immagine Church of Santa Maria Assunta

Barbara

Corso Vittorio Emanuele II
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Historic

Church of Santa Maria Assunta

Built in 1787 at the behest of Cardinal Giovanni Francesco Albani to the design of architect Francesco Ciarafoni, the Church of Santa Maria Assunta is a valuable treasure chest of art in which a copy of Correggio’s Nativity already attributed to Domenichino, a Saint Sebastian by Paolo Gismondi, the Assumption by Giovanni Pirri, a Madonna and Saints by Pomarancio and Christ at the Column by Francesco Trevisani stand out.

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The perspective of the Corso is closed by the imposing front of the monumental Church of the Assumption, a neoclassical work by Ancona-born Francesco Ciarafoni. Inside, in addition to the precious late 18th-century craftsmanship, such as the plaster statues by the famous stonemasons of Sant’Ippolito – dedicated by the nobles of the time to the most famous or locally worshipped saints – the wooden choir, with the 18th-century portraits of the commendatory abbots above it – the choir stalls, the confessionals, the sacristy furniture elegantly carved or inlaid in wood, the friezes, the refined original furnishings, to the artistic 17th-century ‘miraculous’ crucifix, to the precious baptistery below, finely decorated with biblical subjects, one can visit a veritable art gallery of the modern age, largely due to abbey revenues and the consequent munificence of the cardinal abbots, the penultimate of whom, Giovanni Francesco Albani, in 1787 wanted to have the old church where he had received minor orders rebuilt with dignity.

Entering on the right is an excellent copy of Correggio’s Nativity already attributed to Domenichino, continuing on we have the 17th-century Saint Sebastian by the Classical painter Paolo Gismondi da Perugia, the dimensions of which were enlarged in the 18th century when the painting had already undergone a chromatic blurring, as evidenced by the recent restoration. The Assumption in the apse, specially commissioned from the painter Giovanni Pirri, fits harmoniously into the culture of the time and the decorations of the interior inspired by a classical temple, with its archaeological references and the ancient frame of the scene. But the jewels of the church can be considered to be the Madonna and Saints by Pomarancio, a painting that was unfortunately later enlarged and is nevertheless comparable in value to the works the artist dedicated to the Basilica of Loreto, as well as the dramatic Baroque image of Christ at the Column by the Venetian Francesco Trevisani.

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