Contemporary Art Rescues Ancient Fresco

May 20, 2014 / Art & Archaeology
Viterbo, Lazio

Contemporary artists are helping to restore a 15th century colleague’s fresco in Viterbo’s oldest church, S.Maria Nuova. Instead of depending exclusively on the generosity of the local Rotary Club and banks, the parish decided to involve art lovers too, giving them a chance to purchase works donated by well known artists and private collectors.

terracotta sculpt 1
terracotta & quadri

Artisti per l’Arte (Artists for Art) is open on Saturday afternoons in May, June, July and September collecting donations for works of art and antiques to help finance the restoration of one of the church’s famous 15th century frescoes by Antonio del Massaro, known as Pastura (1450-1516).

S. Girolamo di Antonio del Massaro detto il Pastura

Amadori, Cantatore, Cesetti, Ioppolo, Veltroni, Ludovisi, Muratore and sculptor Mario Vinci are a few of the artists whose works can be admired and purchased.

antiq volunteer

A Byzantine “queen chair” by Vinci decorates the entrance of the former fruit shop where the exhibit is being held on Via Cardinal La Fontaine, 21 near the San Pellegrino medieval quarter.

artisti per l'arte

Besides the paintings and sculptures there are also many antique objects in copper, glass, wrought iron and terracotta donated by private collectors which are available for a small donation.

antiques vit 1

The volunteers hesitated to give prices since it is not a regular shop, but I spotted some copper jugs “suggested” at 50 euro as well as brass lamps and glass ware at very low “donation” prices.

antiques viterbo

Besides its fresco cycle, S.Maria Nuova is known for the Longobard cloister recently brought back to light and for the stone pulpit on the church’s corner where St.Thomas Aquinas used to preach to crowds gathered in the piazza.


Lots more information on buying antiques in Italy can be found on my website, ranked number one by Google for buying antiques in Italy.

Mary Jane Cryan

by Mary Jane Cryan

Mary Jane is a historian, cruise lecturer, author and publisher of books on Italian history and central Italy has been residing in Italy for half a century.

See her award winning website and weekly blog posts on 50YearsInItaly for more about central Italy and to order books directly from the author.

4 Responses to “Contemporary Art Rescues Ancient Fresco”

  1. As an artist who studied history of Italian Renaissance painting in Cooper Union, I have a special regard for paintings and other art in Italy. In my few travels to different cities I always looked in churches and museums to see what was available. I liked the 5th Century Church in Ravenna called San Vitale. The inlaid marble walls and floors are exquisite. The murals depict the old and new testaments, and some are very high near the ceiling.

    • Mary Jane Cryan

      Suzanne, Dont you love the sculpture of Byzantine queen, very much like those mosaics in Ravenna: I hope to get there this summer.

  2. agnes

    I could spend several hours in that shop. What wonderful treasures.


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