Church of San Niccolò al Carmine

The Altarpieces

The church owns some superb monumental paintings, created for the various altars that mark the holy space. Some of these belong to the second half of the sixteenth century, an era marked by the decisions made during the Council of Trent, which embodies the Catholic Church's reply to the accusations made by the Protestant followers of Martin Luther. Particular attention is given to the enhancement of Christian tradition, to the veneration of the martyrs, to the vocation of leading a charitable life and of real religious sentiment on contrast to a conventional one.
Hence, the art endorsed by the Counter-Reformation had to be a tool for the dissemination of religious themes at all levels of education, with a clear language, accessible and persuasive, so as to invite the faithful to take part in the portrayed event.
Through the works, the believers were to be “taught by means of pictorial or other kinds of representations on the mysteries of our redemption, in order to strengthen the habit of bearing in mind the principles of faith at all times”.
  • Girolamo del Pacchia, The Ascension of Jesus Christ, 1512.
  • Beccafumi D., Saint Michael the Archangel banishing the Fallen Angels, just before 1535.
  • Neroni B. known as Il Riccio and Salimbeni A., The Adoration of the Shepherds, 1570 -1571.
  • S. Volpi, Crucifixion, seventeenth century.
  • Casolani A., Martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew, 1604.