The Convent dedicated to the Friars Minor of the Observance of San Martino d’Agri was built starting in 1512, the date on which the citizens of the Lucan center, by concession of Pope Julius II, decided, at their own expense, to start the work. According to what was reported by Gonzaga, the Convent collapsed after a few years to be rebuilt larger a few years later. In 1572 the monastic building was destroyed again, this time by an earthquake, to be rebuilt in its current appearance, and again with the contribution of citizens, on a hill close to the site of the previous structure.
The new convent is dedicated to Saint Anthony and has as its seal Saint Francis who receives the stigmata.
The Franciscan coat of arms of the bare arm of Christ and of the arm with the habit of San Francesco that support the Church is clearly visible. Both palms show “the stigmata”.
The choir leads to the sacristy and the cloister, the latter has a square plan with arcades on all 4 sides that open onto the internal courtyard in the center of which we find a well on top of a cistern. The arcades of the cloister are completely frescoed, the work of Pietro di Giampietro da Brienza and were built between 1743, as evidenced by the inscription in the northern portico, which also mentions the Friars who commissioned the work, the Reverend Father Bernardino da San Martino and Reverend Father Antonio da Brienza (Guardian of the Convent), and 1744, the probable date of completion of the works, as reported in the inscription on the fresco at the top of the first flight of stairs. Two tondi are dedicated to the two ecclesiastical figures shown in the artist’s inscription with portraits of the friars and the inscription with their name, made on the wall opposite that of the author’s inscription.
The cycle of the Cloister of San Francesco takes up scenes from the Life of Christ, San Francesco, Sant’Antonio, Santa Chiara, San Rocco and San Sebastiano. On the vaults and on the oval walls and medallions with saints, blessed and provincial fathers of the Franciscan order, the latter accompanied by inscriptions.Leggi di più