Scuola Grande dei Carmini

SCUOLA GRANDE DEI CARMINI

The Scuola Grande dei Carmini was built around 1669, probably by Baldassarre Longhena. The halls inside are all decorated with original wooden reredos, inlaid ceilings and stuccoes by Stazio. In the Sala del Capitolo, the hall where the members of the confraternity used to meet to discuss the proposals made by the Guardian Grande and by the council (“Giunta”), Gian Battista Tiepolo painted nine canvases depicting “The Four Virtues with Angels and Cherubs”, with “the Apparition of the Madonna del Carmelo to the Blessed Simone Stock” in the middle.

The  beauty of Tiepolo’s paintings aroused such an enthusiasm that he was unanimously appointed member of the confraternity. The Scuola’s purpose was to provide its members with religious support, give charity to the poor and ill, and see to the dowry of deserving girls getting married or entering a convent. It was only in 1769 that the Confraternity became a Scuola Grande, incompliance with a decree of the Council of Ten, as it owned considerable “capitals and income”. On the 5th of May 1806 the Scuola was closed owing to the Napoleonic decrees but in 1840 it acquired the title of Confraternity (which it still has) thanks to the intervention of Ferdinand I of Austria.