Santa Maria in Valle Church

Santa Maria in Valle Church
Santa Maria in Valle Church
Anonim

This ancient church in Italy is also known as the Tempietto de Cividale, the city where it is located. It is an oratory that was included in a female monastery. That is to say, a pavilion for the exclusive use of the nuns of that community, who congregated to pray in this room with a perfectly square floor plan, and in which there is a tripartite choir. By the way, two elements and domains completely separated from each other by a closure.

Santa Maria in Valle

Santa Maria in Valle

Of all the construction, all art historians agree that the most interesting is on the back of the façade. That is to say, in its internal part and on the access door to the oratory.

There are six large sculptures of as many saints, distributed half and half on each side of the central window. Of those six saints, three of them wear a crown, while the other three wear simpler monastic clothing.

They are sculptures larger than the human scale, and curiously they are very elongated shapes, to occupy the entire vertical between the two horizontal decorative strips that enclose them from above and below. On the other hand, you can also see that they are completely rigid figures, devoid of any expression and therefore of life.

However, the factor that makes them interestingthese works is their great volume, or rather relief, since in reality they are not round sculptures, but very high reliefs attached to the wall. And in fact, that great volume can also be seen both in the two stripes with geometric motifs that we have said frame the saints, as well as in the curved form based on vine shoots and plant forms that follows the semicircular path of both the tympanum of the door, as of the arch of the window.

That great relief in the whole set is what causes contrasting effects of light and shadow. And of course it is more than remarkable that all this has been preserved taking into account that these are volumes that are not carved in stone, but are forms modeled in stucco. A much weaker material that can be more easily affected by damp conditions or small seismic movements.

Reading these lines, you can see that we have not yet provided a specific date, neither for the church nor for the figures. And there is no conclusive data in this regard. The only evidence that points to a date is the traces of paint that have been preserved in certain parts of the stucco, according to which dates are thought to be close to the Carolingian period. But ultimately, it is an enigma that has not yet been resolved with complete certainty, although in any case we are dealing with a work of architecture and pre-Romanesque sculpture.

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