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Oratory of St. Bartolomeo (via Cava)

The San Bartolomeo Oratory is located in via Cava (Cava Street), in the area of Prato called San Giusto (St. Justus). It is a great example of Gothic architecture of the second half of the fourteenth century; therefore it has typical features such as the tighter and elongated structure compared to the Romanesque churches, ogival arches framed by bricks in the single windows on the sides and in the choir, a mullioned window in the thin bell tower, located between the rectangular apse and the central nave.

The irregular masonry is made of river stones, united by a big quantity of lime and brick bands, while the edges are reinforced by sandstone. The façade has a beautiful portal with regular blocks of green marble from Prato and Grosseto and limestone in the lunette above; a second portal is located on the side facing via Cava (Cava Street).

In the lunette of the main portal there is a relief, somewhat damaged, depicting the Madonna and Child with Saints Paul and Bartholomew, work of a sculptor of Pistoia dated second half of the fourteenth century. The side door instead exhibits in the lunette a relief of The Cross and symbols of the Passion.

The building was commissioned by the powerful family from Prato Guazzalotti – their emblem is engraved in the lintel – who owned the quarries of the green marble from Prato, widely used in the construction of the Oratory.

The interior is preciously decorated with fourteenth-century frescos, made in 1375-80, in which we can see figures of Saints framed in little niches or in architectural partitions, and also polychrome marble slabs simulated by the painting, which enrich the decorativism of the walls. On the right side there is St. Anthony Abbot and four stories of his life, probably made by Arrigo di Niccolò (1374-1446); next to the panting, into fake niches, there is a St. Dominic and St. Bartholomew painting (1380), attributable, as well as the main part of the oratory frescos, to the Florentine painter Francesco di Michele. The same artist frescoed a Martyr Saint and St. Catherine of Alexandria on the left wall and the other two scenes: a Saint Julian, depicted in a throne crowned by a large dome and Stories of St. Julian and a Madonna and the Child in the dais below, in the presence of which donors are kneeling down. On the left side, the wall with the triumphal arch above, is frescoed with the Martyrdom of St. Bartholomew (1835), while on the right side there is St. Anthony Abbot, both painted by Francesco di Michele.

Very interesting is the stonework altar painted with a fake triptych composed by the Madonna and the Child and St. Bartholomew and St. Lawrence, while in the dais there are the martyrdom of the two Saints and, in the center, the Christ; on the side of the altar stands out the prospective painting of a niche, attributable to Arrigo di Niccolò. In the altar reredos is painted a Pietà; on the left side of the wall there is a fresco depicting Mary Magdalen (1395), which is considered the oldest known work by Arrigo di Niccolò. On the right side of the wall there is The St. John the Baptist, attributed to Cenni di Francesco and dated the same period. The back wall has an Annunciation of the fourteenth century, whose painter is probably the same of the St. Nicholas below; the Saint Anthony Abbot on its right, instead, belongs to another artist.

Oratorio di San Bartolomeo (esterno)
Oratorio di San Bartolomeo (esterno)
Oratorio di San Bartolomeo (altare maggiore)
Oratorio di San Bartolomeo (altare)

Addresses and contacts

Via Cava
, 45
- 59100
Sito web dettaglio orario
Phone: 0574 633603 (parrocchia di San Giusto in Piazzanese)
Opening time Visiting by reservation only.
Caricamento Google Maps.......attendere

Data ultima revisione dei contenuti della pagina: marted 17 marzo 2020

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