Oratorio del SS. Rosario di San Domenico (Giacomo Serpotta)
In the Oratorio del SS. Rosario di San Domenico, Serpottas stuccoes had to amalgamate to the existing paintings and merge with them visually and semantically. To the left you see Anthony van Dyck's large altarpiece The Madonna of the Rosary with Dominican Saints.
The Compagnia di S. Maria del Rosario delli Sacchi was founded by P. Marinao Lo Vecchio in 1568. Ten years later construction was begun on the present Oratory. In 1594 the rules of the company were approved by the Curia. The Compagnia was composed of members from the middle class, among whom were many rich merchants.
In 1628 the Flemish Baroque painter Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641, also known as Anthonis van Dyck etc.) sent the large altarpiece The Madonna of the Rosary with Dominican Saints; this painting (1624-28) can be seen in the Oratory today.
The famous painter Pietro Novelli (1603-1647) from Monreale was a member (confratello) of the Compagnia. Novelli painted the fresco on the vault, The Coronation of the Virgin, as well as two other paintings in the series of paintings of the Mysteries of the Rosary, consisting of works by Borremans, Luca Giordano, Mattia Stomer, Giacomo Lo Verde etc.
According to Garstang, the allegorical relationships between Serpotta's statues and reliefs and the painted decoration is extremely complicated and is based on a learned exegesis of the Apocalypse seen as an allegory of the life of Christ.
Source: Donald Garstang: Giacomo Serpotta and the Stuccatori of Palermo 1560-1790
The painter Pietro Novelli (1603-1647) from Monreale was a member of the Compagnia. He painted the fresco on the vault, The Coronation of the Virgin.
Those Mischievious kids! Stucco relief in Oratorio del SS. Rosario in San Domenico.
Stucco relief in Oratorio del SS. Rosario in San Domenico.
A curious boy in Oratorio del SS. Rosario di San Domenico, Palermo.
Stucco putti by Giacomo Serpotta (1656-1732) in Oratorio del SS. Rosario di San Domenico, Palermo.
Statue of the painter Pietro Novelli outside the cathedral in Monreale. Novelli was born in Monreale, and was active mainly in Palermo. He was nicknamed by contemporaries as the Raphael of Sicily. Novelli was a member of the Compagnia di S. Maria del Rosario delli Sacchi (Oratorio del SS. Rosario di San Domenico).
On the golden column to the right, you can see a lizard - Serpotta's signature. ('Sirpuzza' means a small serpent in Sicilian dialect.)
Where to Find the Most Important Serpotta Oratorios in Palermo
The Serpotta Oratories in Palermo
Oratorio of Santa Cita (1668–1718)
Oratorio of San Lorenzo (1690/98–1706)
Oratorio di San Domenico (1710–17)
Oratorio di San Mercurio
Jean Paul Barreaud:
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