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Scuola Grande di San Marco

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At present is the main entrance of the Hospital San Giovanni e Paolo, it lies in Castello District, beside the San Giovanni e Paolo’s Basilica on the homonymous square. The School, a renaissance style building, was founded in 1260 by the order of battuti (beaten) and its first seat was the church of Santa Croce, demolished to make room for the Papadopoli gardens. The seat moved in 1437, due to the concession made by the Domenicani from the church close by.

The first building burned down in 1485 and was lately rebuilt by Pietro Lombardo and Giovanni Buora in 1490, the façade on the Rio Dei Mendicanti side is an opera by Jacopo Sansovino and it is dated XVI century.

The main façade, divided in two parts, on the right the Hall and on the Left the ”Albergo“ it is a renaissance opera, decorated with white marble statue, Corinthians lesene, and a compositions of wooden stands “edicole” by Lombardo and engravings on the lower parts, whilst the archivolt and the Charity statue are by Bartolomeo Bon.

The inner side was partially demolished (the big staircase in particular), when Napoleon adapted the building to a military Hospital. The staircase was rebuilt in ‘900 following the project of Codussi, also part of the painting decorations were lost after the brotherhood ceased. On the upper floor are left the wooden ceiling richly decorated in gold and ,some canvas with Saint mark’s tales by various author, Jacopo Palma "Il vecchio e il Giovane" (the Old and the Young), Tintoretto, Belliniano and Padovanino were taken inside the building in a most recent era. Others are at the moment exposed by the Accademia Gallery and the Pinacoteca di Brera.

Related to the School History there is an episode about the equestrian statue in front of the main entrance, it is the statue of Captain Bartolomeo Colleoni XV century, the statue was made by Verrocchio, Leondardo da Vinci master, and posed there by the Republic after Colleoni’s death. The captain expressed the wish that the staute should have been installed in Saint Mark’ s Square meaning in front of the church, but the republic put it in front of the school.

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