By Alexis Culotta

Painter and architect Nicola Filotesio, also known as Cola dell’Amatrice, died 31 August 1547 (or 1559) in Ascoli Piceno. Born in the town of Amatrice in 1480, Filotesio trained with Dionisio Cappelli, one of Amatrice’s most prominent artists of the day. From this tutelage, Filotesio developed a reputation for his ability to bridge past painterly approaches with contemporary trends.

By the early 16th century, Filotesio had relocated to Ascoli Piceno, the city that would become his main outpost for the duration of his career. His first major 16th-century commissions were for a series of altarpieces for the Church of San Bartolomeo alle Piagge. By the 1520s, Filotesio saw his interests shift toward architecture, including the redesign of the facade of both the Church of San Bernardino in L’Aquila (1524-1540) and the Duomo of Ascoli Piceno (1529-1539). 

Throughout these projects, though, Filotesio continued to paint, and in doing so reflected his growing fascination with styles such as that of the late Raphael. In fact, one of Filotesio’s last works left unfinished at the time of his death – that for an altarpiece for the Church of San Damiano at Mazzano – arguably bore references to Raphael’s Madonna di Foligno (1511-1512). 

Notable works by Filotesio were included in the collection of Amatrice’s Museo Civico “Cola Filotesio” (named after the artist himself). This museum has been reported as having completely collapsed in the earthquake of 24 August 2016

Further Reading: 
Roberto Cannatà, “FILOTESIO, Nicola (Cola dell’Amatrice).” Treccani Dizionario Bibliografico

Detail, Nativita con i santi Girolamo, Francesco, Antonio da Padova, Giacomo della Marca, Domenico, Chiesa di San Francesco, Ascoli Piceno.

Assumption of the Virgin, Capitoline Museum (photo courtesy of Ricardo André Frantz). 

Facade, San Bernardino, 1524-1540. L’Aquila. 

The Finding of the True Cross, c. 1516. Tempera and oil on wood. National Gallery of Victoria, Australia. 

Facade, Duomo di Ascoli Piceno (Cattedrale di Sant’ Emidio), 1529-1539. 

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