The San Dalmazio Church in Volterra
dating back to the 16th century
At the end of Via San Lino, towards Porta San Francesco, you’ll find the big monastery compound of San Dalmazio. At first it was a church and a convent, whereas now the church is closed to the public and the convent has been transformed into a school first and then into housing. The whole structure was built in the first 1500s, as the door to the church and the stone ogival door to the convent prove.
The Deposition by Rossetti is an artwork that was talked about a lot, especially at the time of its very quick execution, and it is now kept inside the church. The vault of the main chapel was painted by Ranieri Del Pace at the beginning of the 18th century. Del Pace was a painter from Pisa, remembered for being a potential great Rococo artist, and he was summoned to Volterra in 1709 by the nuns of San Dalmazio.
The people in Volterra call the church “The Church of the Drunk” (“Chiesa del briaco”) because of something a member of the Inghirami family wrote in their testament. According to them, a mass was celebrated the day the client who commissioned the painting died. The service took place early in the morning, and it ended up gathering just a few people, most of them men who would stop at the church on their way home after a night spent out drinking.
Another version of the story behind the origin of the name links it to the passion the client had for wine.