Scuola Grande San Giovanni Evangelista

Venice Carnival and Balls 2024
Venice - Scuola Grande San Giovanni Evangelista
Performances: Sa 29 Apr 2023, 16.30-03.00

The Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista is a confraternity building located in the San Polo sestiere of the Italian city of Venice. Founded in the 13th century by a group of flagellants it was later to become one of the five Scuole Grandi of Venice. These organisations provided a variety of charitable functions in the city as well as becoming patrons of the arts. The Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista is notable for housing a relic of the true cross and for the series of paintings it commissioned from a number of famous Venetian artists depicting Miracles of the Holy Cross. No longer in the school, these came into public ownership during the Napoleonic era and are now housed in the Gallerie dell'Accademia.


Originally founded in 1261, San Giovanni Evangelista is the second oldest scuola in Venice. Though scuola developed a primary meaning of "school", in Venice these organisations retain their medieval Latin meaning of confraternities, social organisations founded on spiritual principles. Their main buildings were typically used as meeting and assembly halls, and for the distribution of charity. The founders of San Giovanni were a confraternity of flagellants who took part in religious ceremonies, whipping their backs and spraying blood onto the pavements as they processed through the city. This practice was outlawed in the city of Venice in the same year the scuola was founded.