During the European Year of Cultural Heritage, a four-year program of the Croatian Conservation Institute will be presented. The program will, through an interdisciplinary approach, include archival, historical and art research, restoration research and all the work that still needs to be carried out, including the reconstruction of the church so it can be properly valorized and presented to the public.
Supervisor: Krasanka Majer Jurišić, PhD
The Church of St. Rocco, built at the beginning of the 16th century, is located at the former entrance into the small Istrian settlement of Draguć. The choice of dedication, a protector from the plague, is consistent with the practice of building churches at the very entrance of settlements in order to protect locals from a disease. The interior is decorated with wall paintings made in two phases, in 1529 and 1537, by a local painter Anthony of Istrian Padua (near the present-day settlement Kašćerga). His name is mentioned in two inscriptions, along with the names of the clients. In addition to this church, the same master painted the church of St. Rocco in Oprtalj and the Hum triptych, originally placed on the main altar of the cemetery church of St. Jerome in Hum, today located in the Collection of Ecclesiastical Art in the Euphrasian Basilica. By combining folk art and renaissance forms, he created an impressive series of frescoes in Draguć, including Adoration of the Kings, Flight into Egypt and Annunciation, along with the painting of St. Rocco on the sanctuary wall and Imago pietatis above the entrance to the church. As the wall paintings were not painted over, the original color was preserved for the most part so it is even more important to approach them in a systematic and timely manner in order to conserve and restore them.
Because of the level of preservation of the painted interior, as well as distinct qualities of modest vernacular Renaissance architecture in Istria, this church is a valuable example of our heritage. In 2018, Croatian Conservation Institute started implementing a four-year program which will include archival, historical and art studies, research of wall paintings and stone elements, and reconstruction and conservation in order to restore the entire church.