Name of Monument:

Parish Church of St. Servulus

Also known as:

Župna crkva sv. Servola


Buje, Istria County, Croatia

Contact DetailsParish Church of St. Servulus
Silvio Vardabasso 27
52460 Buje
T : +385 52 773 230
Buje Parish Office (Responsible Institution)


1754–1768 (church); 1737 (high altar)


Builders: Giovanni Dongetti [n.d.], Antonio Naiber [n.d.]; sculptor: Giovanni Marchiori (1696–1778); painter: Giuseppe Camerata (1676–1762); organ: Gaetano Callido (1727 –1813)

Denomination / Type of monument:

Religious, church and interior furnishing


City of Buje (church)


During rebuilding in the Baroque period this one-time nave and two-aisle church was re-modelled into a nave church with side chapels. Giovanni Dongetti, who was from Milan by descent but working in Piran from 1711, began the construction. Disagreements between Dongetti and his client resulted in him leaving the project and Antonio Naiber of Koper, with partial alterations to Dongetti’s original design, completed the church in 1768.


Along with elements of late Palladian religious architecture – pairs of pilasters and chapels with shallow barrel-vaulted ceilings – in the Parish Church of St. Servulus, it is possible to discern architectural approaches of another origin and their very clear links with solutions used in the sanctuaries of churches in the Italian region of Polesine and the surrounds of Rovigo. Giovanni Battista Pradin created a similar solution with, in 1762, the Church of St. Michael in Viellanova del Ghebbo.
The most important sculptures are the marble figures of St. Servulus and St. Sebastian on the high altar, the first documented works of the Italian sculptor, Giovanni Marchiori. Unfortunately, the original appearance of the altar, degraded by a gilt altar added to the original “scenery”, means the tabernacle and partially the sculptures as well are completely concealed by its decoration. The bases of both statues are signed; that of St. Servulus is dated 1737. These are highly proficient works, the Classicist orientation of which is without parallel in Venetian sculpture contemporary to it and indicating that to this day the sculptural impulses relating to it are insufficiently illuminated. In later works, the Classical aspect was to become still stronger, which justifies the claim that Marchiori anticipated Neo-Classicism. Also in the church is an organ by Gaetano Callido of 1791.

View Short Description

The church, built between 1754 and 1768 by the builders, Giovanni Dongetti and Antonio Naiber, has a nave and side chapels but no aisle. An example of a very distinctive version of late Palladian architecture, the original Dongetti design can be seen in a wooden model kept in the sacristy. Apart from the stone portal, the façade of the church remained unfinished. The high alter has two important marble sculptures by Giovanni Marchiori, whose work was broadly speaking Classicist. One of these sculptures, St. Servulus, is both signed and dated 1737, and represents Marchiori's first documented piece in marble.

How Monument was dated:

Archival sources and the date on the base of the sculpture.

Special features

St. Sebastian

High Altar


Giovanni Marchiori (1696–1778)

The strongly bent figure of St. Sebastian, shown in agony, fixes his gaze on the sky. This is a perfect example of Marchiori’s flawless mastery of the human figure.

The Martyrdom of St Servulus

Side wall of the Presbytery

c. 1738

Giuseppe Camerata (1676–1762)

Late Baroque dynamics and pathos are characteristics of this painting depicting the early Christian martyr, saint protector of Buje.

The Miracle of St Servulus

Side wall of the Presbytery

c. 1738

Giuseppe Camerata (1676–1762)

Despite moderate chiaroscuro, the intense colours of Camerata's painting indicate acceptance of the stylistic features of Rococo.

Selected bibliography:

Klemenčič, M., "Giovanni Marchiori", in La scultura a Venezia da Sansovino a Canova, (ed. A Bacchi), Milan, 2000, pp. 745–747.
Marković, V., Crkve 17. i 18. stoljeća u Istri – tipologija i stil, Zagreb, 2004.
Bralić, V.; Kudiš-Burić, N., “Slikarska baština Istre. Djela štafelajnog slikarstva od 15. do 18. stoljeća na području Porečko-pulske biskupije”, Zagreb, 2006.

Citation of this web page:

Vlasta  Zajec, Mirjana Repanić-Braun "Parish Church of St. Servulus" in "Discover Baroque Art", Museum With No Frontiers, 2019. http://www.discoverbaroqueart.org/database_item.php?id=monument;BAR;hr;Mon11;9;en

Prepared by: Vlasta ZajecVlasta Zajec

NAME: Vlasta

AFFILIATION: Institute of Art History, Zagreb

TITLE: PhD, Scientific Consultant

Vlasta Zajec was awarded her BA in Art History and Comparative Literature from Zagreb University (Faculty of Philosophy) in 1989. In the same year she began work at the Institute of Art History. She was awarded her MA in 1995 (17th-Century Wooden Altars in Istria), and her PhD in 2001 (17th Century Wooden Sculpture in Istria). She has spent brief periods of study in Italy (Udine, Venice and Trieste) and Germany (Munich). Her areas of research are wooden and marble altars and 17th- and 18th-century sculpture in Istria and North Croatia.
, Mirjana Repanić-BraunMirjana Repanić-Braun

SURNAME: Repanić-Braun
NAME: Mirjana

AFFILIATION: Institute of Art History, Zagreb

TITLE: PhD, Scientific Consultant

From 1981 to 1982 Mirjana Repanić-Braun was a curator of the Academy’s collection of sculpture in the Gliptoteque of the Croatian Academy of Arts and Sciences; from 1983 to 1998 she worked in the Croatian Academy’s Archives for Visual Arts. Mirjana has been employed as a researcher at the Institute of Art History in Zagreb since 1998: from 2001, as head of the scientific project Baroque Painting, Sculpture and Crafts of Continental Croatia, and since 2006, as head of the scientific project Baroque, Classicism and Historicism in the Arts of North Croatia. Mirjana teaches Art History at the universities of Rijeka and Split. At the University of Zagreb, she participates at doctoral level in the Faculty of Croatian Studies and the Faculty of Philosophy.

Translation by: Graham McMaster
Translation copyedited by: Mandi Gomez

MWNF Working Number: HR 10


 Timeline for this item


As PDF (including images) As Word (text only)