Piazza Colonna, 8, Orte, (Viterbo)
The collection presents works of considerable quality and interest, mainly coming from no longer officiated churches in Orte and its former diocese. There are numerous panels with gold background from the 12th – 16th century of the northern Lazio, Roman, Umbrian and Sienese schools, and paintings, marbles, silver and vestments. Standing out among these are San Francesco e storie della vita by an anonymous 13th century artist, Madonna advocata by Taddeo di Bartolo, Madonna col Bambino by Pastura, and the large San Michele painting by the Flemish Antonio da Castello. Particularly important is the 8th century mosaic of the Byzantine Madonna, one of the few fragments of the Oratory of John VII in the old Saint Peter’s Basilica. The main museum centre is located in the former Romanesque church of San Silvestro, a single nave construction of the 11th century. Recently the exhibition offer was widened with a second section housed in the nearby Episcopal Palazzo of Orte, although currently this can be visited only by booking. The Episcopal see of Orte has been attested to since the end of the 5th century and the Palazzo, which already existed from the 13th century, was enlarged to its current forms many times up to the 17th century. Apart from paintings, it houses the historical diocesan Archive of Orte and the historical Library of the former Orte Seminary. This second collection brings together paintings that range from the end of the 1500s to the end of the 1700s, thus continuing the time period of the works kept in the main location. These paintings are by local artists or by artists from more qualified areas, above all Roman and Bolognese, with points of excellence in S. Andrea – attributed to Cesare Nebbia – and in other possible attributions that are still in the study phase, to Sassoferrato, Lorenzo Masucci and Domenico Corvi.