The hall is the testimony of the institution’s ongoing commitment: as per the statute of 1603, every Friday the seven Governors sit around this table to decide on the activities that need to be implemented. The red armchair underlines the power and the position of the Superintendent. The General Secretary sits with them to verbalize the session. In the Historical Archive of the Pio Monte all the records of these meetings are preserved, from the foundation to the present, containing more than four hundred years of intense charitable activity in the area.
The room also contains precious liturgical objects belonging to the Pio Monte della Misericordia, the Sersale family and the Royal Company and the Archconfraternity of the Whites of the Holy Spirit.
Noli me tangere (1656)
by Mattia Preti
This group of four paintings executed by the Calabrese painter, is influenced by the Caravaggesco background updated by the Emilian painting and by the Venetian memories of Veronese. The paintings were certainly made after the painter’s stay in Naples in 1656, when he became the sole spokesperson for local painting in a city which was ravaged by the plague.
by Cesare Fracanzano
Trained at the Ribera workshop, Fracanzano demonstrates his knowledge of Roman baroque painting and the production of Lanfranco and Stanzione. The great monumentality and emotional beauty of these canvases show how the painter still keeps the echoes of the Master Ribera alive, however lightening the colors and the vivacity of the narration.
The Pio Monte della Misericordia
Pio Monte della Misericordia is an institution founded in 1602 by seven Neapolitan nobles who, aware of the needs of a population in need of help and solidarity, decide to donate part of their possessions and their commitment to charitable works.
Caravaggio’s painting , from the top of the high altar of the chapel, summarizes the actions of solidarity exercised by Pio Monte della Misericordia in an extraordinary synthesis of the Seven Works of Corporal Mercy still carefully exercised today .
The ancient seat, with the historic building built in the seventeenth century, has a vast historical and artistic heritage and a rich Fine Art Gallery with paintings from different schools and periods, including works by Massimo Stanzione, Jusepe de Ribera, Luca Giordano, Andrea Vaccaro, and a considerable quantity of paintings and sketches by Francesco De Mura, a gift from the artist to the Institute. For some years the collection has been enriched with important works on the theme of Mercy performed by great contemporary artists.
On the second floor of the building are housed the Historical Archive and the Library , where documents from the fourteenth century are kept, as well as several private funds, including that of Aquino di Caramanico, with the precious parchment of the proclamation to Doctor of the Church of San Tommaso d’Aquino.
For over four centuries, Pio Monte della Misericordia, with its Governors and Associates, has continued the work of assistance and charity by adapting the interventions to changing needs.
The Picture gallery
From the left portal in the portico of the facade you can access, going up to the first floor, the historical rooms of the complex, where there are also the pictorial collections of Pio Monte, considered one of the most important in Naples.
The Quadreria del Pio Monte della Misericordia consists of 140 canvases, although about 122 are exhibited in the rooms, ranging from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century, mostly the result of donations made for the benefit of the institution, among which the conspicuous collection left in 1782 by the painter Francesco De Mura, which originally counted 180 of his works. Another important nucleus of works of art concerns the donation from the heritage of Gennaro Marciano, from 1802, and from that of Maria Sofia Capece Galeota, which took place in 1933.
In the museum rooms of the palace are also preserved sacred vestments of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, other pieces of applied art, some archive documents and the original furniture of the complex, including the historic seven-sided table used for the meetings of the governors, made by anonymous carvers of the seventeenth century and which is exhibited in the second anteroom, and the fake wardrobe on the wall of the coretto room which hides an opening thanks to which the governors were allowed to be able to admire the Caravaggio canvas on the main altar of the church.
The Pio Monte della Misericordia Picture Gallery is a picture gallery in Naples located in the Pio Monte della Misericordia complex.
The picture gallery is made up of 140 paintings, of which 122 exhibited in the halls, mostly the result of donations or testamentary bequests that occurred during the life of the foundation.
The canvases are exhibited in ten historic rooms on the first floor of the Pio Monte palace; the most conspicuous nucleus is represented by the works left by Francesco De Mura on August 19, 1782, who in fact donated 180 canvases made by him on the condition that the foundation sold them only for charitable purposes. However, around 33 of these works remain on display, including paintings and sketches.
Other important donations that enriched the artistic collection were that of June 9, 1802 by Don Gennaro Marciano, who saw among the precious pieces the paintings attributed to Mattia Preti and the two on Sant’Apollonia and Sant’Agnese by Massimo Stanzione, and then that of the noblewomanMaria Sofia Galeotas Capece, in 1933, who donated 31 paintings, including the ‘ Self-portrait of Luca Giordano, the Sant’Antonio Abate of Jusepe de Ribera and paintings by Agostino Beltrano and Giovanni Stefano Maja.
The first opening of the picture gallery took place in 1973, at the behest of the politician, and superintendent of Pio Monte, Tommaso Leonetti of Santo Janni. The paintings on display are almost all from the Neapolitan school and date from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century.