Key to Umbria: Orvieto

Oratorio della Misericordia (1611-7)

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                                         Sant’ Agnese              Oratorio della Misericordia       Portal of oratory

Bishop Giorgio Della Rovere gave the church and adjacent nunnery of Sant’ Agnese to the Società di San Girolamo in 1495.  This church was already used by the Compagnia della Misericordia.  The two were merged to form the Confraternita di San Giovanni Decollato in 1556.  The confraternity built the oratory next to Sant’ Agnese using funds from a bequest of Ettore Bucciosanti.

The lintel above the door of the oratory has an inscription  that refers to the confraternity and a relief of the head of St John the Baptist.

The oratory [recently re-opened to the public] contains interesting wooden furniture and a lovely pulpit.

Pietà (16th century)

This altarpiece [where?] is by Girolamo Muziano. [Signed?]  [Still there ??]

Scenes from the life of St John the Baptist (ca. 1630)

These frescoes in the lunettes of the walls are attributed on stylistic grounds to Giovanni Maria Colombi.   They depict:

  1. the annunciation to Zacharius;

  2. the birth of St John the Baptist;

  3. the preaching of St John the Baptist; and

  4. the beheading of St John the Baptist.

Frescoes (1664-6)

The contract (1664) between Giuseppe Duranti, the Prior of the Compagnia della Misericordia, and Salvi Castellucci relates to the frescoes in the vaults and names Filidio Marabottini as a consultant. 

These frescoes depict

  1. God the Father with allegories of abundance, peace and charity(illustrated here);

  2. the annunciation to Zacharius;

  3. the birth of St John the Baptist, which is signed by Salvi Castellucci and dated by inscription to 1666;

  4. the families of Christ and St John the Baptist;

  5. an angel feeds St John the Baptist;

  6. a publican begs St John the Baptist to baptise him;

  7. St John the Baptist points to Jesus and two disciples;

  8. St John the Baptist in prison;

  9. the preaching of St John the Baptist;

  10. St John the Baptist baptising people; and

  11. the beheading of St John the Baptist.

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