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Old March 31st, 2009, 06:49 PM   #1
Pincio
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ENGLISH | ITALIAN CHURCHES: Interiors & ArtWorks

A GUIDE-THREAD INSIDE THE ITALIAN CHURCHES

Summary

Piemonte
Abbazia di San Nazzaro e Celso (San Nazzaro Sesia); Pinerolo Cathedral (Pinerolo); Santa Maria Assunta (Asti); Sant'Uberto (Venaria Reale)

Lombardia
Collegiata di Castiglione Olona (Castiglione Olona); Battistero di Castiglione Olona (Castiglione Olona); Sant'Eustorgio (Milan); Santa Maria delle Grazie (Milan); San Pietro in Gessate (Milan); San Pietro al Monte (Civate); Monza Cathedral (Monza)

Trentino Alto Adige
Duomo di Bressanone (Bressanone/Brixen); Abbazia di Novacella (Verna)

Veneto
Sant'Anastasia (Verona); Basilica di San Marco (Venice); Santa Maria dei Miracoli (Venice); Santo Stefano (Venice); Basilica di San Zeno (Verona); San Zaccaria (Venice); Oratorio di San Giorgio (Padua); Scrovegni Chapel (Padua); Santa Maria Assunta (Torcello)

Friuli Venezia Giulia
Basilica di Aquileia (Aquileia); Tempietto Longobardo (Cividale del Friuli)

Liguria
Church of St. Peter (Portovenere); San Lorenzo Cathedral (Genoa); San Matteo (Genoa)

Emilia Romagna
Basilica di San Vitale (Ravenna); Basilica di Sant'Apollinare Nuovo (Ravenna); Parma Cathedral (Parma); Parma Baptistery (Parma); Santa Maria dei Servi (Bologna); Battistero Neoniano (Ravenna); Battistero degli Ariani (Ravenna); Abbazia di Pomposa (Codigoro); Collegiata di Santa Maria Assunta (Castell'Arquato); Basilica di Sant'Apollinare in Classe (Ravenna); San Giovanni Evangelista (Ravenna); Tempio Malatestiano (Rimini)

Tuscany
Santo Spirito (Florence); Collegiata di San Gimignano (San Gimignano); Sant'Agostino (San Gimignano); Siena Cathedral (Siena); Battistero di Siena (Siena); Abbazia di San Galgano (Chiusdino); Basilica di San Miniato al Monte (Florence); Santa Maria Novella (Florence); San Piero a Grado (Pisa); Chiesa di Orsanmichele (Florence); Basilica di San Francesco (Arezzo); Arezzo Cathedral (Arezzo); Brancacci Chapel-Santa Maria del Carmine (Florence); Basilica di San Lorenzo (Florence); San Frediano (Lucca)

Umbria
Orvieto Cathedral (Orvieto); Lower Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi (Assisi); Upper Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi (Assisi); Spoleto Cathedral (Spoleto); Oratorio di San Bernardino (Perugia)

Marche
Oratorio di San Giovanni Battista (Urbino); Duomo di Sant'Emidio (Ascoli Piceno); Santa Maria della Rocca (Offida); Ss. Vincenzo e Anastasio (Ascoli Piceno)

Lazio
Santa Maria in Trastevere (Rome); Santa Prassede (Rome); Santa Maria della Vittoria (Rome); Santa Maria del Popolo (Rome); San Luigi dei Francesi (Rome); Santa Maria Maggiore (Tuscania); Santa Cecilia in Trastevere (Rome); Basilica di San Clemente (Rome); San Pietro in Vincoli (Rome); Chiesa del Ges¨ (Rome); Sant'Ignazio di Loyola (Rome); Cattedrale di Anagni (Anagni); Santa Maria in Domnica (Rome); Santo Stefano Rotondo (Rome); Sant'Agostino (Rome); Sant'Agnese fuori le Mura (Rome); Mausoleo di Santa Costanza (Rome); Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore (Rome); Basilica di San Crisogono (Rome); Santa Maria della Pace (Rome); Chiesa Nuova (Rome); Sant'Ivo alla Sapienza (Rome); Basilica di Santa Croce in Gerusalemme (Rome); San Sebastiano fuori le mura (Rome); Sant'Andrea della Valle (Rome)

Abruzzo
Santa Maria di Collemaggio (L'Aquila); Santa Maria ad Cryptas (Fossa); Oratorio di San Pellegrino (Bominaco); San Bernardino (L'Aquila); Santuario della Madonna d'Appari (Paganica)

Molise
San Giorgio Martire (Petrella Tifernina)

Campania
Sant'Angelo in Formis (Capua); Naples Cathedral (Naples); Monastero di Santa Chiara (Naples); San Giovanni a Carbonara (Naples); Casertavecchia Cathedral (Casertavecchia); Chiesa di San Michele Arcangelo (Anacapri); Certosa di San Martino (Naples)

Calabria
Gerace Cathedral (Gerace); Cattolica di Stilo (Stilo)

Apulia
Santa Maria del Casale (Brindisi); Abbazia di Santa Maria di Cerrate (Lecce), Basilica di Santa Croce (Lecce); Bitonto Cathedral (Bitonto)

Sardinia
Cagliari Cathedral (Cagliari), Basilica della Ss. TrinitÓ di Saccargia (Codrongianos); Alghero Cathedral (Alghero); Iglesia di San Francesco (Alghero); Santa Maria del Regno (Ardara); San Pietro di Sorres (Borutta); San Domenico (Cagliari)

Sicily
Chiesa della Martorana (Palermo); Cappella Palatina (Palermo); Casa Professa/Chiesa del Ges¨ (Palermo); Monreale Cathedral (Monreale); Santa Caterina (Palermo); Santa Maria della Catena (Palermo); Cefal¨ Cathedral (Cefal¨); San Cataldo (Palermo); San Giovanni degli Eremiti (Palermo)


I hope you'll enjoy this thread

Last edited by Pincio; July 5th, 2009 at 10:14 AM.
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Old March 31st, 2009, 06:50 PM   #2
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Santa Maria in Trastevere (Rome, Italy)

The Basilica of Our Lady's in Trastevere (Italian: Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere) is a titular minor basilica, one of the oldest churches in Rome, perhaps the first in which mass was openly celebrated. The basic floor plan and wall structure of the church date back to the 340s AD.

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The fašade

Interior

The present nave of this Romanesque church, rebuilt by Pope Innocent II (1138–1148) and rededicated to the Virgin Mary, preserves its original basilica plan and stands on the earlier foundations. The 22 granite columns with Ionic and Corinthian capitals that separate the nave from the aisles came from the ruins of the Baths of Caracalla, as did the lintel of the entrance door.

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Interior

Inside the church are a number of late 13th-century mosaics by Pietro Cavallini on the subject of the Life of the Virgin (1291) centering on a "Corontation of the Virgin" in the apse. Domenichino's octagonal ceiling painting, Assumption of the Virgin (1617) fits in the coffered ceiling setting that he designed.

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The mosaics

The fifth chapel to the left is the Avila Chapel designed by Antonio Gherardi. This, and his Chapel of S. Cecilia in San Carlo ai Catinari are two of the most architecturally inventive chapels of the late seventeenth century in Rome. The lower order of the chapel is fairly dark and employs Borromini-like forms. In the dome, there is an opening or oculus from which four putti emerge to carry a central tempietto, all of which frames a light-filled chamber above, illuminated by windows not visible from below.

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The Avila Chapel

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Last edited by Pincio; May 4th, 2009 at 06:02 PM.
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Old March 31st, 2009, 06:50 PM   #3
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Santo Spirito (Florence, Italy)

The Basilica of St. Mary of the Holy Spirit (Santa Maria del Santo Spirito) is one of the main churches in Florence, Italy. Usually referred to simply as Santo Spirito, it is located in the Oltrarno quarter, facing the square with the same name. The building on the interior is one of the pre-eminent examples of Renaissance architecture.

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History

The current church was constructed over the pre-existing ruins of an Augustinian convent from the 13th century, destroyed by a fire in 1471. Filippo Brunelleschi began designs for the new building as early as 1428. After his death in 1446, the works were carried on by his followers Antonio Manetti, Giovanni da Gaiole, and Salvi d'Andrea; the latter was also responsible for the construction of the cupola.

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The Angel

Unlike S. Lorenzo, where Brunelleschi’s ideas were thwarted, here, his ideas were carried through with some degree of fidelity, at least in the ground plan and up to the level of the arcades.[1] The Latin cross plan is so designed to maximize the legibility of the grid. The contrast between nave and transept that caused such difficulty at S. Lorenzo was here also avoided. The side chapels, in the form of niches all the same size (forty in all), run along the entire perimeter of the space.

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The Nave

Brunelleschi's facade was never built and left blank. In 1489, a sacristy was built to the left of the building and a door was opened up in a chapel to make the connection to the church. Designed by Simone del Pollaiolo, it has an octagonal plan. A Baroque baldachin with polychrome marbles was added by Giovanni Battista Caccini and Gherardo Silvani) over the high altar, in 1601. The church remained undecorated until the 18th century, when the walls were plastered. The inner fašade is by Salvi d'Andrea, and has still the original glass window with the Pentecost designed by Pietro Perugino. The bell tower (1503) was designed by Baccio d'Agnolo.

[IMG]http://i40.************/wrlt2e.jpg[/IMG]
Details

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Old March 31st, 2009, 06:51 PM   #4
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Sant'Angelo in Formis (Capua, Italy)

A very unknown little jewel!

About 10 km north of Capua on Via Galatina, at the foot of Monte Tifata is Sant'Angelo in Formis. This Romanesque Basilica was built in 925 AD on the ruins of a large ancient temple dedicated to Diana, the protector of forests and the goddess of chastity. The church was finished under the supervision of the abbot Desiderius from the Abbey of Montecassino (20 km north).

image hosted on flickr


The facade of Sant' Angelo in Formis is graced with a delicate portico of five arches, upheld by four Corinthian columns that were probably taken from the original temple. Inside, the central nave is divided from its side aisles by 14 columns some granite and some marble. It is quite a hodge-podge of different elements. Some of the columns are red granite others are white marble, still there are others carved from green marble. The Italian churches have a history of reusing elements from earlier eras. Pieces from diverse origins were brought together here from the surrounding area. The white marble stones that make up the base of the bell tower were once part of the amphitheater in Capua Vetere.

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The Nave

Although it is one of the best examples of medieval ecclesiastical architecture in Campania, Sant' Angelo in Formis is even more important for its well preserved frescoes. These expressively depicted stories ore clearly influenced by Byzantine models. Both those done in the portico and on the walls within were finished in the second half of the 11th century. The life of Jesus is depicted above the arches in the central nave while on the back wall there is a chilling scene depicting the Last Judgement.

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The absidal frescoes

Behind the altar Christ can be seen giving his blessings. These paintings are amazingly colorful considering that they are nearly 1000 years old. Below Christ are the three Arch Angels. Some claim that the floor of the basilica is the original from the temple of Diana. However, it's probably that some of the elements in the floor may have come from the temple of Diana, but it is unlikely that the entire floor was that of the earlier temple.

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Details of the medieval frescoes

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Old March 31st, 2009, 06:51 PM   #5
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Santa Prassede (Rome, Italy)

The Basilica of Saint Praxedes (Latin: Basilica Sanctae Praxedis, Italian: Basilica di Santa Prassede) is a titular minor Basilica in Rome, located near the major basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore.The current Cardinal Priest of Titulus Sancta Praxedis is Paul Poupard.

[IMG]http://i43.************/r89nc3.jpg[/IMG]

The mosaics

The most impressive element of the church, clearly, is the mosaic decorative program. Paschal hired a team of professional mosaicists to complete the work in the apse, the apsidal arch, and the triumphal arch. In the apse, Jesus is in the center, flanked by Sts. Peter and Paul who present Prassede and Pudenziana to God. On the far left is Paschal, with the squared halo of the living, presenting a model of the church as an offering to Jesus.

[IMG]http://i43.************/iykm5l.jpg[/IMG]
The Nave and the absidal mosaics

Below runs an inscription of Paschal's, hoping that this offering will be sufficient to secure his place in heaven. On the apsidal arch are twelve men on each side, holding wreaths of victory, welcoming the souls into heaven. Above them are symbols of the four Gospel writers: Mark, the lion; Matthew, the man; Luke, the bull; and John, the eagle, as they surround a lamb on a throne, a symbol of Christ's eventual return to Earth.

[IMG]http://i39.************/23ubqzq.jpg[/IMG]
The San Zeno Chapel

Though those mosaics as well as those in the Saint Zeno Chapel, a funerary chapel Paschal built for his mother, Theodora, are the best-known aspects of the church, an intriguing and relatively hidden aspect are ancient frescoes. Ascending a spiral staircase, one enters a small room, covered in scaffolding. However, on the wall is a fresco cycle dating most likely from the 8th century. The frescoes depict probably the life-cycle of the name saint of the church, Prassede.

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The Crypt

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Old March 31st, 2009, 06:52 PM   #6
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Collegiata di San Gimignano (Tuscany, Italy)

The Collegiata is the main church of San Gimignano, Tuscany, central Italy, situated in the Piazza del Duomo at the town's heart. It was once the Duomo (Cathedral), but since San Gimignano no longer has a bishop it has reverted to the status of a collegiate church.

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History

The first church on the site was begun in the 10th century. The present building was begun in the early 12th century and was consecrated by Pope Eugene III in 1148. It was altered and enlarged by Giuliano da Maiano between 1466 and 1468. The fašade dates from 1239 and is remarkably plain.

[IMG]http://i40.************/nd379y.jpg[/IMG]
The Nave

The Romanesque interior is famous for its lavish frescoes, which almost entirely cover the walls. The arcades are of black and white striped marble. In the centre is a large fresco of St Sebastian by Benozzo Gozzoli (1465), commissioned after the plague had hit the town in 1464. A fresco cycle by Taddeo di Bartolo depicts the Last Judgement in gruesome detail. There are also cycles of the Old Testament by Bartolo di Fredi (1356–1367) and the New Testament, traditionally attributed to Barna da Siena (who supposedly died in a fall from the scaffolding while painting them), but possibly by Lippo Memmi (begun in 1333).

image hosted on flickr

The Santa Fina Chapel

The two main chapels are the Cappella di San Gimignano, with an altar by Benedetto da Maiano, and the Cappella di Santa Fina, designed by Giuliano da Maiano, with the sculpture by his brother Benedetto. Domenico Ghirlandaio painted the frescoes in the latter chapel. St Fina was born in San Gimignano in 1238, contracted an incurable disease when she was ten and spent the five years until her death lying on a board to increase her suffering before God. On her death the board was covered in flowers. The house where she supposedly lived and died still stands in the town.

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The frescoes

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Old March 31st, 2009, 06:52 PM   #7
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Sant'Agostino (San Gimignano, Italy)

The Church of St. Augustine (Chiesa di Sant'Agostino) is the second largest church in San Gimignano, Italy, after the Collegiata. It is owned by the Augustinians.

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Sant'Agostino is an imposing 13th century building. The interior is a large hall dominated by the seventeen-panel fresco cycle on The Life of St Augustine around the high altar, painted by Benozzo Gozzoli between 1463 and 1467. The altarpiece is the Coronation of the Virgin by Piero del Pollaiuolo (1483). There are a number of other frescoes in the church. The Cappella di San Bartolo houses the remains of the eponymous saint (1228–1300), a lay Franciscan who died of leprosy. The magnificent altar in the chapel is by Benedetto da Maiano.

[IMG]http://i43.************/2rpbvgn.jpg[/IMG]
The absidal frescoes

History

San Gimignano is a 14th-century town in Tuscany which has kept its mediaeval appearance unchanged. The city is encircled by ramparts bristling with fourteen tall towers of nobility, formerly seventy two in number, which have earned it the nickname San Gimignano of the Fine Towers. The church of Sant'Agostino in San Gimignano is a single-aisled hall church with three apsidal chapels and an open roof truss. It was built by the Augustinian canons between 1280 and 1298, and it represents a typical example of the Gothic architecture of the mendicant orders in central Italy. Benozzo Gozzoli, in collaboration with several assistants, produced here his main work, the decorations of the apsidal chapel of the church in 1464-65.

[IMG]http://i44.************/2j6a9s1.jpg[/IMG]
Benozzo Gozzoli (1421-1497), Saint Augustine departing for Milan

As in Montefalco, the life of St Augustine is narrated as an ascent: the lowest register depicts the education, teachings and travels, the middle one his path to faith, and the lunettes the culmination of his journey through life. The vault symbolizes his ascent to heaven. The lavish framing of the picture fields by means of narrow gold borders and painted pilasters is an innovation in this form. The cycle depicts 17 scenes from the life of St Augustine. The pictures, which are arranged in three rows, use the traditional horizontal direction of reading, from the bottom left to the top right. The vaulting shows the four Evangelists on concentrically painted clouds, creating the impression of a circular vault.

[IMG]http://i43.************/2la8zeo.jpg[/IMG]
Benozzo Gozzoli (1421-1497), The School of Tagaste

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Old March 31st, 2009, 06:53 PM   #8
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Basilica di San Vitale (Ravenna, Italy)

UNESCO World Heritage Centre

The Church or Basilica of San Vitale — styled an "ecclesiastical basilica" in the Roman Catholic Church, though it is not of architectural basilica form — is the most famous monument of Ravenna, Italy and is one of the most important examples of Byzantine Art and architecture in western Europe. The building is one of eight Ravenna structures inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

image hosted on flickr


The church was begun by Bishop Ecclesius in 527, when Ravenna was under the rule of the Ostrogoths, and completed by the 27th Bishop of Ravenna, Maximian in 548 during the Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna. The architect of this church is unknown, but he was certainly among the best architects of his time. The church has an octagonal plan. The building combines Roman elements (the dome, shape of doorways, stepped towers) with Byzantine (polygonal apse, capitals, narrow bricks, etc). However, the church is most famous for its wealth of Byzantine mosaics, the largest and best preserved outside of Constantinople itself. The church is of extreme importance in Byzantine art, as it is the only major church from the period of Emperor Justinian to survive virtually intact to the present day; furthermore, it is thought to reflect the design of the Byzantine Imperial Palace Audience Chamber, of which nothing at all survives. According to legend, the church was erected on the site of the martyrdom of Saint Vitalis. However, there is some confusion as to whether this is the Saint Vitalis of Milan, or the Saint Vitale whose body was discovered together with that of Saint Agricola, by Saint Ambrose in Bologna in 393. The construction of the church was sponsored by a Greek banker, Iulianus Argentarius, of whom very little is known, except that he also sponsored the construction of the Basilica of Sant' Apollinare in Classe at around the same time. The final cost amounted to 26,000 gold pieces. The true sponsor may have been the Byzantine Emperor, who used such church construction projects as propaganda and as a way of speeding the incorporation of new territory into the Empire.

[IMG]http://i39.************/2eq3wht.jpg[/IMG]
Interior

The central section is surrounded by two superposed ambulatories. The upper one, the matrimoneum, was reserved for married women. A series of mosaics in the lunettes above the triforia, depict sacrifices from the Old Testament : the story of Abraham and Melchizedek, and the Sacrifice of Isaac; the story of Moses and the Burning Bush, Jeremiah and Isaiah, representatives of the twelve tribes of Israel, and the story of Abel and Cain. A pair of angels, holding a medallion with a cross, crowns each lunette. On the side walls the corners, next to the mullioned windows, have mosaics of the Four Evangelists, under their symbols (angel, lion, bull and eagle), and dressed in white. Especially the portrayal of the lion is remarkable in its feral ferocity. The cross-ribbed vault in the presbytery is richly ornamented with mosaic festoons of leaves, fruit and flowers, converging on a crown encircling the Lamb of God. The crown is supported by four angels, and every surface is covered with a profusion of flowers, stars, birds and animals, including many peacocks. Above the arch, on both sides, two angels hold a disc and beside them a representation of the cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem. They symbolize the human race (Jerusalem representing the Jews, and Bethlehem the Gentiles). All these mosaics are executed in the Hellenistic-Roman tradition : lively and imaginative, with rich colours and a certain perspective, and with a vivid depiction of the landscape, plants and birds. They were finished when Ravenna was still under Gothic rule. The apse is flanked by two chapels, the prothesis and the diaconicon, typical for Byzantine architecture. Inside, the intrados of the great triumphal arch is decorated with fifteen mosaic medallions, depicting Jesus Christ, the twelve Apostles and Saint Gervasius and Saint Protasius, the sons of Saint Vitale.

[IMG]http://i44.************/2exwjnn.jpg[/IMG]
The absidal mosaics

The theophany was began in 525 under bishop Ecclesius. It has a great gold fascia with twining flowers, birds, and horns of plenty. Jesus Christ appears, seated on a blue globe in the summit of the vault, robed in purple, with his right hand offering the martyr's crown to Saint Vitale. On the left, Bishop Ecclesius offers a model of the church. At the foot of the apse side walls are two famous mosaic panels, executed in 548. On the left is a mosaic depicting the Emperor Justinian, clad in purple with a golden halo, standing next to court officials, Bishop Maximian, praetorian guards and deacons. The halo around his head gives him the same aspect as Christ in the dome of the apse. Justinian himself stands in the middle, with soldiers on his left and clergy on this right, emphasizing that Justinian is the leader of both church and state of his empire. He also holds a paten and is shown with a 3 day beard to show that too busy to shave since he is performing his duties as emperor. The gold background of the mosaic shows that Justinian and his entourage are inside the church and gives off an otherworldly,spiritual vibe. The figures are placed in a V shape; Justinian is placed in the front and in the middle to show his importance with Bishop Maximian on his left and lesser individuals being placed behind them. This placement can be seen through the overlapping feet of the individuals present in the mosaic. On the right side is Empress Theodora solemn and formal, with golden halo, crown and jewels, and a train of court ladies. She is almost depicted as a goddess. As opposed to the V formation of the figures in the Justinian mosaic, the mosaic with Empress Theodora shows the figures moving from left to right into the church. Theodora is seen holding the wine. These panels are almost the only surviving examples of Byzantine secular mosaic art, and offer a glimpse into the glory, splendor and pomp of the Byzantine world. The Church of San Vitale inspired the design of the church of the Saints Sergius and Bacchus in Constantinople, then was the model used by Charlemagne for his Palatine Chapel in Aachen in 805, and centuries later its dome was the inspiration for Filippo Brunelleschi in the design for the dome of the Duomo of Florence.

[IMG]http://i41.************/2j2ahx5.jpg[/IMG]
The Emperor Justinian (detail)

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Old March 31st, 2009, 07:05 PM   #9
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Pincio ti consiglierei di inserire il duomo di Monreale.
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HOMO ITALICVS
Ed il saggio Felsineo disse: "bisogna estirpare le linee genetiche di queste panoplie cellulari completamente difettose in ogni sfera semantica della biologia pi¨ elementare."
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Old March 31st, 2009, 07:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yuri View Post
Pincio ti consiglierei di inserire il duomo di Monreale.
Troppe devo ancora inserirne
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Old March 31st, 2009, 08:00 PM   #11
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Pincio sono tutte foto fatte da te o prese dal web?

Cmq tutte stupende, complimenti!!!
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Old March 31st, 2009, 08:11 PM   #12
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Collegiata di Castiglione Olona (Italy)

Castiglione Olona is a little town and comune in the province of Varese, in Lombardy, North Italy.

[IMG]http://i41.************/2w7mgz7.jpg[/IMG]

Castiglione Olona is famous in Italy thanks to the Cardinale Branda Castiglioni (1350-1443), important person of the european culture in his time. Due to him Castiglione Olona, characterized by a deep-rooted history in the roman age, became precious and unique by means of palaces, churches and incomparable works of art, like the Masolino da Panicale's (1383-1440) frescoes. In the village the spirit of Cardinale Branda who founded a public and free school "to dispel the ignorance" is still living.

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The Nave

The Collegiata, consacred on 25 March 1425, was built by Alberto, Giovanni and Pietro Solari architects in Milan. It preserves the stories of the Virgin by Masolino da Panicale and those of Saint Stefano and Lorenzo by Vecchietta and Paolo Schiavo. Near the Collegiata, inside the north tower of the old fortress, the stories of Saint John the Baptist were frescoed by Masolino in 1435. The Church of the Most Holy Body of Christ was built in 1437, according to Brunelleschi's architecture. It offers the researchers grounds of great interest. On the front there are the statues of Saints Antony and Cristoforo. The Cardinal's Palace includes the Saint Martin Chapel frescoed by "il Vecchietta" (1437), the Cardinal's room and the Cardinal's study with a fresco by Masolino and "il Vecchietta".

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The Masolino frescoes

Among the artists who worked in service of Cardinal Branda Castiglioni, a true patron and creator of the complex of monuments which made Castiglione Olona known as an ôIsland of Tuscany in Lombardyö, the most famous is certainly Masolino. Tommaso of Cristofano Fini, known as Masolino, was born in 1393 in Panicale, near Florence. From 1427 to 1435 the painter, already famous, made himself available to Cardinal Branda and he realised some of his masterpieces: the frescoes of the St. Catherine Chapel in the church of St. Clement in Rome and those of the Collegiate Church and of the Baptistery in Castiglione Olona. He probably died between 1435 and 1440.

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The Masolino frescoes

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Old March 31st, 2009, 08:34 PM   #13
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Battistero di Castiglione Olona (Italy)

Castiglione Olona is a little town and comune in the province of Varese, in Lombardy, North Italy.

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The Baptistery is on the same plane at the top of the hill where the Collegiata stands. It derives from an old red brick tower whose loopholes were transformed into windows. Presumably the Baptistery was born as a gentilitial chapel for the salvation of the soul. It's the common opinion of the art critics that the painting in fresco of the Baptistery proceeded that of the Collegiata's apse basin. The documents regarding the decoration of the Collegiata and the Baptistery are rather scarce but not inexistent. As a matter of fact, the date 1435 appears on the intrados of the arch between the presbytery and the square room.

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The Baptistery

It also appears in the Baptistery's frescoes. Also, the signiture "Masolinus de Florentia pinxit" is legible in the scene of the Nativity, in the Collegiata's apse. As regards the Baptistery's frescoes, the assistants of Masolino gave a secondary contribution. Presumably only "The Decollation" was made by Paolo Schiavo or Vecchietta entirely. Masolino is a transition artist between the courteous art and humanistic arts. He elaborates the pictorial elements of the courteous style according to humanistic criteria. The courteous painting represents the space as a symbolic, ethical and moral dimension. The XVth century's painters had no pedagogical intention of explaining what is good and what is evil. Masolino still had this didactic intention. This turns out from his use of the perspective, which is not geometrical but only evocative. The Baptistery preserves Saint John the Baptist's stories, frescoed by Masolino da Panicale in 1435. Here is a detail of Christ's baptism. An unreal light descends over the clear and rough mountains with few little trees and over the clear green river. The delicate waves of the river emulate a sincere freshness. The stream of water has a gothic refinement.

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The Masolino frescoes

The light diffuses everywhere sovereignty and calm without shadows. In this picture Masolino gives an example of his own art that makes use of serene representations absolutely free of violence. On the south internal wall of the Baptistery, Masolino concentrates three different events in a single one. In this fresco the following scenes are recognizable: "Herod banquet" (left), "Salome' presents the Baptist's head to Herodiade" (right) and "The burying of Baptist" (center). They are physically different but psychologically related one to the other. The spatial depth of the scene is quite manifold and empirical. Some courteous elements and a particular attention to the representation of faces enrich the scene. The dance of Salome' was often present in the XIIIth century's tales. Due to ethical reasons, Salome' has already danced in this scene . The portico on the right of the "Banquet" is an example of the Masolino's representation of space. Specifically, he applies the linear perspective criteria with a strictly personal interpretation.

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The Masolino frescoes

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Old March 31st, 2009, 11:47 PM   #14
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Questo thread Ŕ un capolavoro.

Bravo Pincio!
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Old April 1st, 2009, 10:32 AM   #15
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Grazie

Martorana Church (Palermo, Sicily, Italy)

La Martorana, also known as Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio (Saint Mary of the Admiral), is a church in Palermo (Sicily, Italy). The church is annexed to the next-door church of San Cataldo and overlooks the Piazza Bellini in central Palermo.

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The original church was built in the form of a compact cross-in-square ("Greek cross plan"), a common south Italian and Sicilian variation on the standard middle Byzantine church type. The three apses in the east adjoin directly on the naos, instead of being separated by an additional bay, as was usual in contemporary Byzantine architecture in the Balkans and Asia Minor. Certain elements of the original church, in particular its exterior decoration, show the influence of Islamic architecture on the culture of Norman Sicily. A frieze bearing a dedicatory inscription runs along the top of the exterior walls; although its text is in Greek, its architectural form references the Islamic architecture of north Africa.

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The Nave

Interior

The church is renowned for its spectacular interior, which is dominated by a series of 12th century mosaics executed by Byzantine craftsmen. The mosaics show many iconographic and formal similarities to the roughly contemporary programs in the Cappella Palatina and in Cefal¨ Cathedral, although they were probably executed by a distinct atelier. The walls display two mosaics taken from the original Norman fašade, depicting King Roger II, George of Antioch's lord, receiving the crown of Sicily from Jesus, and, on the northern side of the aisle, George himself, at the feet of the Virgin. The depiction of Roger was highly significant in terms of its iconography. In Western Christian tradition, kings were customarily crowned by the Pope or his representatives; however, Roger is shown in Byzantine dress being crowned by God himself.

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The Ceiling

Roger was renowned for presenting himself as an emperor during his reign, being addressed as basileus ("emperor" in Greek). The mosaic of the crowning of Roger carries an inscription in a blend of Latin and Greek (Rogerios Rex, the former word in Greek, the latter in Latin). The nave dome is occupied by the traditional Greek image of Christ Pantokrator surrounded by the archangels St Michael, St Gabriel, St Raphael and St Uriel. The register below depicts the eight prophets of the Old Testament and, in the pendentives, the four evangelists of the New Testament. The nave vault depicts the Nativity and the Death of the Virgin. The newer part of the church is decorated with later frescoes of comparatively little artistic significance. The frescoes in the middle part of the walls are from the 18th century, attributed to Guglielmo Borremans.

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The mosaics

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Old April 1st, 2009, 10:32 AM   #16
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The Palatine Chapel (Palermo, Sicily, Italy)

The Palatine Chapel (Italian: Cappella Palatina) is the royal chapel of the Norman kings of Sicily situated on the ground floor at the center of the Palazzo Reale in Palermo.

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History

The chapel was commissioned by Roger II of Sicily in 1132 to be built upon an older chapel (now the crypt) constructed around 1080. It took eight years to build and many more to decorate with mosaics and fine art. The sanctuary, dedicated to Saint Peter, is reminiscent of a domed basilica. It has three apses, as is usual in Byzantine architecture, with six pointed arches (three on each side of the central nave) resting on recycled classical columns. The mosaics of the Palatine Chapel are of unparalleled elegance as concerns elongated proportions and streaming draperies of figures. They are also noted for subtle modulations of colour and luminance. The oldest are probably those covering the ceiling, the drum, and the dome.

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The Nave

The shimmering mosaics of the transept, presumably dating from the 1140s and attributed to Byzantine artists, illustrate scenes from the Acts of the Apostles. Every composition is set within an ornamental frame, not dissimilar to that used in contemporaneous mosaic icons. The rest of mosaics, alternatively dated to the 1160s or the 1170s, is executed in a cruder manner and feature Latin (rather than Greek) inscriptions. Probably a work of local craftsmen, these pieces are more narrative and illustrative than transcendental. A few mosaics have a secular character and represent oriental flora and fauna. This may be the only substantial piece of secular Byzantine mosaic extant today.

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The Cupola

The chapel combines harmoniously a variety of styles: the Norman architecture and door decor, the Arabic arches and scripts adorning the roof, the Byzantine dome and mosaics. For instance, clusters of four eight-pointed stars, typical for Muslim design, are arranged on the ceiling so as to form a Christian cross. Other remarkable features of the chapel include the Carolingian throne, a low stage for royal receptions, and a balcony which allowed the king to view religious processions from above. In addition, the muqarnas ceiling is spectacular. The hundreds of facets were painted, notably with many purely ornamental vegetal and zoomorphic designs but also with scenes of daily life and many subjects that have not yet been explained. Stylistically influenced by Iraqi 'Abbasid art, these paintings are innovative in their more spatially aware representation of personages and of animals.

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The mosaics

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Old April 1st, 2009, 11:37 AM   #17
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Santa Maria della Vittoria (Rome, Italy)

Santa Maria della Vittoria (St. Mary of the Victory) is a small baroque Basilica church in Rome, on Via XX Settembre.

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History

The church was begun in 1605 as a chapel dedicated to Saint Paul for the Discalced Carmelites. After the Catholic victory at the battle of White Mountain in 1620, which reversed the Reformation in Bohemia, the church was rededicated to the Virgin Mary. (Turkish standards captured at the 1683 siege of Vienna hang in the church, as part of this victorious theme). The order itself funded the building work until the discovery in the excavations of the Borghese Hermaphroditus. Scipione Borghese appropriated this sculpture but in return (and to make up for his loss of influence due to the death of his uncle and patron) funded the rest of work on the facade and granted the order his architect Giovanni Battista Soria. These grants only came into effect in 1624 however, though work was completed two years later.

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The Nave and the Ceiling

Architectural

The church is the only structure designed and completed by the early Baroque architect Carlo Maderno, though the interior suffered a fire in 1833 and required restoration. Its fašade, however, was erected by Soria during Maderno's lifetime, 1624–1626, showing the unmistakable influence of Maderno's Santa Susanna nearby. Its interior has a single wide nave under a low segmental vault, with three interconnecting side chapels behind arches separated by colossal corinthian pilasters with gilded capitals that support an enriched entablature. Contrasting marble revetments are enriched with white and gilded stucco angels and putti in full relief. The interior was sequentially enriched after Maderno's death; its vault was frescoed in 1675 with triumphant themes within shaped compartments with feigned frames: The Virgin Mary Triumphing over Heresy and Fall of the Rebel Angels executed by Giovanni Domenico Cerrini.

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Bernini's Ecstasy of St. Teresa (Cornaro Chapel)

Sculptural

The masterpiece in the Cornaro Chapel, to the left of the altar, is Ecstasy of St. Teresa by Scipione's favored sculptor, Bernini. The statues depict a moment described by Saint Teresa of Avila in her autobiography, where she had the vivid vision of an angel piercing her heart with a golden shaft, causing her both immense joy and pain. The flowing robes and contorted posture abandon classical restraint and repose to depict a more passionate, almost voluptous trance. Other sculptural detail abounds: The Dream of Joseph (left transept, Domenico Guidi, flanked by relief panels by Pierre Etienne Monnot) and the funeral monument to Berlinghiero Cardinal Gessi. There are paintings by Guercino, Nicolas Lorrain, and Domenichino.

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The Nave (opposite side)

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Old April 1st, 2009, 05:43 PM   #18
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Brixen/Bressanone Cathedral (Bressanone, Italy)

Brixen (Italian: Bressanone) is a town in the province of Bolzano-Bozen in the Italian region Trentino-Alto Adige/SŘdtirol.

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The Cathedral

The Cathedral (10th century), was rebuilt in the 13th century and again in 1745-1754 along Baroque lines. The ceiling of the nave has a large fresco by Paul Troger portraying the Adoration of the Lamb.

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The baroque Nave

The Cloister

Cloister's frescos represent one of the highest examples of Tirolo's paintings. The first cloister was built around 1200 as part of the old cathedral complex with a direct access passageway to the main building. The small pillars in the colonnade originate from this first building phase and were embellished with frescoes, while the groined vault which is still visible was built around 1370. The ground plan of the cloister is almost square with a small, bright garden in the inner courtyard. The frescoes which decorate the cloister can now be admired once again in their entirety following years of restoration work. They originate from the early to late Gothic period (14th to 16th centuries) and were painted by various masters, illustrating for the most part passages in the Bible to enable even those who cannot read or write to understand them.

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The Cloister and the gothic frescoes

Various donors sponsored the painting of the individual arcades and the work was carried out by numerous artists. They included Jakob von Seckau, Ruprecht Potsch and Erasmus von Bruneck to name but a few of the most notable. A large number originate from the brush of the master Leonhard von Brixen and his school, for example the frescoes in the 14th and 15th arcades. They have been recently restored and depict scenes from the Old Testament as well as the "seven joys of Our Lady".The names of wealthy canons appear as donors, who often had themselves featured in the paintings.

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Detail of the Cloister decoration

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Last edited by Pincio; May 9th, 2009 at 06:32 PM.
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 10:54 AM   #19
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Duomo di Siena (Siena, Italy)

Siena's Cathedrale di Santa Maria, better known as the Duomo, is a gleaming marble treasury of Gothic art from the 13th and 14th centuries. Siena's Duomo was built between 1215 and 1263 and designed in part by Gothic master Nicola Pisano. His son, Giovanni, drew up the plans for the lower half of the facade, begun in 1285. The facade's upper half was added in the 14th century.

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Interior

The interior of Siena's Duomo is a rather dizzying sight, with its black-and-white striped pillars and ornate decoration on every surface. There is much to see throughout, including a number of important art masterpieces. The nave arcades, with rest on pillars with engaged columns of black and white marble, are very tall with round arches. There is no triforium. The walls of the clerestory have black-and-white stripes to match the pillars. Some of the nave capitals, which feature phytomorphic sculptures, are though to have been sculpted by Giovanni Pisano while he worked on the pulpit in the 1260s. The cornice that runs the length of the nave is decorated with busts of popes made in the workshop of Giovanni di Stefano beginning in 1495. Only four or five terracotta molds were used to make the busts, so many of them are identical. Below are 36 busts of Roman and Byzantine emperors from Constantine to Theodosius. The north transept is home to a bronze statue by Donatello of an emaciated St. John the Baptist, a companion piece to his Mary Magdalene in Florence. In the south transept is the Chigi Chapel, outside of which are paintings of St. Jerome and St. Mary Magdalene by Bernini. The Renaissance high altar is flanked by angels by Beccafumi.

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Interior

Marble Pavement

The celebrated pavement of Siena Cathedral features 59 etched and inlaid marble panels created from 1372 to 1547. The subjects include sibyls, scenes from Sienese history, and biblical scenes. Several important Sienese artists contributed to the project, including Domenico di Bartolo, Matteo di Giovanni, Pinturicchio, and especially Beccafumi, who designed 35 scenes from 1517 to 1547. The Hill of Virtue by Pinturicchio is the fourth scene from the back of the nave. The panels in the nave and aisles are usually on display (although roped off for protection) but the those in the transepts and apse are kept under protective cover, except from August 23 to October 3 during the Palio. Most of these are by Beccafumi. An important panel in the north transept is Matteo di Giovanni's Massacre of the Innocents (1481). The painter was worryingly preoccupied with this theme - his disturbing paintings can be seen in the Palazzo Pubblico and Santa Maria dei Servi.

Pisano Pulpit

A major highlight of the interior is the octagonal Gothic pulpit by Nicola Pisano (1265-68), assisted by his son Giovanni and others. It was created just a few years after Nicola's pulpit in the Pisa Baptistery (1260) and represents a further maturing of his artistic style. Four of the eight outer columns rest on lions, while the base of the central column is populated by the personified liberal arts. The seven marble panels depict the life of Christ in crowded scenes full of movement and life.

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The pulpit (on the left side) and the marble pavement

Piccolomini Library

About halfway down the nave on the left is the entrance to the Libreria Piccolomini, famed for its beautifully preserved Renaissance frescoes. The library was commissioned by Cardinal Francesco Piccolomini, Archbishop of Siena (later Pope Pius III), to honor the memory and book collection of his maternal uncle Enea (Aeneas) Piccolomini, who became Pope Pius II. The library was constructed in about 1492, inspired in part by the opening of the Vatican Library under Pope Sixtus IV in 1475. The ornate marble entrance in the north aisle of the cathedral was sculpted by Lorenzo di Mariano (a.k.a. Marrina). The lunettes bear the coats of arms of Cardinal Francesco and Pius II. Above the portal is a large fresco by Pinturicchio (1505) depicting the coronation of Pius III. The walls of the library are beautifully decorated with ten frescoes by Pinturicchio (1502-07) depicting the eventful life of Pope Pius II. A young Raphael may have been among the pupils who assisted. Each scene is labeled with a Latin inscription, taken from the pope's biography by the humanist writer Giovanni Antonio Campano. The story begins at the end of the room next to the right-hand window, then proceeds clockwise around the room. The impressive vault of the library, also painted by Pinturicchio (c.1502), is ornately decorated with grotesques, scenes from classical mythology, and a variety of putti, satyrs, nymphs and tritons. The three large squares in the center depict the Rape of Proserpine, the Piccolomini coat of arms, and Diana and Endymion. The walls are lined with display cases carved by Antonio Barili in 1495-96 and filled with an important collection of 30 richly illustrated Renaissance choir books from 1465 to 1515. In the center of the room is an elegant sculptural group of the Three Graces, an ancient Roman copy of a Hellenistic design bought in Rome in 1502 by Cardinal Todeschini to decorate the library. Frequently copied in the Renaissance era, it was used as a model by Pinturicchio, Raphael and Canova. The marble base was sculpted by Giovanni di Stefano.

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The Piccolominy Library

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Last edited by Pincio; May 9th, 2009 at 06:32 PM.
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 10:55 AM   #20
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Battistero di Siena (Siena, Italy)

Unlike Florence or Pisa, Siena did not build a separate baptistry. The baptistry is located underneath the eastern bays of the choir of the Duomo.

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The construction of the interior was largely performed under Camaino di Crescentino and was completed about 1325 [3]. It is rectangular in shape, divided in three aisles. The frescoes on the vaults were painted by Lorenzo di Pietro (also called "Vecchietta") between 1447 and 1450. They represent the Articles of Faith, Prophets and Sibyls. Unfortunately, these valuable frescoes were repainted at the end of the 19th c. He also painted two scenes on the wall of the apse: Flagellation and Road to Calvary. Lichele di Matteo da Bologna painted in 1477 the frescoes on the vault of the apse.

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Interior

Baptismal font at the baptistry.The hexagonal baptismal font with bas-reliefs and gilded brass figures by Donatello, Ghiberti, Jacopo della Quercia and other 15th-century sculptors is the greatest art treasure in the baptistry. The panels represent the Life of John the Baptist, and include:

"Annunciation to Zacharias by Jacopo della Quercia (1428-1429)
"Birth of John the Baptist by Giovanni di Turino (1427)
"Baptist Preaching" by Giovanni di Turino (1427)
"Baptism of Christ" by Ghiberti (1427)
"Arrest of John the Baptist" by Ghiberti and Giuliano di Ser Andrea
"Herod's Banquet" by Donatello (1427)

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The Ceiling

These panels are flanked on the corners by six figures, two by Donatello (Faith and Hope) in 1429; three by Giovanni di Turino ("Justice", "Charity" and "Providence", 1431); "Fortitude" is by Goro di Ser Neroccio (1431).

The marble shrine on the font was designed by Jacopo della Quercia between 1427 and 1429. The five Prophets in the niches and the marble statuette of John the Baptist at the top are equally by his hand. Two of the bronze angels are by Donatello, three by Giovanni di Turino (the sixth is by an unknown artist).

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Trittico: Madonna e Santi

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