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mail: Bill Thayer 
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The Oratory of S. Biagio


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Currently a dependency of the parish of S. Lorenzo, this chapel appears briefly in documents from 1430 to 1460 as the seat of a hospital. It is a small room, about the size of a pleasant dining-room, with a door onto the street, and not so very encouragingly, not one but two former "porte del morto", now glassed in. The charm of this minor edifice is entirely due to the quality and number of the frescoes that adorn it.

I'm particularly fond of S. Biagio because it was my introduction to Spello; but also because for many years I was an interpreter, and its patron (Blasius or Blaise) is also that of throat diseases — and thus, by extension, of interpreters.

Its façade is certainly simple enough.

[image ALT: a wall with some medieval paintings]
	
[image ALT: another wall with some medieval paintings]

The 2 overlapping clickmaps above cover pretty much the whole inside of the chapel (the St. Michael in the right corner is particularly beautiful and interesting) except for this fragmentary fresco of St. Francis receiving the stigmata, by an unknown painter of the school of Foligno, on the N wall, i.e., to the left of the first view above:


[image ALT: St. Francis]

Now Assisi is only 8 km N of Spello, so St. Francis lived most of his life very close to here; and Foligno is the next town S by about five more kilometers: on the other hand this was painted in the late 14c or even the early 15c, nearly 200 years after Francis died, so it is at best at the very limits of living memory, unlike the Cimabue portrait in the Basilica of Assisi. 
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Page updated: 13 Aug 12