Palazzo Bonfranceschi

In the heart of the historic center of Belforte del Chienti, in the province of Macerata, is located Bonfranceschi Palace, an elegant historic residence, which takes its name from the last family that owned it.
Structure built in the seventeenth and eighteenth century, the Palace, designed like noble palace, is composed by three floors and includes a beautiful chapel adorned with stucco.
Today, the Palace is open, as a historical residence, through the efforts and the enthusiasm of the members of TDA Universal s.a.s., a company active in promoting art and culture.
With art workshops, salt for receptions, book launches and for each type of cultural event, exhibition, guided tours, Bonfranceschi Palace is like an oasis of relax, without losing the opportunity to live a holiday full of emotions.

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Posted in Palazzo Bonfranceschi


The MIDAC, International Dynamic Museum of Contemporary Art, is a project of Terra dell’Arte, international cultural association.
The Museum is situated in the former Church of San Sebastiano, in Belforte del Chienti in the Macerata Province, in Italy.
The project was possible thanks to the sensibility of the Municipality of Belforte del Chienti that has granted the space believing in the initiative, sure to make one appreciate thing to all the citizens and all the lovers of the art of every origin.
The last years job of Terra dell’Arte, with the development of its international project (arslatina, aradbiennale, ventipertrenta, etc.), has allowed the creation of one collection of Contemporary Art of absolute value.
In the Musem are presents all kinds of expression (painting, sculpture, photography, digital art, video-art, etc) and the artworks have been realized by Artists of all the World.
Curators and Artistic Directors of the Museum are Alfonso Caputo and Laura Castanedo, President and Vice-President of Terra dell’Arte, supported from an International Committee of Artistic Quality.

The former Church of San Sebastian
Outside the town, just meters from the walls, stands the church of S. Sebastian, restored and enlarged over the centuries, built by the Community to obtain protection against the plague, with permission granted by the vicar bishop of Camerino in 1479.
Despite being a place of worship was also a transit and stop for pilgrims traveling on foot to the shrine of Loreto.
The building, originally rectangular in shape, was extended in the late sixteenth century, with the addition of another building, present at his side, assuming a square shape.
The portal of San Sebastian is a wonderful example of a portal in clay, floral Gothic of the fifteenth century. On the right side of the church there is another portal of entry, framed by sandstone decorated in Renaissance style of the sixteenth century.
Despite not having a bell tower was equipped with a bell of 1535, currently held at City Hall, which was placed in a small iron structure, located on the roof of the Church, which still exists. The church inside is divided into two aisles by three arches to all sixth, resting on four columns.
A document from 1608, tells us that the church had two altars, one for each aisle, with a niche. Below the floor was the ossuary, now visible through glass windows have replaced the ancient stones of closure. With the recent renovation, which dates back some thirty years ago, the remains were transferred to the Municipal Cemetery.
The left altar was dedicated to St. Sebastian and the wooden statue of the saint, who had adorned it, is now preserved in the cathedral.
The right altar was dedicated to San Roque which was destroyed over the centuries.
Along the walls, near the altar, still existing, dedicated to St. Sebastian, are clearly visible frescoes, votive origin, XV – XVI centuries. Above the niche you can see the “Crucifixion with the Virgin and St. John the Baptist”, commissioned by the Confraternity of San Sebastian in 1482. There is also perfectly identifiable figures of various saints like San Sebastian, San Roque and San Antonio Abate.
San Sebastian, a Roman soldier and martyr, was always invoked especially as a protector against epidemics and plagues.
Since 1920, the old church of San Sebastian is surrounded by trees, which have almost a hundred years, planted in memory of the citizens of Belforte, who had died in defense of the country in the First World War.
The building, now desecrated, since 2007 hosts the Midac, Dynamic International Museum of Contemporary Art, founded and curated by Terra dell’Arte, which preserves and exhibits an extensive collection of contemporary art and has an intense program of exhibitions and cultural events.

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Terra dell’Arte

Terra dell’Arte is a cultural association founded in 2002 and which today counts a total of 41 artists from different countries. Since its foundation has presented to the public and institutions, a series of initiatives of the highest artistic value and of great interest.
The association has organized solo and group exhibitions of artists from Albania, Argentina, Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Denmark, Ecuador, United States, El Salvador, Spain, Finland, France, Greece , Guatemala, French Guyana, Honduras, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Malawi, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Portugal, Puerto Rico, United Kingdom, Dominican Republic, Romania, Senegal, Switzerland, Turkey and Uruguay.
The artworks of most of the artists involved (members and guests) are the basis of the contemporary art collection of Terra dell’Arte and range from painting to graphic design, digital photography, video, sculpture and installation.
Terra Dell’Arte has promoted six major projects:

  • The Biennale of Contemporary Art of Arad, Romania, 2005
  • The International Festival of Digital Art “Ventipertrenta”
  • The International Contemporary Art Project “Ars Latina”
  • The National Poetry Prize “Poesie al Mondo”
  • The International Contemporary Art Project “Óyeme con los ojos”
  • The International Festival of Video Art “(id)art_fest”

Since December 2006, the City of Belforte del Chienti granted to Terra dell’Arte, through agreements, the former Church of San Sebastian which houses of the MIDAC, Dynamic International Museum of Contemporary Art, which organized, so far, over 50 events, including as exhibitions, festivals, roundtables, conferences and debates.

Posted in Terra dell'Arte

Belforte del Chienti

Belforte del Chienti is located in the center of Chienti River valley in the province of Macerata, in the Marche Region, in the middle east of Italy.
Its old town is situated on a hill (347 meters above mean sea level) and conserves the wide circle of XIV century walls with the arch of the Porta S. Lucia, XVIII century. Its urban layout, typical of a medieval village, is still well preserved, with its narrow streets, its squares and the spaces and views open to the vast landscape.
The town (population of almost 1900 inhabitants) is developed, also below, along the river Chienti, in the two villages, Santa Maria and San Giovanni, XIII century – XIV and other fractions. The whole context has its scenic beauty, rich of its nature, history and art.
Although there are reports of a “Castrum”, that, more or less, was located on the same site of the present Belforte del Chienti, centuries X – XII, the Belforte Castle (which has taken the official denomination Belforte del Chienti after the unification of Italy, 1861) is in the documentation that comes only from 1207, when, on his behalf, the consul Riccomanno Vicomandi (family of German origin, probably in the service of the Empire) handed it to the Duchy of Camerino, on 10 October of that year, according to a note preserved in the Red Book of the city of Camerino.
The Duke of Camerino annexed this castle with the desire to counter the expansion of Tolentino.
The subsequent events linking Belforte, alternatively, to Tolentino and to Camerino, until it was annexed, definitevely in the Church States in the sixteenth century.

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Church of St. Eustace
The existence of the church is documented since 1218, but its current form dates from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, after the earthquake of 1741. Inside the building houses several artworks of great interest, including a wooden statue of the fifteenth century of San Sebastian (formerly in the church of the same name), two paintings of the sixteenth century, signed by Durante Nobili da Caldarola, a pupil of Lorenzo Lotto, and one of St. Lucia by Domenico Malpiedi, San Ginesio (first half of the seventeenth century), and the polyptych (altarpiece) magnificent and bright (483 x 323 cms), 1468, signed and dated by Giovanni Boccati.

Polyptych by Giovanni Boccati
The Author
The polyptych of Belforte del Chienti is placed in the more mature phase of the work of Giovanni Boccati in its effort to combine the precepts late Gothic with Renaissance context.
The artist, probably after a local training, begins to wander in central and northern Italy for a chance to study subjects and styles.
The perfect use of color, impregnated by light, by observing the works in Perugia and Florence, by Domenico Veneziano and Beato Angelico.
The ability to capture the materiality of bodies, and the signal that time has left, in the Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua.
Boccati matured gives his art to the Church of St. Eustace, in Belforte del Chienti, with a beautiful masterpiece of gothic carpentry.

The Artwork
As reported by the inscriptions, the polyptych by Giovanni da Camerino Boccati, 1468, for the high altar of the parish of St. Eustace in Belforte del Chienti, was commissioned by Taliano di Lippo, according with the prior and with the notables of the time . The entire structure celebrates the figure of St. Eustace, whom the Church is dedicated and who is the patron of the town.
The four panels S. Eustace, are collected between pairs of tiles in relief alternating with figures of saints, while the middle two pairs of angels surrounding a magnificent rose wood, framed in a box under the custody of the holy relic.
At the heart of majestic altarpiece dominates the ethereal image of Mary with hands clasped, in the direction of the Child Jesus, under a damask curtain invaded by spiritual mysticism of the moment: a choir of angels playing musical instruments symbolically emphasizes the future sufferings for redeem mankind. This is represented by the offer of the Goldfinch by an angel, by the thorny crown and thistles in the mantle of the Virgin.
Above, the crucifixion is made with all the pain of Mary and John, and the angels represented in the act of collecting the blood of the Eucharist. Above them, in a circle inscribed in the central cusp, the image of God among the angels in heaven.
To the right of the Virgin, in a territory composed of dandelion, chicory, clover, and poppies, S. Peter and St. Eustace on horseback.
To the left of the Virgin Santiago de Compostela and San Venancio.
In the hierarchical, top, right of the crucifixion are represented San Nicola in Bari and Blessed Guardato, also patron of the town, while the left can be identified St. Sebastian and St. Eleutherius.
At the ends of the pillars you can see the images of St. Mary Magdalene, St. Barbara and St. Agatha against S. Lucia, Saint Catherine of Alexandria and St. Antonio Abate.

Posted in Belforte del Chienti