Key to Umbria: Bevagna

The monks of Sassovivo founded a monastery here that was dedicated to St Ansovinus, which Pope Innocent II took under papal protection in 1138.  (St Ansovinus (died 840) was a hermit who became Bishop of Camerino.)  It was subsequently abandoned.

Cardinal Marco Barbo, the commendatory abbot of Sassovivo gave the site to the Observant Franciscans in 1487, and they built the present church and an adjacent convent.   The church served as a parish church for the local rural communities.

The complex passed to the Commune during the Napoleonic suppression.  The friars were able to return in 1816-66 and again in 1905, but they left definitively in 1963.  The property is now privately owned.  


Portal (1495)

The portal is dated by inscription (M495).  It has the symbol IHS on the lintel and a fresco above of the Madonna and Child.


I was unable to see inside when I visited in April 2010.  The church apparently has a simple, single-nave interior.

Annunciation (16th century)

This terracotta altarpiece by Santi Buglioni da Firenze is on the high altar.  The lunette contains a depiction of the Pietà with the Virgin and St John the Evangelist, and the predella comprises scenes from the life of the Virgin.

Works Attributed to il Fantino

The church contains two works that are attributed to Ascensidonio Spacca, il Fantino:

  1. a fresco (late 16th century) which depicts the Madonna and SS John the Evangelist and Francis, with God the Father in the lunette, forms the backdrop to the Crucifix (early 16th century) on the altar of the 1st chapel on the left, which belonged to the Petrucci family; and 

  2. an altarpiece (17th century) of the Incredulity of St Thomas is in the 1st chapel on the right, which belonged to the Antici family.

Art from the Church

St Sebastian (17th century)

This altarpiece from SS Annunziata, which has the arms of the Franciscans at the lower right, is usually attributed to Andrea Camassei.  It is now in the Pinacoteca, where it is not given this attribution.

Return to Monuments of Bevagna. 

Return to Walk II.

Chiesa dell’ Annunziata (1487)

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