Commonly referred to as La Scoletta, the Scuola del Santo was built soon after the death of St. Anthony and was intended as the home of a confraternity that would provide assistance to the needy and thus perpetuate the message of St. Anthony himself. Around 1430 a small church was built near the Oratory of St. George; the project was financed by all the donations and bequests that had enriched the confraternity over the course of the fourteenth century. It was then decided that the structure should be extended by adding a new council chamber above the church, to serve as the meeting-place of the Confraternity itself.The church is a stylistically restrained brick-built structure, as are so many associated with St. Anthony, and the two floors date from different periods: the ground floor, as mentioned, was built around 1430, the space above added in 1504.
The upper-floor chamber is also known as the Sala Priorale [Prior’s Hall] and is decorated with a cycle of eighteen scenes from the life of St. Anthony. These frescoes were painted in the early years of the sixteenth century by various artists, including Gian Antonio Corona, Filippo da Verona, Bartolomeo Montagna and a very young Titian. Painted in 1511, the three frescoes by the latter would have a decisive role on the development of painting in the Veneto during the sixteenth century. They depict various scenes from the life of St. Anthony and the miracles associated with him: the saint enabling a new-born to talk, re-attaching a youth’s severed foot, and reviving a wife who has been stabbed by her jealous husband. The frescoes and the Sala Priorale have returned to their original splendour after a programme of painstaking restoration completed in 2006.