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
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
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
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.
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