The Museum

The sacristy, Museum and the Oratory of the Immaculate.
The Museum of the Complex is located in the sacristy of the Church and in the Oratory of the Immaculate and it preserves a collection of paintings and artifacts dating to the XVII and XIX century.

The collection is an interesting proof of the four hundreds years of existence of the Opera Pia as well as of the Neapolitan society and popular piety. A great variety of objects is exhibited in the museum – silvers, paintings, manuscripts – all made on the account of the Opera Pia. Particularly, among the beautiful 1600s and 1700s paintings, is remarkable a very high quality 1600s copy of the famous painting by Luis de Morales, representing the Virgin of Purity, whose original version is preserved in the convent of San Paolo Maggiore.

On the left aisle of the church there is a corridor, next to the marble balustrade, where several glass cases are exhibited. Here, valuable and rare liturgical paraments are preserved, made in black cloth and silvery embrodieried: these paraments were used during the funerary processions that took place in the street right out of the church.

The corridor leads to the sacristy where the original furniture is still visible: wardrobes in nut wood, made in 1827 by Michele Guggenberger and designed by Michelangelo Del Gaiso (architect of the Opera Pia); the wardrobes are decorated with skulls and bronze vases with flames recalling those of the Purgatory.

The most significant collection – made of about thirty pieces – is the silvers collection, made of objects dating from the XVII to the XIX century, well representing the Neapolitan silver craftsmanship. The most ancient object is the 1650 goblet, belonging to Giovanni Paolo Caccavello (probably someone working in the church), while the most recent is a Heart of Jesus, in silver and brass made by Vincenzo Catello in 1899. Since the objects date from quite a wide range of time, it is possible to reconstruct the history of the decorative stiles on liturgical metal objects.

Particularly, it is very interesting the serial of XIX century votive lamps made by famous artisans such as Nicola Palomba and Gabriele Sisino, that proves the introduction of mechanical tools coming from France and used in order to make serial objects in Naples. Also the collection of liturgical paraments is very important; made by highly skilled Neapolitan artisans, they were very well restored in the occasion of the museum opening.

All the paraments are made in very valuable materials, like silk and velvet, and decorated with silver and gold; the paraments date from the second half of the XVIII century to the XIX century. All the liturgical cloths are accompanied by smaller pieces used for all the liturgical purposes and made with the same materials and decorations. In the Oratory of the Immaculate Virgin, it is preserved the XVIII century painting Sant’Aniello che scaccia i saraceni da Napoli, considered to be by Fabrizio Santafede, although in the 1736 archive it is listed as a painting by Teodoro Fiammingo.

Particularly important is the late-mannerism painting San Sebastiano by Giacomo Farelli as well as the beautiful 1700s paintings influenced by the work of the artist Luca Giordano: The Assumption, considered to be by Paolo De Matteis, the Glory of Saint Gennaro by Alessio D’Elia, and the 1748 painting the Immaculate by Michelangelo Buonocore, student of De Matteis.