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Blackened Ceilings, Hooded Figures:
A Church in Restoration

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For many years, thru the middle of the 20c, a space of six rooms, partly under the 15c church of S. Francesco, partly under an adjacent building, was a boilermaker's workshop; semi-abandonment set in and by the 1980s, part of the space was being used as a chicken coop.

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The first three rooms still remain to be restored. The suggestion has been put forth that some small part of the ceiling should stay as it is, blackened with the soot of boilermaking, as a witness to the building's history; but what if frescoes are found here too?

Now there are thousands of churches in central Italy, and thousands with frescoes like these:

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A closer view of the Annunciation under the arch in the first photo above. Late 14c and very awkward: that tiny thing on a rod poking up out of the Virgin's table is a lectern!

Or these from the next room (behind us):

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SS. Juliana and Barbara, each captioned as a virgin and martyr.

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[ 3 pages, 15 photos ]

These are all just prelude, however. Recently found and even more recently restored, a long rectangular room with frescoes of much higher quality, some of them outstanding works of art; very likely an oratory.

In turn, that 6th room explains this small fragment of monochrome fresco in the 5th, depicting two hooded penitents with small whips. They're easily over­looked, but from a historical standpoint it's the most important patch of paint in the building.

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Page updated: 10 Jul 04