Fermo, a prestigious historic city that rises a stone’s throw from the sea, with a classic taste where everyone is the protagonist.

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St. Augustine Temple and the lost polyptych of Crivelli


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Just beyond the church of San Giovanni Battista, there is the Gothic church of St. Augustine, built in the mid-fourteenth century on the initiative of the Eremitani di St. Augustine, a religious order born in the mid-thirteenth century that significantly contributed to urbanizing the area.

The religious building preserves on the altar a fine polyptych by Vittore Crivelli made at the end of the XV century. A profusion of glazed colours, revived by the golden funds defines the incisive images of the Saints arranged in two groups on the sides of the throne on which the Virgin seats with the Child. The original frame in carved golden wood still connects the different painted canvas creating a coherent totality, spatially divided following the relaxed and placid rhythm reaffirming the melancholy expression of the faces. Another noteworthy painting is the altarpiece by the local painter Vincenzo Pagani, made at the end of the XVI century and located on the right wall of the Church representing, with vivid and intense colours a Madonna in trono con Bambino e Santi (Virgin and Child enthroned, surrounded by Saints).

St. Augustine Temple (XIV-XV centuries), called in the ancient times “della Santa Croce” (of the Holy Cross): a late gothic building made of bricks, with gabled facade, a gothic gate and a rose window. Another gate opens in the South, with two monoforas (narrow single-light windows crowned by an arch).

Within St. Augustine Church authentic treasures are preserved: a Langobardic sarcophagus; valuable paintings from the XVI and XVIII centuries; a Via Matris Dolorosæ made of polychrome wood; traces of frescoes from the XV century; and eventually the relics with their precious reliquaries, like the one of Christ’s Cross nestled in a Stauroteca (a cross reliquary) from the XIII century covered with silver and crystals.

But among all these treasures, the most legendary is without doubt the polyptych of Vittore Crivelli (end of the XV century), smuggled in 1972 and today recovered and restored. The polyptych lost four tiles on the left side during the theft, but it still has its original frame made of carved gilded wood.



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Archaeological Museum
of Torre di Palme

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