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Former Church of Santa Maria della Pace in Viterbo  
Chiara Fatuzzo
ISSN 1127-4883     BTA - Bollettino Telematico dell'Arte, March 3th 2001, n. 252
http://www.bta.it/txt/a0/02/bta00252.html
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Restoration
Facade
 
HISTORICAL SHORT ACCOUNTS
 
1502 The church is built in via del Bottalone.
16 maggio 1667 Rebuilt ex novo in the present place, piazza Luigi Concetti. That is in fact the year of the foundation of the church in honour of Christ's Ascension. The first stone is blessed by cardinal Brancaccio. It rises in the area of S. Nicola dei Vascellari.
23 agosto 1671 The church is consecrated.
1683-1699 These are the years of Urbano Sacchetti's episcopate, during which the front is finished.
1870 The church is closed to worship.
1912 Both the church and the monastery become property of the municipality. The sacred ornaments belonging to the church and the monastery are granted to the municipality.
1917 The church becomes a wheat storehouse.
1921 The church is used as a warehouse and to keep some parts of the "macchina di Santa Rosa". The paintings in the church are covered with paper.
1932-33 The church is open to worship.
1945 The former church of Santa Maria della Pace begins to be dispossessed in favour of other churches in Viterbo
 
FORMER MONASTERY OF SANTA MARIA DELLA PACE
 
It is enclosed to Santa Maria della Pace. The construction of the building starts in 1484; in 1502 the name of Santa Maria della Pace is given the monastery, where some tertiary nuns of the Order of "Serviti" (Order founded in 1233). Later the monastery is left by the nuns. In 1938 the whole building belonging to municipality is demolished; rebuilt afterwards, today it is seat of a primary and secondary school.
 
 
DESCRIPTION OF THE CHURCH 1
Inscription located inside the church on the portal
Photo n. 2
Inscription located inside the church on the portal (Photo: Chiara Fatuzzo, 1999)
 
FACADE
The baroque fašade is enlivened by peperino (pyroclastic rock) statues on a plastered background. The lower part shows pilasters with Ionic capitals connected by fruit and flower festoons; in the middle a portal with an arched tympanum is supported by corbels; on it we notice a graven cherub. Amid the pilasters there are four niches, within which there are saints' statues, surmounted by tympana, supported by corbels and cherubs. The upper part shows the same outline as the lower part: in the middle we notice a wide window with a triangular gable. On both sides two saints' statues within a niche; the coat of arms of cardinal Urbano Sacchetti is on the top.
 
INNER PART
The setting of the building is aisleless but has six chapels along the sidewalls. At level of the women's balcony, pointed out by grills, there is a floor system in decorated wood, for organ and choir; on the back wall the large window opens. On the sidewalls, in correspondence of the chapels, there are the windows. In the barrel vault with lunettes and grains there are figures of saints inside panels, decorated medallions, inscriptions and monochromatic allegoric figures sitting on false architectures which support the central painting: Virgin in glory surrounded by angels. Over the apse Our Lady of the Seven Sorrow is painted, and on both sides the Archangel Gabriel and the Annunciation. On the portal there are two figures of saints and a marble inscription. The other walls show monochromatic paintings and decorated capitals. The interior is deprived of its sacred ornaments.
 
Map relief
Map relief (Public Labour Office of Viterbo Municipality)
 
RECONSTRUCTION OF THE CHURCH ORNAMENT
 
As told above, at present the church of Santa Maria della Pace is deprived of its sacred ornaments (organ, altars, canvases, painting on wood, wooden crucifix). Here I relate the records and the description of such ornaments together with their former and present arrangement.
 
ORGAN (XVII - XVIII c.)
1945 Assignment on loan to the church of S. Giovanni.
1949 Assignment to the church of Santi Faustino e Giovita. At present it is not there. Probably it was disassembled; there are no further news.
 
ALTARS
1945 The wooden altar is let in use to S. Angelo in Spatha.
1948 One of the three marble altars is let in use to the church of S. Maria dell'Edera (there taken to pieces and then reassembled arbitrarily).
 
First altar on the left in the former placing
Photo n. 3
First altar on the left in the former placing, carved and gilt wood (XVII c.)
(Photo: Chiara Fatuzzo, 1999)
High altar in its former arrangement
Photo n. 4
High altar in its former arrangement, marble with stucco decorations (XVII c.)
(Photo: Chiara Fatuzzo, 1999)
High altar in its former placing
Photo n. 5
High altar in its former placing, marble carved ciborium (XVII c.) (Photo: Chiara Fatuzzo, 1999)
 
Third altar on the left in the former placing
Photo n. 6
Third altar on the left in the former placing, white and coloured marbles (XVII c.)
(Photo: Chiara Fatuzzo, 1999)
  Third altar on the right in the former placing
Photo n. 7
Third altar on the right in the former placing, white and coloured marbles (XVII c.)
(Photo: Chiara Fatuzzo, 1999)
 
Marble sculpture of an angel
Photo n. 8
Marble sculpture of an angel, It was taken away from the high altar
(Photo: Chiara Fatuzzo, 1999)
Marble carved cherubs, formerly decorations 		of both the third altar on the left and the one on the right
Photo n. 9
Marble carved cherubs, formerly decorations of both the third altar on the left and the one on the right, (Photo: Chiara Fatuzzo, 1999)
Another marble element taken from the high 		altar
Photo n. 10
Another marble element taken from the high altar, marble carved ciborium (XVII c.)
(Photo: Chiara Fatuzzo, 1999)
 
 
PAINTINGS ON CANVAS
 
The Virgin appears to S. Carlo Borromeo and S. Filippo Neri
Photo n. 11
First altar on the right in its former placing The Virgin appears to S. Carlo Borromeo and S. Filippo Neri, by A. Pucciati (XVII c.). At present the painting is placed in the town museum of Viterbo.
(Photo: Chiara Fatuzzo, 1999)
  Four Saints in Adoration
Photo n. 12
Four Saints in Adoration This painting has been kept in the Santuario della Quercia since 1963. According to documents it was placed on the second altar on the right. This painting has been kept in the Santuario della Quercia since 1963. (Photo: Chiara Fatuzzo, 1999)
 
Saint Bishop and Saint Monks in Adoration of the Holy Family
Photo n. 13
Saint Bishop and Saint Monks in Adoration of the Holy Family, attribuited to A. Gherardi (XVII) According to documents also this painting was placed on the second altar on the right. Today it is in the town museum of Viterbo
(Photo: Chiara Fatuzzo, 1999)
  Transfiguration
Photo n. 14
High altar in the former placing Transfiguration (XVII - XVIII c.). In 1948 the painting was transferred to S. Maria dell' Edera and later to S. Maria della Quercia
(Photo: Chiara Fatuzzo, 1999)
 
The Virgin with the Saints Founders of the Order of Servites
Photo n. 15
Second chapel on the left in the former placing The Virgin with the Saints Founders of the Order of Servites(XVIII c.). This one has been kept in Santuario della Quercia since 1963.
(Photo: Chiara Fatuzzo, 1999)
  Blessing Eternal
Photo n. 16
Lunette of the high altar in the former placing Blessing Eternal (XVII - XVIII c.). Also this painting was transferred to Santa Maria dell'Edera in 1948, and only later it was placed in the church of Santa Maria della Quercia
(Photo: Chiara Fatuzzo, 1999)
 
St. Rose and Saints with the Virgin
Photo n. 17
St. Rose and Saints with the Virgin, seventeenth century painting kept in the Santuario della Quercia since 1963.
(Photo: Chiara Fatuzzo, 1999)
  St. Peter Dominican Martyr
Photo n. 18
St. Peter Dominican Martyr (XVII c.); also this painting is in the Santuario della Quercia since 1963
(Photo: Chiara Fatuzzo, 1999)
 
 
PAINTING ON WOOD
 
Our Lady with a Cardinal and Saint Bishop Photo n. 19
Second altar on the right in the former placing: Our Lady with a Cardinal and Saint Bishop, by Vitale da Bologna (1350). It was in the old church situated in via del Bottalone; in 1670 it was transferred and worshipped in the present church. Today it is in the town museum of Viterbo.
(Photo: Chiara Fatuzzo, 1999)
 
 
 
WOODEN CRUCIFIX
  Wooden Crocifix Photo n. 20
The gilt wooden crucifix (XIX c.) was on the third altar on the left in the former placing. In 1948 it was given on loan to the church of S. Giacomo. Later on it was transferred to S. Angelo in Spatha.
(Photo: Chiara Fatuzzo, 1999)
 
 
RESTORATION
 
The restoration, begun in 1992 and ended in 1994, had the aim of the conservative renewal and the restoration of the front and roof of the church of Santa Maria della Pace.

    Restoration and strengthening of sculptures, decorations, cornices, fillets in peperino on the church front.

    Restoration of the wooden main doors.

    Protection of the cornices by lead sheets.

    Painting of the plaster of the external walls.

    Removing and remarking of the cover.

    Insertion of a waterproof surface.

    Removing and remaking of the floor.

    Removing and remaking of the small and big roof-frame (except for the trusses in a good condition).

    Substitution of the wooden casings of the windows.

    Gutters.

The following photographs show the decay situation before restoration. (cf. photos no. 22, no. 23, no. 24). The actual situation of the outside part is documented by the prospect's image on page 1 and by a particular of its, which is reported in the photo below.
Also inside the church needs a conservative restoration, aimed particularly to the recovering of the mural paintings that are in bad status of conservation. (cf. photo no. 25, no. 26, no. 27, no.28).
After removing the main causes of the decay owing to the restoration of 1994, now it should be appropriate to make diagnostostic researches in order to analyse scientifically structure, material, executive techniques and alteration. Those investigations are preliminary to a planning for a pressing restoration mainly aimed to the strengthening, cleaning and protection of murals and to strengthen the wall structure.

 
Particular of the restored prospect
Photo n. 21
Particular of the restored prospect
(Photo: Chiara Fatuzzo, 1999)
  Mould made of peperino
Photo n. 22
Mould made of peperino where one can notice superficial deposits, breaks, losses and erosions.
(Photo: Public Labour Office of Viterbo Municipality)
 
Erosion's signs on a peperino's moulding
Photo n. 23
Erosion's signs on a peperino's moulding
(Photo: Public Labour Office of Viterbo Municipality)
  Decay's status of a peperino's sculpture due to air exposure
Photo n. 24
Decay's status of a peperino's sculpture due to air exposure. Remarkable are crusts, superficial deposits, efflorescence, erosions, breaks, incrustations and losses.
(Photo: Public Labour Office of Viterbo Municipality)
 
Intern: the vault shows spots, breaks, efflorescence, and chromatic alterations.
Photo n. 25
Intern: the vault shows spots, breaks, efflorescence, and chromatic alterations.
(Photo: Public Labour Office of Viterbo Municipality)
  Wall paintings over the portal
Photo n. 26
Wall paintings over the portal more remarkable here is the bad conservation status (almost illegible the figure of the saint on the right)
(Photo: Public Labour Office of Viterbo Municipality)
 
Intern: the vault shows spots, breaks, efflorescence, and chromatic alterations.
Photo n. 27
Apse arch: wall paintings in better conservative conditions
(Photo: Chiara Fatuzzo, 1999)
  Wall paintings over the portal
Photo n. 28
Wall paintings over the portal more remarkable here is the bad conservation status (almost illegible the figure of the saint on the right)
(Photo: Public Labour Office of Viterbo Municipality)
 
 
BIBLIOGRAPHY
 

    AA. VV., Tuscia Viterbesi, vol. I, Roma, 1968.

    Simonetta Angeli, Il Museo Civico di Viterbo; documenti per uno studio della raccolta e per una loro virtuale ricostruzione, (non ancora pubblicato, presso l'Archivio del Museo Civico di Viterbo).

    Bollettino Municipale di Viterbo, periodico 135/11, XVII, anno III, n. 9, 10, 11, 12, Viterbo, Agnesotti, 1938, pp. 55-60.

    F. Bussi, Istoria della città di Viterbo, Roma, 1742.

    Attilio Carosi, Chiese di Viterbo, Viterbo, Agnesotti, 1995.

    Censimento conservativo dei beni artistici e storici. Guida alla compilazione delle schede, a cura di Michele Cordaro e Maria Cecilia Mazzi, Regione Lazio Assessorato alla Cultura, Centro Regionale per la Documentazione dei Beni Culturali e Ambientali, Roma, Edizioni Quasar, 1993.

    Salvatore Del Ciuco, La Chiesa di S. Maria dell'Edera, Bolsena, 1989.

    Dizionario della Pittura e dei Pittori, Torino, Einaudi, 1989.

    F. Egidi, Guida della città di Viterbo e dintorni, Viterbo, 1889.

    Italo Faldi, Mostra di restauri, in "L'arte nel viterbese", Viterbo, 1965.

    Italo Faldi, Museo Civico di Viterbo. Dipinti e sculture dal Medioevo al XVIII secolo, Viterbo, Agnesotti, 1955.

    Italo Faldi, Pittori viterbesi di cinque secoli, Roma, 1970.

    Italo Faldi, Recenti restauri e acquisizioni, in "Soprintendenza alla Galleria e opere medievali e moderne per il Lazio", VI settimana dei Musei, Roma, 1963.

    Italo Faldi, Restauri acquisti e acquisizioni al patrimonio artistico di Viterbo, catalogo, Viterbo, Palazzo dei Priori, 1972.

    Augusto Gargana, Viterbo. Itinerario di Augusto Gargana, Viterbo, 1939.

    Il 1400 a Roma e nel Lazio. Il 1400 a Viterbo, cat. mostra, Roma, De Luca Editore, 1983.

    La pittura in Italia, Milano, Electa, 1989.

    A. Muñoz, Uno sguardo al nuovo Museo Civico di Viterbo, in "Per l'inaugurazione del Museo Civico di Viterbo", Viterbo, Agnesotti, 1912, pp. 33- 45.

    Normal - 1/88 Alterazioni macroscopiche dei materiali lapidei: lessico, Raccomandazioni Normal (Normativa Manufatti Lapidei), a cura del CNR e dell'ICR, Roma, 1990.

    G. Oddi, Le arti in Viterbo, Viterbo, Agnesotti, 1882.

    Cesare Pinzi, I principali monumenti di Viterbo. Guida pel visitatore, Viterbo, Agnesotti, 1911.

    Cesare Pinzi, Memoria sulla Chiesa di S. Maria della Verità, ora Museo Viterbese, in "Per l'inaugurazione del Museo Civico di Viterbo", Viterbo, Agnesotti, 1912, pp. 5-14.

    Cesare Pinzi, Storia della città di Viterbo, voll. I-III, Roma, 1887/89, vol. IV, Viterbo, Agnesotti, 1913.

    Relazione di restauro, a cura dell'Ufficio Settore Lavori Pubblici del Comune di Viterbo, Viterbo, 1994.

    A. Scriattoli, Viterbo nei suoi monumenti, Roma, 1915-20.

    Giuseppe Signorelli, Il primo nucleo del Museo Viterbese, in "Per l'inaugurazione del Museo Civico di Viterbo", Viterbo, Agnesotti, 1912, pp. 15- 19.

    Giuseppe Signorelli, Viterbo nella storia della Chiesa, Viterbo, 1907-1969.

    Mario Signorelli, Guida di Viterbo. Monumenti del centro cittadini, Viterbo, Agnesotti, 1964.

    Mario Signorelli, Storia breve di Viterbo, Viterbo, Agnesotti, 1964.

    Simona Valtieri, La genesi umana di Viterbo, Roma, 1977.

 
MANUSCRIPTS - "Ardenti Town Library"
 

Giuseppe Signorelli, Chiese, Conventi, Confraternite, ms. c-10 presso la Biblioteca Comunale degli Ardenti.

D. Bianchi, Storia di Viterbo, ms. presso la Biblioteca degli Ardenti di Viterbo, 1611.

 
 
ARCHIVES RESEARCHES
 
ARCHIVIO DI STATO DI VITERBO

  • FONDO ARCHIVIO STORICO COMUNALE
    • Busta 83 (1912) Concessione al Comune di arredi sacri appartenenti all'ex chiesa di S. Maria della Pace e all'ex monastero di S. Maria della Pace.
    • Busta 119 (1917) Misure dei quadri da coprire nella chiesa della Pace.
    • Busta 258 (1928) Schede di catalogo generale.
    • Busta 295 (1930) Schede di catalogo.
    • Busta 368 (1933) Schede di catalogo generale.

  • FONDO CULTO DI VITERBO
    • Busta 4 (1932-33) Riapertura al culto della chiesa di S. Maria della Pace.

  • ARCHIVIO MUSEO CIVICO DI VITERBO
    • Scheda di catalogo del Museo Civico del dipinto Santo vescovo e Santi monaci in adorazione della Sacra Famiglia.
    • Allestimento 1955.
    • Busta 518 (1938) - Archivio di Stato-Archivio Storico Comunale.
    • Ricognizione 1974 (dalla ricerca di Simonetta Angeli)
    • Delibera di Giunta Comunale redatta per il dipinto "Quattro Santi in adorazione" (tratta da Simonetta Angeli)

  • ARCHIVIO DEL COMUNE DI VITERBO
    • Delibere di Giunta Comunale, dal 1944 al 1957.
 

 

FOOTNOTES

1 The photo of the church on page 1 and part of the photographic material and documentary used here have been kindly granted by the Public Labour Office of Viterbo Municipality.

2 See photo no. 2.

 

 
 

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