Scuola Grande di San Marco

Venice, Italy

Scuola Grande di San Marco


The Scuola Grande di San Marco is a building in Venice, Italy, designed by the well-known Venetian architects Pietro Lombardo, Mauro Codussi, and Bartolomeo Bon. It was originally the home to one of the Scuole Grandi of Venice, or six major confraternities, but is now the city's hospital. It faces the Campo San Giovanni e Paolo, one of the largest squares in the city.

The edifice was built by the Confraternity of San Marco in 1260 to act as its seat. In 1485, however, it was destroyed by a large fire, and rebuilt in the following twenty years under a new design by Pietro Lombardo, with a fund established by the members. The façade, a masterwork with delicately decorated niches and pilasters, and with white or polychrome marble statues, was later completed by Mauro Codussi. While decorated with the polished marble elements of Renaissance classicism, the proliferation of arches and niches adds a retrogressive Byzantine flavor, an architectural feature of many conservative Venetian styles. One of the most notable aspects of the façade is the use of trompe-l'œil archways and portals on the ground floor, all executed in different types of marble. Between 2000 and 2005, the façade underwent conservation treatments funded by Save Venice Inc., the Getty Grant Program, and other donors.

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