[image ALT: Much of my site will be useless to you if you've got the images turned off!]
mail: Bill Thayer 
[image ALT: Cliccare qui per una pagina di aiuto in Italiano.]

[Link to a series of help pages]
[Link to the next level up]
[Link to my homepage]

The Church of Niccone

S. Maria del Carmelo

[image ALT: A small 2‑story concrete church, with two large rectangular windows so placed as to turn the façade into a large cross. It is the church of Niccone near Umbertide, Umbria (central Italy).]

The church, which looks like it was built in the 1930s, sits a few hundred meters out of town. The annex to the left, in the shade behind the flowering mimosa, is I Samaritani's lending library — see also my diary (Mar. 21, 2004).

[image ALT: A hall with wooden pews and a central aisle leading to an altar under an archway. It is the interior of the church of S. Maria del Carmelo in Niccone, Umbria (central Italy).]

[image ALT: An oil painting depicting the Virgin Mary with a rainbow halo, seated on the clouds, with the Baby Jesus standing on her left knee. They are surrounded by cherubs. Below, on the viewer's left, a man in a cloak points up to her, and on the right, a priest wearing a dalmatic and a cape looks heavenward. It is a painting of the Mother and Child with SS. John the Baptist and Albert of Jerusalem, in the church of S. Maria del Carmelo in Niccone, Umbria (central Italy).]

The inscription over the arch, Mater et Decor Carmeli, is the motto from the coat of arms of the Carmelite Order, in which the Virgin herself speaks: "I am the Mother and the Splendor of Carmel". In the 17c painting on the right, depicting Mary Queen of Heaven, the ascent of Mt. Carmel is framed by St. John the Baptist and a holy bishop, very likely Bl. Albert of Jerusalem, author of the Carmelite rule (for details, see the Catholic Encyclopedia article), venerated as a saint by that order.

[image ALT: A fresco depicting Christ ascending into heaven, against a backdrop of a mountain partly veiled in clouds, with a group of about 25 people looking up at the scene. It is a painting in the apse of the church of S. Maria del Carmelo in Niccone, Umbria (central Italy), with its belfry.]

Mid‑20c fresco by Settimio Rometti. The Lord's Ascension is yet another Carmelite theme, connecting with the Ascent of Mount Carmel; and in this treatment, it has many of the elements associated with the Transfiguration on Mt. Tabor — in which the Gospels record the presence also of the transfigured Moses and Elias — the latter said to be the founder of the Carmelites.

[image ALT: Valid HTML 4.01.]

Page updated: 11 Aug 05