Passions & Places

The Gothic

La via del Gotico

Fertile land where religious labour of monks and of hermits rooted, but also a region oriented to the sea and to the Eastern culture. This is how one could describe the period of artistic climax in the Marches between the 11th and the 15th century, testified by splendid architectonic and painting works. Each of the city-states of that epoch represented a specific microcosm where the expressions of gothic stile formed a sort of artistic unity maintained, even at distance of a few centuries, in both their beauty and harmony.

Just think about the treasures of Montefeltro (such as the Rocca Fregoso, a fortress in Sant’Agata Feltria or the Pieve of San Leo). Or about imposing fortresses disseminated all over the land of the Malatestas (Pesaro, Fano, Senigallia, Gradara and Fossombrone). About numerous examples of gothic architecture erected around the commercially important port of Ancona (the Merchant Lodge, the church of Santa Maria della Piazza and the cathedral of San Ciriaco).

The small church of St Mary in Portonovo stands in antithesis with the majestic Sanctuary of St Mary in Loreto. The building of the latter started in 1468 in pure gothic stile and was finished in 1500 with the Renaissance cupola of Sangallo.

And still, equally splendid castles, churches and noble dwellings built on the territories of Recanati, Ascoli Piceno, Offida, Pievebovigliana, Camerino, Caldarola, Lanciano, Urbisaglia, Pioraco and Sfercia, many of which even nowadays preserve great part of original furnishing.

Fragmented realities that once distinguished local noble families governing the territory of the Marches stirred even the art of painting. There are many still unknown artists such as Maestro di Campodonico (whose deeds once adorned the Abbey of San Biagio in Caprile in Fabriano, and today are housed in the National Gallery of Urbino), or as those who created the magic frescoes in Cappellone di San Nicola in Tolentino. Or painters like Carlo da Camerino, Jacobello da Fiore, Nicola d’Ancona, the Chiavellis and the Smeduccis, who left numerous artistic testimonies in various places of the region.

Gothic art reached the climax with sublime skill of Gentile da Fabriano (born around 1370) whose works of art are known in the whole world. His native town can only feel deep regret at not being able to preserve at least an example of so refined and prestigious inspiration.

Later (around 1400), brothers Lorenzo and Jacopo Salimbeni (painters from San Severino and authors of a late gothic series of frescoes today kept in the Oratorio di San Giovanni in Urbino) enriched the Marches with their works of art. But not only them: Carlo Crivelli, together with his brother Vittorio, brought to the region (to Pesaro, Ascoli Piceno, Cupra Marittima, Montefiore dell'Aso, Fermo and Ripatransone), an impressive gothic stile full of chromatic vibrations deriving from the Venetian painting tradition.

All those are excellent artists who contributed to donate to this land that defined touch of rich elegance and lightness. Today, the Administration of the region, communes and institutions promote tourist and cultural itinerary on theme: La via del gotico nelle Marche.


2001 Liberation Ventures Ltd.

   Edit | Passions  |  Itinerary  |  Where To Stay
 | Map  |   Print  |