Church of Santa Maria delle Rose [Holy Mary of the Roses]

Location

Sant’angelo in Pontano

This building, which was not extensively studied, was part of an early medieval convent for Benedictine nuns. It was completely refurbished in 1764, with consequent substantial modifications. The plan consists of a single chamber and the high altar is contained in a semicircular apse with an internal canopy with ribbing which is decorated and garlanded in gold. The altarpiece is flanked by columns that are slightly splayed from the gilded composite capitals, supporting a carved pediment with a mixtilinear profile and floral urns at the ends, at the centre of which there is a radiant glory with clouds and heads of angels, held up by two cherubs. The back wall provides a view of the magnificent choir with its mixtilinear profile balcony mounted on a fan corbel, and of the sumptuous stucco decoration with rosettes, spirals and other phytomorphic elements. The ceiling has barrel vaulting subdivided into three areas, two of which, apart from the stucco floral panelling decoration, contain frames with tempera paintings showing Saint Joseph, Saint John the Evangelist and the Holy Virgin Assumed into the Clouds. The original paintings were moved to the new monastery in via Castello amongst which the most notable are the Madonna of the Roses and Saints Benedict, Peter and Francis of Paola, attributed to the artist Domenico Malpiedi from San Ginesio, and the altarpiece of the Divine Shepherdess, also known as the Madonna of the Roses, produced in 1776 by Nicola Monti.