI SCUOLE were charitable religious corporations who took care of the needs of the people during the difficult times of famine, pestilence, war, etc.
They also possessed various books where the rules of different arts and crafts were defined.
There were six "Grandi Scuole": "Santa Maria della Carità", "La Misericordia", "San Giovanni Evangelista", "San Marco" , "San Rocco" and "San Teodoro".
At the beginning, all citizens could belong to the corporations. Later however noblemen were prevented from mixing with classes other than their own.
With the fall of the Republic and the establishment of Napoleonic dominion, the corporations were stripped of all their property, possessions and works of art which were taken to the museums of Milan and Venice or abroad.
The only corporation to preserve its artistic heritage intact was the SCUOLA GRANDE DI SAN ROCCO, a monument representing Venice's artistic wealth.
The interior is frescoed by Tintoretto who finished many of his masterpieces for the occasion and painted a number of works which confirmed him as one of the greatest painters in Venice and the world.