The Polo Museale di Montefiore dell’Aso is the perfect starting point for this itinerary, thanks to its room devoted to Carlo Crivelli’s polyptych from the nearby church of San Francesco. The work, known as the “Montefiore Triptych”, is the result of the arbitrary assembly of several panels from a much larger polyptych, painted by Carlo Crivelli in the early 1470s, probably at the same time as he painted the polyptych for the Duomo in Ascoli Piceno.
As well as being characterized by its traditional gold background, the saints’ precious robes and accessories and the precision and attention to detail observed in the rendering of certain details place this work midway between painting and the art of gold-working.
The headpiece and staff of St Louis of Toulouse and the crown of St Catherine of Alexandria are of great importance in this sense, revealing an expert knowledge of gold-working and precious stone setting techniques (although painted, the stones feature the classic cabochon cut and have a “closed” setting) and a connection with 14th-century Venetian gold production, which Crivelli, originally from that city, certainly knew.
Upon his arrival in the Marche, the painter associated this tradition with many other sources of inspiration from the artistic gold-work of Ascoli, which reached its peak in the 15th century, specializing primarily in the production of gilded metal and silk belts and buttons, very similar to those that can be seen on the cope of St Louis.
The link between Crivelli’s use of gold and Piceno’s gold-working tradition is even more apparent in Montefiore dell’Aso, which is currently home to a workshop that makes handcrafted jewellery, providing a natural and tangible continuation of the journey through the art of gold-work that begins in the museum.
Montefiore dell’Aso is also home to artisanal wrought iron and woodworking workshops. They produce a variety of everyday objects and artistic creations using traditional methods, exploiting the wealth of expertise, techniques and knowledge that are so deeply rooted in the local area. Lastly, it is also interesting to pay a visit to the engraving and graphic arts workshop in Aso, also in the Montefiore area. This is a great way to discover a very ancient art and production process that also characterized the works of Adolfo De Carolis, exhibited in the Polo Museale di San Francesco.
Agriturismo Il poggio del Belvedere
Agriturismo Il rocchetto
What to see
Polo museale di San Francesco, Piazza San Francesco
September – May 10 am–1 pm; 3 pm–6 pm(Sat–Sun)
June 10 am–1 pm; 5 pm–8 pm (Sat–Sun)
July – August 5 pm–8 pm (Mon–Fri); 10 am–1 pm; 5 pm–8 pm (Sat–Sun)
September 5 pm–8 pm (Tues–Fri); 10 am–1 pm; 5 pm–8 pm (Sat–Sun)
Entrance fee € 3.50 (full price); € 2.50 (reduced); € 10.00 (network ticket)
What to buy
Agriturismo La Campana – fruit preserves and jams; natural dyes; agritourism
La Casetta delle Marche – production and sale of fruit; agritourism
Contrada Menocchia; 0734938593; http://www.lacasettadellemarche.it/
Azienda agricola Centanni Giacomo – typical and organic wines
Basili G.& G. Snc – wrought iron
Via Gentile da Montefiore, 95; 0734938504
Falegnameria Incicchitti Fulvio – cabinetmaker
Via Marconi,142; 0734938114
Feliziani Paola – crafted jewellery shop
L.go Belvedere De Carolis ; 0734939021
Riganò Saverio – graphics and etchings workshop
C.da Aso; 0734/939103
Rocchi Olindo – watchmaker