A monumental cloister leads to the church, where there are traces of frescoes dating back to the fourteenth-sixteenth century. The Pinacoteca houses, among the most prestigious works, the wooden group of the thirteenth century representing the Deposition and the banner of Bartolomeo Caporali depicting the Madonna of Mercy.
Founded around 1300, its typology is typical of the architecture of the mendicant Orders: simple and linear shapes, single nave with polygonal apse, trussed roof. Around 1500 the enlarged part of the convent was leaned against the north wall of the building. The church represents the central nucleus of the museum, preserving inside many frescoes mainly votive. The surviving passages of the oldest frescoes, dating back to the second half of the fourteenth century, suggest that immediately after the building of the church there was a large decorative intervention. The highest results of the decoration of the church belong to the following century, when the building became the family church of the Fortebracci who generously contributed to its embellishment, providing it with altars, furnishings and paintings.
In the church there are also valuable wooden works, such as the bench of the magistrates with inlaid motifs inspired by the “grotesque”, the wooden choir and the pulpit.
The collection includes a group of paintings dating from the sixteenth and eighteenth century, from the churches of Montone, witnesses to the relationship of the village with Perugia and Città di Castello. The wooden Deposition is among the most valuable works. The four components of which it is composed were perhaps part of a group of five figures, with Christ, the Virgin, Saint John the Evangelist, Saint Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. Among the seventeenth-century paintings, the most notable is that depicting Saint Anthony of Padua with the Child.
The family to which the fame of Montone was linked is illustrated in the two genealogical trees representing the Fortebracci lineage. Consistent and worthy of note is the conspicuous collection of textile works, various in materials and colors, performed with elaborate techniques and fanciful floral motifs. These are vestments and liturgical apparatuses.
The new archaeological section, finally, contains evidence of a discovery of a Roman villa near Santa Maria di Sette of the second century A.D. The last excavations have brought to light numerous fragments of tiles and tiles, pieces of dolia and amphorae, black ceramic fragments, a beautiful silver coin, black marble mosaic tiles. From the data collected it can be thought that it was a villa servile of medium-large size, which developed halfway along the coast with a series of terraces and owned by a rich and illustrious character whose name is unfortunately unknown.
The archaeological section contains evidence of a finding of a Roman villa near Santa Maria di Sette of the second century A.D. The last excavations have brought to light numerous fragments of tiles and tiles, pieces of dolia and amphorae, fragments of black ceramic, a beautiful silver coin, black marble mosaic tiles. From the data collected it can be thought that it was a villa servile medium-large, which developed in the middle of the coast with a series of terraces and owned by a rich and illustrious character of which unfortunately you do not know the name.
Our Lady of Mercy, completely restored, by Bartolomeo Caporali, was commissioned by the Franciscan Convent and is dated 1482. Without a doubt it is the most important pictorial work of the collection and represents the perfect synthesis between the Tuscan pictorial canons and those typically Umbrian, combining the use of the background-gold with the landscape representations.
It is a typical banner against the plague, which falls into the kind of those made in the fifteenth century in Umbria and in particular in Perugia, to invoke divine help in the event of disasters and diseases. The Virgin of Mercy, in fact, protects the faithful with her own cloak from the arrows that symbolize the misfortunes thrown by Christ the judge, into the earth; A skeleton with a sickle, image of death, alludes to the harmful effects of the plague.
In addition to the saints represented on the left which are: Sebastiano ( protector against the plague), Francesco (saint to whom the church is dedicated) Biagio (protector of the throat and wool carders) and Giovanni Battista (as protector of the Municipality of Montone), appear on the right, Nicola (protector of the Franciscan order, merchants and traders) Bernardino (important Franciscan saint together with Saint Anthony of Padua, and protector of the sick to the lungs), Gregorio (to which the Pieve is dedicated) and Antonio di Padova (the saint thaumaturge of the Franciscans).
In the realistic representation of the city below, are evident the church of San Francesco and the fortress of Braccio of which is the only historical document before its destruction made to operate by Pope Sixtus IV.
Crucifix, Madonna, Saint John, Saint Joseph of Arimathea (from a Group of Deposition), 1260-1270.
Coming from the parish church of San Gregorio, the four sculptures are what remains of a group of Deposition from the cross, certainly including the figure of Nicodemus today dispersed. It is certain that similar groups were displayed in the ceremonies of worship that culminated on Good Friday and that their presence in dramatic function was proved in the performance of the Sacred Representations of the Passion inside and, more often, outside the churches.
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