OPENING HOURS:

every day from 9.30 am to 5.00 pm

Sunday from 9,30 am to 2.30 pm

Monday only on reservation  

Audioguide included

 

Museum of the Treasury of Saint Gennaro - Via Duomo 149. Tel: 081.421609 Tel: 06.42014865  

 

The Museum of the Treasury of Saint Gennaro (Museo del Tesoro di San Gennaro) was opened a year ago in Naples.

This museum centre is of extremely high historical, spiritual and artistic value. It is dedicated to the extraordinary works belonging to the Treasury of Saint Gennaro, which has never been exhibited before, as well as to the beautiful vestry showing frescoes by Luca Giordano and paintings by Domenichino and Massimo Stanzione, among others.

The Treasury of Saint Gennaro consists of ancient documents, precious objects, silver pieces, jewellery, paintings of inestimable value which, throughout the centuries, have been donated in devotion to the Saint by kings, popes, distinguished men or common people. Such objects have found their home here. This allows the setting of several thematic exhibitions, making it possible to follow a rare and extraordinarily logical path. 

The first exhibition was called “Gli Argenti” (The Silver works), a unique collection that dates from 1305 up to the present and that, thanks to the efforts of the Deputation of the Royal Chapel of the Treasury of Saint Gennaro (Deputazione della Real Cappella del Tesoro di San Gennaro), has come to us untouched by theft, pillaging or spoliation for the financing of wars. 

A collection that, apart from one work of art belonging to the Provençal school, is attributed entirely to the great artists of the Neapolitan school. The collection displays the Neapolitan silversmiths’ ability, the artistic mastery and extraordinary skill that they have been handing down from father to son for centuries.

One hundred and fifty audioguides, available in Italian, German, English, French and Spanish, are included in the entrance fee. Such devices, together with the support given by hostesses and tour guides, are able to offer a detailed and precise explanation of the whole museum.

Next to the museum there is the Royal Chapel of the Treasury of Saint Gennaro (Real Cappella del Tesoro di San Gennaro), a universal jewel from the Baroque period.

Seven centuries of silver

Creation, popular devotion, religiousness, spectacularity: Argenti (Silver works), the Museum of the Treasure of Saint Gennaro’s first thematic exhibition dedicated to Silver works, offers all this and much more. A path of splendours seven centuries long can now be admired, intact in its beauty, thanks to the Deputation’s (Deputazione) praiseworthy efforts. In fact, many of the objects exhibited have been saved and preserved from the continuous lootings and expropriations typical of the era. These objects have managed to come down to us practically untouched, bearing evidence of a history of extremely refined craftsmanship dating from the XIII century.

The Silver pieces exhibited in the Museum of the Treasure of Saint Gennaro document, precisely, the extraordinary skill of Neapolitan sculptors and silversmiths, and their ability to combine technical knowledge with creativity. The chalices, pyxes, baskets, holders, candelabras, plates, and ostensories with busts and statues of Patron Saints, as well as all the other objects on exhibit, are the fruit of a team of masters, each one highly skilled in his own crafts. Sculptors, chisellers, welders and mettitori d’insieme (as assemblers used to be called at that time) have created  masterpieces of rare beauty.

The Silver pieces represent an important part of the  Treasure of Saint Gennaro because these antique works were for the most part sacred for the daily liturgical use and the majority of the statues were meant to hold the relics of the Saints which played an especially important role in popular devotion in the XVII century. Many busts were therefore commissioned by brotherhoods, churches and monasteries in honour of their patrons and then entrusted to the custody and care of the Chapel of the Treasure of Saint Gennaro from where they used to be moved every now and then for processions as well as other various religious festivities. The artistic beauty of the busts and statues of the patron saints, especially those belonging to the XVII and XVIII centuries, go beyond the mere devotional style and dictates. 

Filippo Del Giudice, Carlo Schisano, Giovan Domenico Vinaccia, Lorenzo Vaccaio are only some of the artists of the works of art displayed in the exhibition. They represent not only the pride and merit of Naples’ art and craftsmanship, but they also bear testimony to the worship and devotion for Saint Gennaro.

Museum Manager

Paolo Jorio