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San Brizio: the Interior

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The little bits of plaster on the floor are from the Umbrian earthquake of 1997; but the main damage was structural.

It is not surprising, in an age before calculus, that medieval architects often had more luck than engineering competence, and churches do often tend to bow outwards, as here: look closely at the pillars, especially the one in the rear on the right.

The frequent seismic shocks for which Umbria is famous aggravate any structural problems with these churches. At any rate, this massive stone church, with its tall belfry (see photo on the homepage) is now seriously in need of structural inspection and repair, and is competing for a fixed pool of funds with hundreds of other Umbrian monuments also damaged in the 1997 earthquake.

The raised choir is separated from the nave by a triumphal arch lightened by a double lancet recalling the one on the façade; above the arch, a painted inscription dated 1541, in very poor shape, records the restoration of the pavement.

This pavement itself, in addition to being quite attractive, is most unusual: the only example I know of cosmatesque work in brick.

Over the entrance door, a large 17c oil painting, unattributed, of the Madonna and Child between St. Dominic and St. Catherine, from the seat of the confraternity of the Rosary.

I'm still busy trying to track down whence the influx of cash in 1541. All of a sudden, someone had the money to add the beautiful Renaissance door, to restore, repair and restore; much what is needed today.

Detailed pages below:

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The crypt zzz
[ 5/2/98: 1 page, 4 photos ]

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The frescoes date for the most part to the 15c, and are, as might be expected, of the school of Spoleto (only twelve kilometers away)
[ 5/2/98: 2 pages, 6 photos ]

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Renaissance tabernacle and baptismal font: zzz
[ 5/2/98: 1 page, 1 photo ]

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Page updated: 28 Jun 05