2936

Chiesa di S. Giovanni Battista già dei Padri Serviti

Description

Built for the Serviti religious order in 1722-1729, this Late Baroque church was described by the historian Giuseppe Martinola as “an exhaustive representation of the craftsmanship and art of the local people”, having been built and decorated by local artists with the money raised by the local community. Indeed, they even worked on Sundays to ensure it was completed as quickly as possible. The architects were Giovan Pietro Magni from Castel San Pietro (nave) and Giuseppe Antonio Soratini (presbytery, choir and sacristy).
Silvano Gilardi was responsible for the restoration work carried out in 1994, under the direction of the architect Lino Caldelari, restoring its original beauty. Inside, the church has a single nave and abounds with stucco decorations (1724-27). The most remarkable, executed by Antonio Catenazzi, frame the ovals over the four doors with a great variety of motifs, resulting in a typically ornate Baroque look. Another important work of art is the altarpiece in the first chapel on the left. By Francesco Innocenzo Torriani, this depicts an appearance of the Madonna with Child to St. Rocco (on the left) and St. Sebastian (on the right).
The vaults of the nave and the apse are decorated with four frescoed medallions by Giovan Battista Bagutti (1774). The figures have intense expressions and eloquent poses. The large drapes make these monumental. The colours are shaded to suggest the ascension to heaven: darker at the bottom, lighter towards the top.
The presbytery contains a magnificent old organ that used to belong to the sixteenth-century church, while there is a statue of the Grieving Madonna in the choir, carried in procession through the town on Good Friday.