Interior of the Oratorio del Santissimo Rosario in Santa Cita: Nave Wall, right side--page 4 (of 5 pages)

Giacomo Serpotta
begun 1685, with the nave walls and back wall substantially completed by 1688; the stucco decoration of the chancel was begun in 1717

This oratorio is dedicated to the Rosary; thus, the left nave wall depicts four of the "Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary" (see preceding page) and this right side depicts four of the "Sorrowful Mysteries."

The Agony in Gethsemane


The Flagellation


The Crowning with Thorns


The Crowning with Thorns


The Carrying of the Cross

Here the putti reenact the scene with one pretending he is dead with his leg hanging over the shelf. Another holds up his limp body while the putto to the right covers his face with a handkerchief as he weeps.

The gracefulness of Serpotta's figues is often commented on. Garstang mentions their innocent sensuality as well, adding that their sexual ambiguity is sometimes overlooked. For him the androgyny of Fortitude is notable (68).

Center: Personified figures and Right: Fortitude

Meekness, the companion of Fortitude, is depicted partially bare-breasted with a lamb (center image).

Continue to page 5--Altar Wall.

Works Consulted or Quoted:
Garstang, Donald. Giacomo Serpotta and the Stuccatori of Palermo 1560-1790. London: A. Zwemmer, 1984.
Grady, Ellen. Sicily [Blue Guide]. New York: Norton, 2006.
Wittkower, Rudolf. Art and Architecture in Italy 1600-1750. Baltimore: Penguin, 1958.

Click here to return to index of art historical sites.

Click here to return to index of artists and architects.

Click here to return to chronological index.

Click here to see the home page of Bluffton College.

© 2010 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.