Foiano della Chiana

Church-museum of the Fraternita di Santa Maria - Foiano della Chiana

Foiano

Introduction

Originally located within the castle walls, the church was founded as an oratory by the Fraternita, established in 1392. The current church (dating to the early 1600s) houses remarkable works of art including a stunning statue of a Madonna with Child by Andrea della Robbia (1460 ca.) as well as 16th, 17th and 18th century paintings by artists such as Orazio Porta, Sebastiano Folli and artists from the school of Camillo Sagrestani.

Focus

The museum was established within the church building in 1975, when the Comune di Foiano was granted the perpetual, free-of-charge use of the latter by the E.C.A - which at the time managed the Opera Pia della Fraternita (first recognized in 1402) - on condition that the church was used to house a municipal museum.

Back then, the Opera pia della Fraternita had not been carrying out charitable nor worship activities within the church for decades and the latter had been left in a state of complete neglect. Founded in 1392 thanks to a bequest by Angelo Nucciarelli Perini, the Compagnia is first mentioned in documents dating back to 1402, when the Fraternita di Santa Maria was officially recognized by the Apostolic See.

The Compagnia lived its heyday in the years following the Council of Trent, when this form of lay congregation enjoyed a resurgence which resulted in most places of worship belonging to these confraternities – including the church of Santa Maria della Fraternita in Foiano – being extensively renovated during the 16th century.

Besides reaching out to the needy, the sick and the poor, during the 16th-18th century the Compagnia also granted a series of commissions which gave the building its current form and produced works of art and furnishings which now form the core of the museum’s collections. Partially renovated in the 1970s, the church was set up as a civic museum (2013) to conform to national and regional regulations and recently joined into the Valdichiana Musei museum partnership.



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Valdichiana Musei

The portal of culture in Val di Chiana.