Monastery and Church of Saint Francesco

Monastery and Church of Saint Francesco

Monastery and Church of Saint Francesco


It was realized around the second half of the 13th century and it immediately had a strong hold over the population, so much that the city council of 1663 decided to intercede with the Vatican that had excommunicated the Francescan monks in Matelica.

Of the original construction only the basic Romanesque portal remains, but it shows an interest for a more complex architectural form.

The radical change took place between 1653 and 1719 when economic aid was sought.

The monastery, although unused, consists of two cloisters, while the church was renovated in the 18th century, enriched by the moderate Baroque style. The enlarged structure is located in the central nave that opens into the side chapels, more prevalent in those on the right that have assumed a predominant importance and there are preserved works of very considerable importance that make up a small art gallery.

Among the most important:


  • “Il Purgatorio” by Ercole Ramazzani (1586, 1st chapel), among the souls of purgatory in the center of the painting, is presumed to be depicted Antonio Maria Ottoni.The central part of the painting takes on a swirling and strongly emotional dynamism, which contrasts with the immobility of the figures of the saints who witness the event. Of the same author “the Ascension” (1574, 5th chapel, right wall) in the central part is depicted the Madonna, the painting is tripartite vertically and the image of Christ is massive in its body. The scheme of the painting is cross-shaped and the author has made prospective inaccuracies. Moreover, the gestures of some characters are excessively emphatic and theatrical.
  • Madonna on Throne with Saints by Eusebio da San Giorgio (1512, 5th chapel, left wall) of direct Raphaelite descent depicts St. John crouched at the foot of the Madonna in the act of jokingly pointing out verses, with a book open in front of St. Anthony of Padua. The three books in the painting around which the characters are concentrated represent the three miracles of St. Anthony.
  • Virgin with Child and Saints by Francesco di Gentile (2nd half of 15th century, 4th chapel) is an triptych of the Umbrian school.
  • Madonna and child enthroned by Marco Palmezzano (1501, 2nd chapel) the table consists of two main compositions and 11 secondary compositions distributed in the lateral pillars and the predella.
  • Adoration of the Magi (1566, 6th chapel) by Simone and Gianfrancesco da Caldarola. The painting is crowded with characters that give the painters the opportunity to depict with meticulous precision, various human types, social attitudes and 16th-century costumes, the coloristic choice flattens the movement of the whole, the choir of angels is very graceful. Martyrdom of St. Stephen (1569, 6th chapel) Simone and Gianfrancesco da Caldarola.
  • Chapel of the Passion (cloister). Giovanni Petronio of Pesaro, a papal commissioner, had the chapel painted with a pictorial cycle consisting of 15 boxes that evoke the passion of Christ.


The back wall is occupied by a Crucifixion.

About the fresco Saint Francis and the Poor (choir, 14th century) It is likely that the author belonged to Giotto Paliotto’s circle of the highest altar. It is an example of 17th-century woodwork art. The decorative sacristy is entrusted to the far-from-modest caryatids, but it stands in contrast with the narrative and decorative exuberance of the 14th-century altarpiece.

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