Viterbo, Italy

Santa Maria della Quercia Church

Albano Poli

scroll artworks

The church

Santa Maria della Quercia Church was built around a painted roof tile depicting the Virgin and Child. In the second half of the 1400s, following a plague pandemic, the inhabitants built a wooden hut in order to safeguard the painting. Here, in 1470, the Dominicans built the Church that is recognized nowadays as a Renaissance artwork.

Basilica di Santa Maria della Quercia - Viterbo

The painted roof-tile depicting the Virgin and Child
The painted roof-tile depicting the Virgin and Child
Andrea Bregno - Basilica di Santa Maria della Quercia
Devotional altar - Andrea Bregno

The work

Our work for this extraordinary place of faith focuses on the liturgical furnishings of the ambo and the main altar. The new works were built with the idea of creating a dialogue between them and the existing environment, in particular with the monumental devotional altar sculpted by Andrea Bregno, master of Michelangelo, where the painting of the Virgin is still kept today.

 S.Maria della Quercia
Artworks created: ambo, main altar, presider’s chair and side chairs.

The ambo

The new ambo in Carrara marble recalls the remarkable style of the devotional altar. The structure, the high-relief figures, the friezes and the architectural motif were conceived with the aim of creating a harmonious connection with this majestic work.

original design

The original design

The new ambo Santa Maria della Quercia

The ambo

Opere scolpite in marmo

Working phase

The high-relief figures of St. Rose, St. Lucy Filippini and St. Bonaventure (patrons of the diocese of Viterbo) are placed on the three sides of the ambo.
The symbols of the 4 Evangelists are sculpted at the base.

Santa Rosa

High-relief of St. Rose

Santa Lucia Filippini

High-relief of St. Lucy Filippini

San Bonaventura

High-relief of St. Bonaventure

Among the many decorative elements that recall the pre-existing style, the lectern of the ambo stands out. It is characterized by the leaf-shaped acroterion, that recalls the same shape visible on the devotional altar.

Acroterio dell'altare devozionale e il leggio dell'ambone.

Acroterion of the devotional altar and lectern of the ambo.

the main altar - S.Maria della Quercia

Bas-relief of the main altar

The reference between the two liturgical furnishings, ambo and main altar, is also expressed with the insertion of medallions sculpted in bas-relief depicting the sacrificed lamb, the oak, the lion and the palm, elements of the coat of arms of Viterbo.

To complete the altar, 5 crosses were carved for the upper surface of the altar top and placed at the corners and in the center of the marble slab.

S.Maria della Quercia Church

Santa Rosa

Bas-relief of the main altar

Santa Lucia Filippini

Detail of the lateral bas-relief

San Bonaventura

Detail of the sculpted crosses

Sede e scanni - S.Maria della Quercia
Presider chair and stalls in Carrara marble

The presider chair and the side chairs, built with the same Carrara marble, recalls the decorative elements of the liturgical furnishings in a more essential way.

Render opere per il sacro
Original design

The side pews are in wood and hand-painted in order to match with the other elements.

Fasi di lavorazione del legno
Production phases
Panche in legno dipinte a mano
Wooden hand-painted side pews


The new artworks fit harmoniously with the overall style of the Church, which was subject of several works made by important artists in the Renaissance era. Giuliano da Sangallo developed the project, Antonio da Sangallo the younger designed the coffered ceiling decorated in gold, Ghirlandaio painted the frescoes that are on the sides of the building, the glazed terracotta lunettes of the façade were created by Andrea della Robbia while Andrea Bregno, master of the young Michelangelo, sculpted the devotional altar which still today keeps the painting of the Madonna della Quercia and was taken as reference for the development of our artworks.

Devotional altar – Andrea Bregno

Ceiling – Antonio da Sangallo the Younger

Lunettes of the facade - Andrea della Robbia
Lavorazioni marmo
Opere per il sacro
Poli Arte Sacra

For information and projects

contact us

Progetto Arte Poli - Liturgical artworks

P.I. 02979060239
Via Bresciana 67/b,
37139 VERONA, Italy
tel +39 0458510455
fax +39 0458510298

Arte Poli Gallery:
Borgo Vittorio 88,
zona Basilica di S.Pietro, ROMA
tel. 06 68309510