The church was erected by the religious order the "Humiliati" in the mid-14th century, under the direction of Tiberio da Parma, who is buried in the interior. The consecration to Holy Virgin comes from an event of the 15th century, when an allegedly miraculous statue of the Madonna, commissioned for the Church of S. Maria Formosa but rejected, was brought to the Church from the nearby orchard (orto in Italian) where it had languished.
The church, widely restored in 1399 with the city’s funds, was handed over to the order of Cistercians of Lombardy in 1669. In 1787 the church came under public administration. Another restoration was begun under Austrian rule in the 1840 and finished in 1869, by which time Venice had become part of the unified Kingdom of Italy.
The façade, built between 1460 and 1464, has sloping sides and is in brickwork, divided in three parts by two pilasters strips. The two side sections have quadruple mullioned windows, while the central has a large rose window. The portal is surmounted by a pointed arch with white stone decorations portraying St. Christopher, the Madonna and the Archangel Gabriel.
The interior has a nave and two aisles and it houses paintings by different worldwide-known artists such as Tintoretto, Cima da Conegliano and Giovanni Bellini.