The Museo Civico-Diocesano is located inside the ancient Church of Santa Maria dei Servi. The church was built, with an adjoining convent, in the late 13th century by the Servi di Maria just outside Porta Romana, along the ancient route of the Via Romea Germanica.
The church peculiarity was the presence of a small pre-existing chapel inside, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin or Madonna Della Stella.
The ancient church belonging to the “Servi di Maria”, a mendicant order, had a single-nave with a wooden truss roof, a square apse with a cross vault, and a façade with a simple portal and rose window.
The cross vault is still present in the apse and in the underground room that was the monastery’s cellar. After some important renovation works in the 1700s, the church turned into a Baroque-style church, with one single nave and side chapels.
The small chapel inside the church was painted by Perugino in 1517, when the Compagnia dei Disciplinati Della Stella, commissioned him a cycle of frescoes, from which only the “Deposition from the Cross” is still visible.
The work shows the late production of Perugino, when he reached his artistic maturity, with the presence of cryptic characters and stylistic features that differ a lot from his previous style.
Other fragments of old frescoes are worth to be mentioned. Among the side altars and chapels, “The Virgin of the Star, between Saints Matthew and Sebastian” painted by an unknown artist and on a sidewall, near the high altar, “St. Anne Meterza”, made also by an unknown artist and of uncertain date. The former cellar today is an art gallery, where a large number of canvas coming from the surrounding area, are preserved.
Among the most important artists, we can mention Cesare Nebbia from Orvieto, Salvio Savini and Antonio Circignani son of the much better-known Nicolò Circignani known as Il Pomarancio.