The communal library (the Franciscan collection) and the museum are housed in the Palazzo Marulli. As Chiara, our charming and helpful custodian and guide, explained to me, the building used to be a convent of the Poor Clares (Clarisse), but was sold at auction to the family Marulli after the Unification of Italy, when religious property was taken over by the communes. The family used it as the HQ of their agri-business. Wine was made here and olives were pressed. In fact the Clarisse had also had a grain store in their convent, to feed the hungry when the harvest failed.
The museum boasts some attractive pieces, which Chiara allowed us to photograph. I haven’t included my favourite painting (an Annunciation – the Angel Gabriel tells Mary she will become the mother of Jesus) because my photo is out of focus, but here is a detail showing the Virgin’s cat, not crazy like the cat in the Lotto Annunciation at Recanati.
And here are two sweet polychrome terracotte. The one on the left is a Nativity, the birth of Christ, and the other looks like an Entombment of Christ after the crucifixion.
More about the library in my other blog, Libraries in Le Marche – link listed under blogs at top right of front page.
Walking along the city streets of Ostra Vetere, we entered this church, Santa Maria di Piazza, whose interior was remodelled in (I think) 1911, and were instantly transported to the high Anglicanism of William Butterfield, Charlotte Yonge and Barbara Pym. It was extraordinary!
Not a brilliant photo I’m afraid, but it gives you an idea.
And I would like to show you this gallery; maybe someone can tell me its purpose. It reminds me of a women’s gallery or the royal gallery in Charlemagne’s coronation church in Aachen.
And now it’s time for a nice sit-down in the shade with a cooling drink!