The 13th century Chiesa degli Eremitani in Padua is famous for the Ovetari Chapel. Unfortunately many of the sumptuous decorations were damaged during the war. Mantegna‘s paintings in this chapel have now been restored.
Chiesa degli Eremitani Padua
Address, opening hours and admission
Adress: Piazza Eremitani – Padua. Phone: +39 049 8756410. Opening hours: Monday to friday from 7.30am till 12.30pm and from 3.30 till 7.00pm; Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 9am till 12.30pm and from 4.00 till 7.00pm.
History and description
The Chiesa degli Eremitani was built in 1276, in honour of Saints Philip and James. The name derives from the fact that many pilgrims passed through the guest quarters of the nearby convent.
The church has a rectangular plan with a single nave ending in three apses. The facade has a rose window.
The ceiling, which is shaped like an upturned ship’s keel, was done in 1306, by Frà Giovanni degli Eremitani.
The tombs of Ubertino and Jacopo Da Carrara and of Marco Mantova Benavides are placed along the walls of the church.
Guariento‘s frescoes in the Presbytery as well as the ones by Giusto de’ Menabuoi in the Sanguinacci Chapel have been partially restored. They had been severely damaged in 1944.
The church is mostly famous because of the Ovetari Chapel, one of Andrea Mantegna‘s masterpieces. The painter worked on this chapel in two periods, first from 1448 till 1451, and then from 1453 till 1457.
In 1944 the frescoes were destroyed during a bombing raid. It took around 50 years to restore the paintings.
The frescoes are characterized by Mantegna‘s use of perspective, which makes the saints Giacomo and Cristoforo seem larger than life.