The Scuola Grande San Giovanni Evangelista Museum is an architectural complex consisting of the Scuola building, the Church of the same name, the ancient cemetery and two, small, external squares. Still the seat of the lay brotherhood founded in 1261, the Scuola Grande building extends over two floors and embraces various architectural styles, from the Gothic to the Renaissance and Baroque. The architecture is of considerable interest: the main entrance doorway, the double Renaissance staircase by Mauro Codussi and the majestic Chapter House by Giorgio Massari, on the piano nobile, stand out in particular. The ground floor contains an epigraphic collection of great historic interest, while the first floor features numerous paintings by Venetian artists commissioned by the Scuola itself over the centuries. These include Palma Giovane, Tintoretto, Tiepolo and Longhi. The Scuola has conserved a precious Reliquary since 1369, a masterpiece of Venetian Gothic jewellery, containing two fragments of the True Cross, which gave rise to one of the most important cycles of Venetian painting – the Miracles of the Cross – and the subsequent architectural extensions.
The Church, founded in 960 as the Badoer family’s private chapel, conserves a precious organ made in 1760 by Giovanni Battista Piaggia. The adjacent cemetery is a rare example of a burial place, painted at the end of the fifteenth century Lazzaro Bastiani.
The Museum opens its doors to the public only on the days when there are no regular conference activities (see calendar) and offers the chance to take part in guided visits.