«Or Te prego dolze Cristo»
Crocifissi e Compianti nell’arte bresciana del Medioevo e del primo Rinascimento
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This study was inspired by a frescoed lauda in the former church attached to the S. Maddalena Hospital in Bergamo, set beneath a Christ in pietà. The association of this lauda with the granting of indulgences prompts an enquiry into late medieval contemplation of images of the Passion, which aroused the faithful’s empathy and identification with the sufferings of the Redeemer. The enquiry also focuses on the relation arising between painted or sculpted figures and sacred representations, which enable the beholder to maintain the memory of the event constantly present. In Lombardy, Depositions and Laments seem to have been dominated by a figurative and historicalnarrative dimension, as documented by the late XIIIth and early XIVth century frescoes in S. Giorgio at Almenno San Salvatore and the Lament dating from the first half of the XIVth century in S. Francesco a Brescia. The painted crucifix in the same church, characterised by the realistic physicality of Christ, can be correlated with the wooden Crucifixes preserved in other local churches and dating above all from the fifteenth century. Particular mention is made of those held in the Cathedral of Salò, and of S. Maria del Carmine and S. Giovanni Evangelista in Brescia. With regard to the Laments, in which a more explicit affective and theatrical component can be discerned, attention is directed to the important examples of Carmine and Bagnolo Mella in the district of Brescia, examined here together with those now held in the provinces of Mantua, at Medole and Canneto sull’Oglio.
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