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I Della Robbia

Itinerary to discover the Della Robbia: Andrea, Giovanni and fra' Mattia

Arcevia offers visitors an itinerary to discover the richest, fascinating and majestic collection of glazed ceramics of the Marche. The itinerary starts right from the historic center with a visit to the Collegiate Church of San Medardo, where are exposed the majestic altar with the Virgin of miracles and the two painted statues of Santa Caterina and Maddalena by Giovanni Della Robbia and other masterpieces including the Paliotto, the Crucifix by Mattia Della Robbia. Continue with a visit to the church of S.Maria del Soccorso, which houses a glazed altar depicting the Annunciation, work of Mattia Della Robbia to finish in Avacelli to the Church of San Lorenzo where you can admire a Crucifix and a spectacular altar in painted terracotta, work of a workshop influenced by the Marchigiana Della Robbia.


What to bring

Clothing suitable for the season and camera.


Check the opening times and points of the museums included in the itinerary.

Check the map

Collegiata di San Medardo

The most important religious monument in the city Hours : 9.00 - Ramazzani 136 Arcevia 60011 Ancona

The route begins in the historic center of Arcevia at the Collegiate Church of San Medardo, the most important religious monument of the city both in size and for the works of art it contains.

Inside a majestic altar with the Madonna and Child between Saints John the Baptist and Jerome by Giovanni Della Robbia. The altar was originally placed in the church of the hermitage of San Girolamo de saxorubeo, a hermitage founded in 1509 at the foot of Mount Croce by a group of Sienese nobles. Commissioned in 1510, it was paid to Giovanni Della Robbia and arrived at Rocca Contrada in 1513, as shown not only by the dates affixed to the altar itself, but also by the Book of Counts of the monastery.

The Crucifix is commonly attributed to the hand of Fra’ Mattia, who may have performed it directly at the hermitage of San Girolamo for the deductions exposed in the introduction on the furnace that was built here in the early 1920s. The work until 1930 was located in the suburban sanctuary of Santa Maria delle Grazie, at the foot of Monte Sant’Angelo, built in the mid-fifteenth century. The Crucifix was certainly part of a more articulated composition, which had to include at least some figures of saints on the sides of the main subject, but of these there remains no trace.

Madonna with Saint Joseph and the Child, ox and donkey – Author unknown. This Crib is located in the chapel of San Giuseppe, in a space created under the painting of Piergentile da Matelica and Venanzo da Camerino, who was housed here in 1668. For a long time critics have attributed it to Pietro Paolo Agabiti (1470 ca -1540 ca), an interesting and elusive figure of painter and sculptor from Sassoferrata, but today we think of some other unknown modeller of the same era, influenced by having known the activity of Robbia’s workshop. A vague assonance could in fact be found with the Crib of the convent of Maddalene alle Caldine (Fiesole) by Andrea Della Robbia.

Parish collection of San Medardo. Attributed to Fra’ Mattia Della Robbia. Saint Catherine of Alexandria and Saint Mary Magdalene.These two statues were also purchased by the hermits of Saint Jerome, but they arrived at Rocca Contrada at different times. La Maddalena was purchased in 1513 with the same lot of robbiane from the workshop of John, including the altar of the Virgin of Miracles. Saint Catherine arrived in 1517. Already attributed the first to Giovanni and the second to Fra’ Mattia, both are probably the work of the latter, made while still working at the paternal workshop run by his brother.


logo  immagine Arcevia_annunciazione_robbia

Church of Santa Maria del Soccorso

uilt in the 16th century by the Augustinian Fathers Hours : 10.00

Attributed to Fra’ Mattia Della Robbia.Annunciazione.This is the most important of the works attributed to Fra’ Mattia Arceviesi and one of the best pieces of his production. This altar also comes from another church, since the Augustinian building that houses it was built between 1551 and 1595 on a previous chapel of 1513. The altar is framed by pillars crossed by colorful festoons and an architrave punctuated by heads of seraphim. A round arch contains the scene of the Annunciation, in which a solemn God the Father appears in the upper left inside a curious rainbow of angels, while a monumental archangel Gabriel with his dress moved by the wind is presented to a Mary kneeling in front of an elaborate lectern. In the background, a curtain with a bed alludes to the house of the Virgin in Nazareth giving an attempt at depth to the scene. In the segments between pillars and arch emerge from the foliage two elegant medallions with well shaped male heads, probably saints without identifying attributes.

Church of San Lorenzo

Località Avacelli Hours : 11.00 - Arcevia 60011 AN

Unknown plasticatore marchigiano of culture robbiana.Crocifisso
On the left wall of the church of San Lorenzo is a valuable crucifix that Anselmi and Serra attributed to the hand of Fra’ Mattia. The work undoubtedly finds some stylistic comparison with the Robbian Crucifix currently conserved in San Medardo, to which the author, a less skilled modeller, may have addressed himself as a cultured model.

Attributed to Ercole Ramazzani Our Lady of the Rosary and Mercy
This monumental altarpiece adorns the high altar of the church, built in the first half of the century. The Madonna holds the Child in her arms in the act of scattering the roses, and is flanked by San Domenico and San Lorenzo who open the cloak, under which the faithful are gathered strictly grouped by sex. The scene is framed by fifteen panels with the mysteries of the rosary, one in which appears an exhibition of Veronica and tiles with red roses at the corners. All is contained in a typical sixteenth-century altar structure, always in painted terracotta, entirely populated by naked angels holding rosaries and instruments of the passion of Christ.

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