Castello Grifeo  grifone

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The portal that does  access to the throne hall is surmounted  by a bas marble relief work of the important  “Dalmata”  artist Francesco  Laurana that had his workshop on 1468 in Partanna. Entering to throne hall or arms hall you can admire, a fresco mural painting, the only one arrived to day of four that adorned the ambient, that illustrate the Arabian Mokarta murder from Giovanni I Grifeo, he took part during sicily liberation against Arabian from the Normans. After this battle the Grifeo had from Ruggero in april 1139 Partanna’s manor. On fresco paint as you can see the Arabian man is supine with his typical turban while his strikes from Giovanni l Grifeo. The development scene is in Mazara del ValloArabian epoch fortress. On the fresco background you can see the city where the Cathedral is recognize and that is still present in a bas relief on the main portal the same Grifeo castle scene.

afrresco battaglia

On the shield under the Grifone heraldic symbol  there’s a memorial inscription recalls Giovanni ll Grifeo  official investiture from the king Ruggero ll and the second Goffredo’s l investiture, fourth Baron of Partanna  by Federico ll Emperor  on 1243 for his worlord  values near the sovereign.


Today  arms hall became art gallery where you can observe several painting comes to different earthquake destroyed churches that in 1968 struck all Valley of Belice

Entering to arms hall  we are in front of Saint Tommaso da Villanova painting describe as a “very excellent painting” from priest Giuseppe Mendolia  historian local lived in ‘700.
The unknow author work recalls to latter half of century XVll , on Saint Nicolò da Tolentino church originally preserved, exposed on Mendolia’s family Chapel, decorated with a plaster sculptural apparatus work of Silvestro Ratto  Mazara’s sculptor on 1665.


Proceding to the right we are in front of altarpiece raffiguring the Madonna of the Rosary with Saints. That work comes to S. Francesco D’assisi church is made from Simone De Wobreck Flemish painter artist, born in Holland in Haarlem in the latter half of 500, operating in Sicily from 1557 to 1585. Meli (1878) and Di Marzo (1912) historians mention that author from the Flemish and Holland masters moved to Sicily. In 1558 , arrived to Palermo Simone De Wobrek where he comes on agreement with S. Martino delle scale Benedettini Friars for supper of Jesus painting. Start to that period for about 30 years he worked in our island producing a large work quantities, that at the beginning illustrate an intense flamish  type cromie and a contextual attention on naturalistic fact of Vincenzo Degli Azani Da Pavia manner, which take way, theme and figure revises on his own personal basis.


The panel is origin  S. Francesco tumbledown church. Dated 1585 draw the Rosary Madonna with Saints, theme other time touched from the artist that realized other similar panel, for S. Giacomo of Military, today preserved into Italian police legions of Palermo barracks and for Rosary Isnello church. However this work remember for his iconografic and cromie setting the Madonna of the Rosary panel with Saints  Cristina, Domenico, Vincenzo Ferreri and Ninfa of Vincenzo degli Azani da Pavia, dated 1540 and preserved in S. Domenico from Palermo church. (right picture)
Actually , Partanna’s panel has  some iconographic setting, starting to the right we can observe Saint Cristina  in central paint  recognizable for a big millstone her iconografic characteristic, S. Domenico found in receive act from the infant Jesus Rosary Beads while with his left hand take a lily, S. Vincenzo Ferreri with an open book probably recite the  apocalypse  verse: “Timete Deum et date illi honorem quia venit hora judici eius” (Be in awe of God and gave him honour since time of judgment is come) and S. Ninfa with her typical fire vase.
In 1910 the work gone to regional gallery Palazzo Abatellis deposit after a sacristan act of vandalism. The main scene is deturpated by now is surrounded by 15 Rosary Mistery  represent formelle until in upper lunette is heathly paradise represented  with trinity depiction. In central low altar step low you can admire the cross deposition.
On the low point side are draws the two clients, instead in the background is illustrate Lepanto Battle tooked place the 7th October 1571, where holyleague  fleet (Spain, Republic of Venice , State church) outflank Ottoman Empire identifiable in paint for the two head eagle flag.
Actually catholic church celebrate the Madonna of the Rosary day the 7th October every year. This religious day had the “Madonna of Victory” name from Pope Pio V in perpetual Lepanto Battle remember.

Continue on the right, the center of the room we can admire a painting of the Adoration of the Shepherds. The painting, from the church of St. Nicholas of Tolentino, according to the historian Giuseppe Mendolia was «realizzata da un tal Di Roccolo alla fine del 1600».

adorazione pastori

Continuing our visit on the right side of the wall we can see another large canvas always coming from the church of St. Nicholas of Tolentino depicting St. Augustine between the Risen Christ and the Virgin. The holy Bishop is represented in ecstasy as she waits to be "fed by the blood of Christ and the Virgin's milk" to feed his faith and his theology. It is said that St. Augustine praying before the two said, "ab Ubere lactor hinc, hinc pascor to vulnere; positus medium, quo me vertam nescio" / "on the one hand the sweetness of Mary, the other the bleeding wounds of the Lord placed between these two loves, am I embarrassed the first invocation. "The incident is related to a legend that probably originated in Italy to which many painters have been inspired by the iconic representation of the saint. The painting on display at the Castle Grifeo turns out to be "a famous painting and ancient" so already defined in 1700 by the local historian priest Giuseppe Mendolia. The work was restored in 1937 by Alfredo Valenti painter partannese.


After the fresco chivalrous we can see a fragment of wall decoration that once adorned the walls of the room. Punctuated by columns and majestic floral cornucopias was found during the last restoration. Continue on the right we can see another large oil painting on canvas depicting the Adoration of the Magi from the church of San Nicolò da Tolentino, where it was originally placed with the Adoration of the Shepherds in the priestly.


On the right we can see, on the side wall, an oil painting on canvas depicting St. Cajetan. The work that you do not know the author, however, is attributable to the school of the eighteenth century Trapani (Andrea Carreca, Domenico La Bruna, etc.).


Behind the painting of the Adoration of the Magi is facing another oil painting on canvas depicting St. William, Duke of Aquitaine always coming from the church St. Nicholas of Tolentino dated between the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century.

san guglielmo





Castello Grifeo Partanna - 91028 PARTANNA - tel: 0924923970