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CORTONA Art and religion -
Church of San Benedetto
The original church was entirely rebuilt in 1722 by the Scolopi Fathers, who changed the original rectangular design into its current oval shape. In the 18th century the Florentine painter Taddeo Mazzi decorated the interior with frescoes of the Madonna and St Joseph. The high altar, which is dedicated to St Francis, is dominated by a statue of Christ bound to a column.
The arch-shaped canvas depicting ‘St Anne Appearing to St Francis of Sales and St Benedict’, by Francesco Conti (1682-1760), was probably part of the decoration of this church and moved when the Scolopi Fathers left this church for Sant'Agostino. This canvas is quoted by Sernini Cucciatti and is listed as being one of the finest works to adorn any church in Cortona, in: Quadri in chiese e luoghi pii di Cortona alla metà del Settecento, ed. Cortona 1982, edited by P.J.Cardile, p.24).