Delight: in a tiny perfect city in an unfashionable part of Italy, there is a treasure that transports us back to the early Renaissance, an unattainable world, yet inhabited by people we know.
But the rough walls (and curious opening hours) contain a most unexpected and precious marvel. In the early Renaissance, the diocese asked Andrea Delitio to paint the Life of the Virgin over the choir. Even now, it is awe-inspiring and extremely moving, but to the late fifteenth century largely illiterate congregation, it must have seemed miraculous -- the Gospels brought to life, with they themselves as actors in the stories. Little-known Delitio has been written down by art historians as a late Gothic provincial master. Yet his people are real individuals who look at us over six hundred years with every nuance of character, from grace and dignity to stupidity and concentrated evil. The proto-Renaissance spaces in which they are portrayed extend the Gothic volumes of the cathedral into a magic world that is completely unattainable -- though it has a modern counterpart in the square outside.
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|Publication:||The Architectural Review|
|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||Apr 1, 2003|
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