14. Scuola dei Mercanti

Elaborate relief above the main portal of the former Scuola dei Mercanti (Cannaregio 3519), next to the church of Madonna de l'Orto. Mary is seated and holding her mantle under which six worshipers seek protection. Baby Jesus is in a mandorla on the Virgin's chest. Mary wears a crown and is surrounded by two saints: Saint Francis and probably Saint Mark. According to Lorenzetti, it is a work of the XVI century. According to other sources it is from the late XIV-early XV century. It was brought to this location from the church of the Frari in 1571 when the confraternity of Santa Maria della Misericordia e San Francesco merged with another one under the tutelage of Saint Christopher, the original patron of the church of Madonna de l'Orto.

How to get there. From the Scuola Vecchia della Misericordia, go under the sotoportego on the side of Rio de la Sensa and continue straight ahead to the second corner on the right, Corte Vecchia, where you should turn right. Cross Ponte de la Sacca  and turn left (the only possible direction) on Fondamenta Gasparo Contarini which becomes Fondamenta Madonna de l'Orto. Campo Madonna de l'Orto and the Scuola dei Mercanti will be on your right.

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