San Giovanni Battista Church

San Giovanni Battista Churchbuilt in 1367, is situated just north of the fortress of Serravalle.

In the second half of the 15th century, and at the behest of the nobleman Cristoforo Galletti’s widowed wife, a cycle of late Gothic style frescoes was painted depicting events from the life of San Nicola. The artist who painted the frescoes is known as the “Maestro of the Cappella Galletti”.

 

At some point the frescoes where covered in a coat of lime wash and plaster in order to disinfect the walls during a plague and were only rediscovered in 1944 when the explosion of a nearby bomb caused a piece of the plaster to fall, revealing the precious frescoes.

The frescoes were first restored in 1949-1950. Alma Ortolan took on its further restoration in 1997. The methods and materials used in 1950 were incompatible with the theory of modern restoration. Therefore, all the cement fillers and the overpainted layers applied in the 50s were removed. The frescoes were also cleaned of all the dirt and remaining lime wash. The lacunae were filled with a paste made from lime, sand and marble dust and retouched, according to the principles of “recognizability” and reversibility”.

 

The same coat of arms as that of Palazzo Galletti, the palazzo in which Ortolan Studio is housed, can be seen on the outer façade of the church, confirming the palazzo as the residence of the noble family Galletti in the 15th century.

 

Location: Vittorio Veneto, Italy

Year: 1997