Pieve of Saint Peter - Seano

Chiesa San Pietro

piazza S. Pietro, 3 | 055 8706249 Priest

Already upper-Middle-Age principal church (plebs de Seiano), it is among the ones belonging to the bishop of Pistoia, as it appears in the Privilegium Othonis III of February 25, 998. The same act also confers a curtis de Saiano on the bishop. Around 1179 it reaches the southeast border of the district of Pistoia. Until the Papal bull of Pope Onorio III of July 7, 1218, it is still indicated as pieve, but at the end of the same century it is registered though  as  S. Petri de Seiano rectory, subject to the principal church of Carmignano. In 1447 Sinibaldo di Doffo dé Lazzari leaves the patronage of the church to Monteoliveto monastery in Pistoia. Later, under bishop Pandolfini (1474-1518), the church is annexed to the monastery. It is rarely cited in the minutes of the pastoral visits, as ecclesia S. Petri de Seano. A the end of the seventeenth century, it is still “tied to Olivetani’s monastery and thus, the priest is directly nominated by the abbot of Monteoliveto. Suppressed the monastery, the church of Seano gets back its autonomy.  The heavy restoration, finished in 1928, stands out on the façade: a gate and two mullioned windows in Romanesque Revival style, adorned with archivolts with ashlar panels in white and green marble of Prato.
The masonry of the lower part, in regular block of sandstone, dates back to the thirteenth or fourteenth century. The evidence of sandstone in this area shows  that the church had to be considerably big already at that time. The original nineteenth century bell tower shows up from behind. Inside, the wide rectangular chamber has got a truss roof (redone in 1904), and the walls are decorated with four aedicule altars in pietra serena (grey stone)  and adorned with monochromes giving the illusion of niches with statues of the Apostles of approx. 1836, attributable to Bartolomeo Valiani from Pistoia. After a wooden confessional, part of a series of 4 ascribable to the nineteenth or twentieth century, we meet a pulpit in pietra serena of the late fourteenth century. On the counter-façade, the wooden choir is collocated on columns in masonry, painted during the second half of the nineteenth century: the coeval organ is probably an Agati, but it was modified by Tronci in 1908. The main altar conserves an high quality sacred crucified Christ, of the first half of the fifteenth century, perhaps realised in the area of Lucca, maybe by Francesco di Valdambrino from Siena: the figure, tense in the spasm of overtaking, expresses a pained mildness on his face and it gets built in the wide curve of his arms, which appear gaunt, like the trunk and the legs. In addition, there is a contiguous tabernacle, inspired to Michelozzo and Ghiberti. A sandstone emblem of the Olvetani is located as well in the area of the presbytery but it originally was on the façade. Many works by the painter of the last century, Giuseppe Santelli from Signa, are conserved here. The oratory of the Compagnia del Corpo di Cristo has got a painting by Domenico Frilli Croci, located on the altar, and it shows the Assunta with the Saints Pietro Macario and Rocco.

Altar of Saint Rocco

Behind Saint Pietro the Apostle, the intense male face, pointing at the observer is probably a self-portrait of the artist. Frilli Croci had already self-portrayed himself in previous works, like the canvas with the exposition of the Girdle of Thomas, realised for Prato. This painting, image of a refined stage set-up, is autographed and dated in the middle of the low part (“OPUS DOM.CI/ FRILLII , A CRUCE/ANNO 1617”) and it represents a masterpiece in the small corpus of works by Domenico Frilli Croce, still being reconstructed. The painter, recorded in Florence in the studio of the artist Giovanni Battista Paggi from Genova, underwent the crucial influence of the coeval masters of Florence such as Ludovico Cigoli, Cristoforo Allori, Jacopo from Empoli, Matteo Rosselli, as it is clearly shown in the altarpiece in Seano, organisationally akin to the Madonna by Frilli Croci for the church of St. Maria a Torre (Montespertoli, Museum of the Sacred Art).
The polychrome clay sculpture of the first decades of the seventeenth century representing San Rocco, work by the studio of Benedetto Bugioli, was collocate in the curved niche obtained inside the altarpiece by Domenico Frilli, probably in 1745. In fact, the date is red painted in the plaster behind the painting, to recall the erection of the altar and the intervention which unfortunately led to a consistent reduction of the canvas in its middle part, where the flying angels turned out to be partially lost and the figures of the Apostles around the sepulchre of Mary completely cut.

La chiesa è aperta tutti i giorni dalle ore 630 alle ore 19.00