Chapel of St Catherine or of the Aliprandi

The third chapel on the right side of the nave, characterised by the Gothic dress that makes it the oldest chapel in the sanctuary, is the one dedicated to Our Lady and St Catherine, patronage of the Aliprandi family. It dates back to 1415, when it was built larger, and later reduced to allow for the construction of the cloister. The inscription between two coats of arms on the refined dedicatory plaque states that the chapel was commissioned by the most famous member of the family, Bonamente, who was an eyewitness to the construction of the temple, of which he left a report in the verses of his well-known Cronica di Mantova.

While the fresco decorations on the walls and vault are scarcely visible and of no particular value, two fresco tears made during the restoration are worth mentioning: on the left wall, a Madonna and Child of refined workmanship, not far from the work of Pisanello; on the opposite wall, on the other hand, is a Madonna and Child with an angel in a large tondo surrounded by a colourful scroll motif, placed by critics in the sphere of Giovanni Badile. Good work of carving and painting is the wooden altar, evidently inconsistent with the space in which it is set, for which the names of Giovanni Battista Viani as carver, Antonio Maria Viani as painter and author of the Eternal Father at the top, Saints Anne and Elizabeth in the middle register and, at the bottom, Saints Catherine and Apollonia have been mentioned. In the central niche, which probably once housed a painting, there was a papier-mâché statue of St. Gaetano in the late 19th and early 20th century, made by the Roman firm of Rosa from Mantua and commissioned by Angelo Sarto, brother of St. Pius X.

For further information click here: Sanctuary bibliography and insights

Santuario delle Grazie
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