Montemerano, in the municipality of Manciano, is the ancient Church of ...">
Hidden treasures

‘Madonna della Gattaiola’ in the Church of San Giorgio in Montemerano

Unknown places & works
Madonna_della_Gattaiola

‘Madonna della Gattaiola’ in the Church of San Giorgio in Montemerano

In the picturesque medieval village of Montemerano, in the municipality of Manciano, is the ancient Church of San Giorgio, built in the 14th century and enlarged in the Renaissance period with the addition of the transept and apse. The restoration work carried out between the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the new millennium, has brought to light the ancient splendour of the religious building which, to date, appears well preserved.

The church is known mainly because it is home to 'The Madonna and Child with Saints', a 15th century altarpiece by Sano Di Pietro. But to the right of the altar, there is another work, certainly less known, which hides a little mystery: we are talking about the 'Madonna della Gattaiola', a painting dating from the mid-15th century (attributed to an anonymous local artist known as Master of Montemerano), now preserved in a glass case with golden frames and representing the Annunciation.

The painting, most likely, was adapted to act as a door, as it can be assumed from the insert at the top that makes the rectangular work leaving no trace of the original cusp shape.

But let's talk about its oddity: on the bottom right section you will notice the presence of a circular hole made, it is believed, by the parish priest of the time as an opening for cats that had to keep away the mice from the sacristy.

Later the gate became furniture for the church, but the hole was maintained perhaps to remind visitors of the much more practical use that this work served for a long time.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Castelnuovo Di Garfagnana: Area 51 in Garfagnana

Area-51-Garfagnana
Mysteries & Legends

Indeed, even Garfagnana has its Area 51! A land of magic and ancient legends since time immemorial, this region has seen, from 197...

View

Isola Del Giglio: The population of the Giglio Island among the Lantern and Mergellina

Isola-del-Giglio
Historical Curiosities

In Florence there are the Florentines, the people of Siena are called Senesi, in Poggibonsi Poggibonsesi and so on. But is everything r...

View

Grosseto: Garibaldi, Talamone ed i 'Pizziconi'

Garibaldi_Talamone
Historical Curiosities

Even if your reminiscences of history are not up to scratch, there is no doubt the Expedition of the Thousand is a topic well known to ...

View

Lucca: Linchetto: mischievous spirit!

Linchetto
Mysteries & Legends

In the Province of Lucca and in Garfagnana, if anything of yours goes missing or if it seems to have been inexplicably moved, the local...

View

Top posts

Arezzo: Guido d'Arezzo and the invention of the music

Guido-d-Arezzo
Big Names

In Talla and surroundings people have no doubt: the inventor of the musical stave, the inventor of the music notes and also of the mode...

View

San Marcello Pistoiese: The Kiss of the Christs in Gavinana

Il-bacio-dei-cristi
Local Traditions

It is a very ancient but still popular rite. Two large processions that meet up with a Christ on the cross in front of each one: the he...

View

Cetona: Piero Carbonetti and his tin drum

Piero-Carbonetti
Local Traditions

Subversive, persecuted, anarchist, homeless, dreamer: it is really difficult to define Piero Carbonetti, Tuscan bred and born and Garib...

View

Pisa: Kinzika, the young woman who saved Pisa from the Saracens

Kinzika
Local Traditions

It was really her, a young woman with an Arabian name, Kinzica, of the noble Sismondi family, to save Pisa from being sacked by Saracen...

View