Conservation Italy

Rome's most profane Medieval frescoes unveiled

Gothic Hall of the Santi Quattro Coronati convent restored

Rendering of the convent's Gothic Hall

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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18 Aug 14
17:23 CET


you've succeeded. now i want to go. i guess that means i'm a fallen woman.

30 Jul 14
22:14 CET


I would love to find what degree of an image would be categorized as profane image or natural. Why the profane art was painted in the spiritually "divine nunnery" where nun's masturbation could have been considered to be even punishable by death or being burnt as a heretic, if I'm not mistaken regarding Catholic Church's interpretation of sexuality and sexual moral. Please let me know if a catalog of the mural documentation is available. Thanks for your advice. Seriously I have been investigating Catholic Church's clerical sex issues and how confessors had done so much of sexual abuse and still they are doing today. I hope to hear from you. Thanks. Aloha, Masami Teraoka

30 Jul 14
22:15 CET


back in the 60's half the pleasure of seeing what was there then exposed, was getting the nun to give you the gigantic key used to unlock the chapel and finding your way on your own. was more like Stendhal than Fellini.

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