The Scoletta del Santo
The seat of the Arciconfraternity of Saint Anthony, called Scoletta (little school) del Santo, stands on the churchyard of the Basilica, adjacent to the Saint George’s Oratory. The construction of the building started in 1427, with the execution of the lower floor of the structure (1427-1431). In 1504, the fabbrica was raised in line with the pre-existing architecture, although the two construction phases are clearly distinguishable in the façade. The new space was used as Congregation hall and soon enriched with a cycle of frescoes illustrating episodes from the life of Saint Anthony and his miracles.
The pictorial decoration started in 1510 when Tiziano Vecellio was commissioned to paint some frescoes, masterpieces of the young painter, depicting the miracles of the Speaking infant, the Jealous husband, and the Re-attached foot. Other episodes, completed in the following years, belong to Bartolomeo Montagna from Vicenza and to the Paduan artists Girolamo Tessari, Giovanni Antonio Requesta, and Domenico Campagnola. On the high altar there is a Madonna with Child in polychrome terracotta made by Andrea Briosco, called Il Riccio.
The Congregation hall, or Priorale, preserves the coffered ceiling and the original wooden furniture, realized between 1506 and 1510. The first was carved by Giovanni Cavalieri and painted by Domenico Bottazzo, while the furniture is by Girolamo da Piacenza.
The oratory, which is located on the ground floor and has been remodeled several times over the centuries, displays on the high altar an altarpiece by Alessandro Varotari, known as Padovanino.
In 1736, the resulting space between the Scoletta and the Saint George’s Oratory was filled, on a project by Andrea Gloria, with the construction of a small two-story building that incorporates a monumental staircase leading to the Congregation hall. On the façade there is a small balcony called Loggia delle benedizioni (Loggia of the blessings).