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The Civic Art Gallery was founded in 1974 and restored in 2015, when it was named after Jesuit father Tacchi-Venturi from San Severino Marche, a historian and a religious scholar. The gallery is located on the 1st floor of the 16th-century building Manuzzini Palace. It still preserves its Gothic structure, and the inner courtyard hides the remains of a tower from the 15th century. The art gallery hosts one of the most precious and rich artistic works of the territory. The finest piece of work of the collection surely is the Madonna della Pace by Pinturiccchio, which highlights the Roman virtuosos of the painter. Bernardino di Betto, also known as Pinturicchio, worked on this painting for Prior Liberato Bartelli, who lived in San Severino Marche.
The exhibition is divided in six rooms that follow a chronological order. Starting from the first room, the Madonna dell’Umiltà by Allegretto Nuzi, painter from Fabriano, encompasses a Giottesque style of painting, that is a precious gold background and an extreme attention to detail. In the same room you can also find a polyptych by Paolo Veneziano, a symbol of the 14th-century Venician painting and of the tight links between the Most Serene Republic and the Marche region.
The second room hosts some frescos of the Marche school of the 14th century, in particular the ones from the destroyed church of St. Francis. The frescoes bear witness of the extensive artistic production of San Severino Marche during the 14th century.
A large portion of the collection located in the third room comes from brothers Lorenzo and Jacopo Salimbeni. From the same period as Gentile da Fabriano, who was also source of inspiration for them, they managed to work on many other influences from other European cultures, bringing about a genuine revolution in the artistic landscape of the Marche region of the 15th century. This century also saw the dominance of the Smeducci family over the city of San Severino. The triptych Lo Sposalizio di Santa Caterina, 1400, bears witness of this tendency. Painted only by Lorenzo Salimbeni, the piece is enriched by an exquisite elegance and fine colours which can be also found in Santa Lucia. Several other frescoes come from other churches of the city, depicting the daily lives of the people of the Middle Ages and characters with their unique lively wit and great narrative invention.
Another artist from San Severino Marche active during the second half of the 15th century is Lorenzo d’Alessandro. Linked to the transition period from Gothic to the Renaissance, some of his works such as the Nativity, the Madonna col Bambino, and the Pietà enrich the fourth room. While still remaining linked to the local tradition, Lorenzo managed to receive influence from Tuscany, Umbria and Veneto, particularly picking up Nicolò Alunno’s expressivity and taste for ornaments. In the same room you can find a polyptych by Vittore Crivelli, a very active artist in the Marche region, together with his brother Carlo. He painted the polyptych for the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. The piece is an example of chromatism, decorative richness and attention to detail.
In the fifth room you can admire a polyptych from Nicolò Alunno, dated and signed in 1468, which was placed in the Duomo Vecchio (Old cathedral). The piece presents a predella with Gothic spires, it depicts the Madonna con il Bambino e Santi (Our Lady with Child and Saints). The painting offers both Gothic elements and Renaissance influences. San Sebastiano is a painting with iconographic innovations, a genuine Renaissance piece. Bernardino di Mariotto was active in San Severino from 1502 to 1521 when he inherited Lorenzo d’Alessandro’s workshop. His Madonna del Soccorso can be found in the exhibition. The Madonna della Pace by Pinturicchio depicts the Madonna with Child in the act of blessing her, placed between two Angels and the commissioner of the work Liberato Faranchi Bartelli, Prior of the Collegiate of San Severino. The gold in the painting creates a dim light that enriches the brocades and the greenish and blueish hues of the landscape in the background.
The works in the sixth room, the Pietà, the Annunciazione, and the Deposizione by Bernardino di Mariotto complete the exhibition. A wooden choir from the Duomo Vecchio stands out the most. It was realized in 1513 by the Domenico Indivini’s workshop.
On the ground floor, dedicated to the Baroque period you can find works from local artists, such as the original map of San Severino Marche by Cipriano Divini, realized in the 17th century, the Nativity by Girolamo Troppa, several canvases by Paolo Marini from Camerino and a leather alter-cloth depicting the Transport of San Severino’s body by Giulio Lazzarelli. In this section also stand out the terrestrial and celestial globes by Matteo Greutier. In the last room are preserved 13 processional standards depicting the city’s castles (18th century), which can be seen during the parade in celebration for the city’s patron saint. On the same floor can be also found a lapidary with coat of arms and plaques from different eras.
Recently set is the “Sala Bigioli”, which hosts 27 sketches depicting scenes from the Divine Comedy by Filippo Bigioli, painter from San Severino Marche, commissioned by Cavalier Romualdo Gentilucci di Fabriano. Also from Bigioli, a member of the notorious Accademia di San Luca and of the Accademia dei Virtuosi, other works in Neoclassical style were found in the now destroyed Torlona Palace, in Rome.
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