certosa di San Martino 2

Charterhouse of San Martino

Duration: 2 hours

The Certosa di San Martino was built starting from 1325 according to the model of the Carthusian foundations.
Consecrated in 1368, it was dedicated to San Martino, San Bruno, the Virgin and all Saints. The primitive ‘Gothic’ appearance due to the Sienese architect and sculptor Tino di Camaino underwent the first transformations during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, when the expansion works began by the Tuscan architect Giovanni Antonio Dosio.

From 1623 until 1656 the intervention of the Bergamo architect Cosimo Fanzago was recorded, the undisputed protagonist of the direction of the decoration and of the new Baroque architectural configuration; throughout the seventeenth century the major artistic personalities of the time took turns in the construction site, including Battistello Caracciolo, Jusepe Ribera and Giovanni Lanfranco.
In the following century, under the direction of Nicola Tagliacozzi Canale, the chapel of the Maddalena and the elegant Refectory with annexed Chiostrino were built: this period saw Luca Giordano, Francesco Solimena, Paolo De Matteis and Francesco De Mura active in the execution of frescoes and paintings; Domenico Antonio Vaccaro and Giuseppe Sanmartino in sculpture.
The occupation of the French in 1799 began the decline of the Charterhouse, suppressed since 1805, with the dispersion of part of its heritage.
In 1866, by the will of Giuseppe Fiorelli it was declared a ‘National Monument’, and Fiorelli himself was the promoter of the birth and formation of the museum, according to a ‘model’ exemplary collection of ‘homelands memories’.