Rome's most profane Medieval frescoes unveiled
Gothic Hall of the Santi Quattro Coronati convent restored
By Federico Castelli Gattinara. Conservation, Issue 259, July-August 2014
Published online: 23 July 2014
Italy’s most important cycle of “profane” Medieval frescoes has opened to the public in the Gothic Hall of the Santi Quattro Coronati convent in Rome. A €150,000 grant from Arcus, a private company backed by the Italian culture ministry, paid for the creation of an access route that will not disturb the Augustinian nuns who have lived in the complex since the 16th century. Visits, by appointment, will take place twice a month.Ludovico Ortona, Arcus’s administrator, says that the company wanted to share “an extraordinary cycle of frescoes” that pre-date Giotto and show the origins of Italian painting. The frescoes, hidden beneath layers of plaster and paint, were uncovered during a ten-year state-funded conservation project that began in 1996. Covering more than 300 sq. m, the cycle depicts largely profane themes including the seasons, the arts, the signs of the zodiac and the constellations, as well as the Vices and Virtues.Arcus also contributed to the restoration of the cloister garden, which began in 2000 with support from the World Heritage Fund.
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