Lucca's Guardian Angels
A baroque jewel right in the heart of the city is open to the community again. The Oratory of the Guardian Angels, a concentrate of architectural and pictorial treasures built in the mid-seventeenth century and now restored thanks to the important restoration works sponsored by the Cassa di Risparmio di Lucca Foundation.
A small treasure chest that welcomes visitors for free, ready to host music and cultural events of different kinds.
Hidden behind a green door, as there are many in the historic center of Lucca, in the maze of streets the Oratory is located in via dell'angelo Custode, a stone's throw from the Guinigi tower. It was built in 1638, with a project by Vincenzo Paoli on commission of the homonymous congregation, founded by Bonaventura Gasparini in 1627. The basic idea was to provide a place to teach many children who could not afford it. The same idea was taken up later also by the Ricovero degli Artigianelli in 1914.
The precious treasure contained in this oratory are, in particular, the Angels, protagonists of all paintings depicting different episodes.
The canvases inside the oratory were entrusted to important artists and are focused on the theme of angels acting as intermediaries of God. There is Saint Girolamo who has a vision of angels during the Apocalypse (Anonymous artist), and another Apocalypse episode with a mighty archangel, the mythical Saint Michael, who makes his way through disorder to defeat the Dragon representing the personification of evil (Pier Filippo Mannucci); there is Hagar who, abandoned with her son in the desert, is saved by an Angel who shows her a well where she can quench her thirst (Girolamo Scaglia); there are the Angels steps appeared in a dream to Giacobbe (Girolamo Scaglia) and an apparition of the Holy Face, that could not be missed in Lucca, protecting children entrusted by the Angels (Mateo Boselli). At the bottom of this painting you can see the skyline of the city, with its mighty walls.
Giovan Domenico Lombardi did the rest, proposing a surreal illusionistic game between reality and painting in a complex dialogue between painted elements and material decorations, supported by an authentic explosion of colors. An amazing, almost stunning, experience for visitors.
The oratory is open every Saturday and Sunday and on holidays, from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm without reservation.
From Friday 17 July to 28 August every Friday, from 19:00 to 22:00 there will be three short guided tours lasting one hour each to discover this small baroque treasure chest.
Each guided tour also includes a short final musical moment, lasting about 15 minutes, entrusted to young talents from Lucca.
The guided tour is free of charge but - in order to allow a better organization of the same - a reservation is required, before 12:00 on Friday, by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 0583 342404/ 348 3828294.