San Casciano in Val di Pesa
Via Morrocchesi, 72, 50026 San Casciano in Val di Pesa FI, Italia
The Church of Santa Maria del Prato in San Casciano was built by the Dominicans of Santa Maria Novella in the 14th century. Its construction was led by friar Pietro di Galigaio de’ Macci, who was commissioned by Niccolò Boccassini, later Pope Benedict XI. The church underwent renovations before it became the headquarters of the local Archconfraternity of the Misericordia in the 1700s, including a restoration in the Baroque style in the mid-1600s.
The Church of Santa Maria del Prato conserves many priceless works of art, including paintings and architectural elements made particularly by Sienese artists. The 15th-century pulpit by Giovanni di Balduccio is splendid, commissioned by the Bonaccorsi family. Ugolino di Nerio is responsible for two artworks: his Madonna and Child Enthroned is located above the high altar, while the other is in fact the remaining pieces of a polyptych depicting saints Peter and Francesco. Lastly, the church vaunts a statue of the Madonna and Child that was highly venerated by the Misericordia and local believers.
The church’s most priceless piece, however, is the Crucifix attributed to the artist Simone Martini, of the Sienese school. The wooden, 14th-century cross is located above the second altar and is decorated with gold and silver elements and precious stones.