New Earthquake Strikes Umbria, Italy: Church of San Benedetto da Norcia Collapses [GALLERY]

© Perceval Archeostoria – Minima Medievalia. All rights reserved.

A  powerful 6.5-magnitude earthquake striked central Italy on Sunday morning,  the strongest tremor to hit the country since 1980. Numerous buildings have collapsed, among them the ancient basilica of San Benedetto in Norcia, Umbria.

Only a few days ago another devastating tremor completely destroyed the medieval church of San Salvatore di Campi di Norcia [PHOTOS AND ARTICLE HERE].

The current monastery was physically located above the 5th century ruins of the house of St. Benedict and his twin sister St. Scholastica, and has been the location of monastic communities since the tenth century AD.

The façade, the side portal and the lower bell tower dated from the late 14th century, and is the only part of the church that survived collapse. In 1570 a portico (Portico delle Misure) was added to the right side, by will of the commune and the ecclesiastical authorities, to act as covered cereals market, this also collapsed. On the side, near the transept, was a spur with a niche housing a Madonna with Child from a local, late-Gothic painter.

The basilica had a Latin cross plan, with a single nave. The apse and the internal dome at the transept dated from the 18th century reconstruction only the 14th-century triumphal arch, restored in the 1950s, remained from the original Gothic nave.

Below are some dramatic images of the church as it was before the quake and now, after collapse. (further updates coming up)

Foto: Norcia.net , Twitter et alii.

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Prado Museum announces first Exhibition on Master Mateo and his Work for the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

The Museo del Prado in Madrid, Spain is collaborating with the Real Academia Gallega de Bellas Artes and the Fundación Catedral de Santiago to present an exhibition on Master Mateo and his work for the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. The exposition  “Master Mateo” will be running in Prado starting on November 29 to March 26, 2017.

For the first time, a selection of sculptures, normally housed in the Cathedral in Santiago outside the Porch of Glory  and in various other institutions and collections, brings together works by this artist that were part of now lost groups or from parts of the cathedral that no longer exist, such as its medieval façade and the stone choir that occupied the nave.

Master Mateo (c. 1150 – c. 1200 or c. 1217) was a sculptor and architect who worked in medieval Christian kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula during the second half of the twelfth century. He is best known now for the Pórtico de la Gloria of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. He was also responsible for the stone choir of the cathedral in 1200, later torn down in 1603.

The earliest information about the artist is from an 1168 document in the archives of the cathedral of Santiago, which says that the Master was already working on the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, for which he received a large sum of money from King Ferdinand II of León. Very little information remains about his early training, but everything seems to imply that he already had a long career behind him all along the Way of Santiago, especially in the French sections.

The natural sized sculptures highlights of the upcoming exposition are divided between public and private institutions: two of which can be found at the Pontevedra Provincial Museum, a further two at the Cathedral Foundation and another three are in the hands of private collectors. These pieces include David and Salomon, which can be seen on the Obradoiro façade; Abraham and Isaac, from a private collection; and Enoch and Elijah housed in the Pontevedra Museum, dating from 1188 and 1211.

Info: Museo del Prado website

Earthquake Strikes Central Italy, Medieval Church with Renaissance Frescoes Collapses – GALLERY

© Perceval Archeostoria – Minima Medievalia. All rights reserved.

A new earthquake strikes Central Italy. On Wednesday, October 26th 2016, some minutes after  7pm, two tremors reported  5.5 and 6.1 magnitude caused major damages and building collapses in Umbria ad Marche, but luckily no victims.

The beautiful medieval church of St. Salvatore di Campi di Norcia,  Umbria, almost completely collapsed. Below are some dramatic images of the church, before and after the strikes.

The epicentres were near the village of Visso, located on the edge of the region of Marche close to the border with Umbria. Visso is just 70 kilometres (45 miles) from Amatrice, striked by a powerful earthquake last August,  and also not far from L’Aquila where another tremendous event killed more than 300 in 2009.

Photos: : La Valernina.it et alii (from the Web).

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“The Merovingian Age”, stunning exposition opening at the Cluny Museum in Paris

les-temps-merovingiens_xlPARIS – Reflecting Roman influences and distinguished by unprecedented forms of power, the start of the Middle Ages is marked by the development of original forms of expression which have often been overlooked. The exhibition The Merovingian Age, which will be shown at the Cluny Museum in Paris, France,  from October 26th 2016 to February 13th 2017 offers a lavish panorama of the artistic and intellectual productivity of this period of three centuries, beginning with the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains in 451 and culminating with the deposition of the last of the «Kings who did nothing» in 751.

More than 150 objects, sculptures, illuminated manuscripts, works of gold and silversmiths, coins, textiles and even charters have been brought together thanks to a partnership with the National Library of France. Many masterpieces from the Cabinet des Médailles are on show, including the remains of the treasure of King Childeric, the treasure of Gourdon and the famous throne of Dagobert. The Frankish kingdom was one of a multitude of new kingdoms loyal to an enduring imperial ideal inspired by Rome but influenced by Germanic and Anglo-Saxon practices.

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The spread of Christianity led to the development of new beliefs : the cult of relics, at the same time as some pagan traditions were incorporated into the liturgical rituals which emerged during this period. This profound originality reveals itself in the artistic production of the Merovingians, and in the wealth of materials and colors that are astonishing even today. The diversity of written forms demonstrates the intellectual expansion which enlivens monastic and episcopal centers, the creative sources where an erudite culture developed. Works of art such as the chasuble of Queen Bathilde, coins, or the charters of Frankish kings attest to the complexity of expressions of power, combining a classical heritage with innovative forms. Manuscripts of the VIIth and VIIIth centuries coming notably from the department of Manuscripts of the National Library of France, the libraries of Laon and Autun, the National Library of Russia, the Vatican Library, and the National Archives of France, are placed in a new dialogue with the collections of the Cluny Museum and the loans from the National Museum of Archaeology at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, the British Museum; the Museum of the art and history of the Jura at Delemont, and the Museum Alfred-Bonno at Chelles.


Info

Musée de Cluny – National Museum of the Middle Ages
6, place Paul Painlevé 75005 Paris
T. + 33 (0)1 53 73 78 16
musee-moyenage.fr

Days and hours of opening
Every day except Tuesday, from 9:15 am to 5:45 pm. Desk closes at 5:15 pm. Closed 1st January, 1st May and 25th December

Fac-simile editions & manuscript digitization project launched in Guarneriana, Italy

guarnerianaOne of the oldest and most beautiful surviving copies of Dante’s “Inferno” is preserved in Italy in San Daniele del Friuli, near Udine. It is part of the astonishing collection of over 12,000 manuscripts  owned by the Biblioteca Guarneriana, one of Europe’s most ancient public libraries, founded in 1466 by scholar ad humanist  Guarnerio d’Artegna.

The manuscript – catalogued  as “ms. Fontaniano 200” – was copied in the XIVth century. It is fully illustrated  with high quality miniatures, and containes two commentaries of Dante Alighieri’s masterpiece: one, written in Latin,  by Graziolo de’ Bambaglioli, the other composed in Italian “volgare” between 1324 and 1334 by an anonymous but very intriguing author.

Guarneriana’s Codex 200 has been studied by several scholars and is now available in a very accurate fac-simile edition by Italian publisher Roberto Vattori which will be presented,  together with two important fac-simile editions of Longobard manuscripts  by  Capsa Ars Scriptoria (Codice Cividalese XXVIII, Paolus Diaconus’s “Historia Langobardorum”, and Codex Cavensis 4, “Leges Langobardorum), during the  “MEDIOEVALIA: Medioevo e Medioevi in Guarneriana”  Conference on October 22, 2016.

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Guarneriana has also launched the brand new manuscript digitization project “TECA DIGITALE”, which gives full online access to 13 of the most important codices  which are part of the collection: among them, Ms. Fontaniniano 200, Peter Lombard’s Liber Sententiarum (ms 42 ), the “Bizantine Bible” (ms 3), Augustin’s De Civitate Dei (ms 8), Brunetto Latini’s Tresor (ms 238), Cicero’s Orationes (ms 59), and works by Seneca (ms 7).

Info: www.guarneriana.it, info@guarneriana.it

GALLERY

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The invention of the Bayeux Tapestry: an International Colloquium at the Bayeux Museum

BAYEUX (FRANCE) – The 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings (1066) marks an excellent occasion to reconsider the so-called “Tapisserie de Bayeux” not only for its historical value, which is already well known by scholars, but by highliting its artistic importance, far from being fully explored. An international Colloquium (“L’invention de la Tapisserie de Bayeux : NAISSANCE, COMPOSITION ET STYLE D’UN CHEF-D’OEUVRE MEDIEVAL”) will be held in Bayeaux from 22 to 25 September at the Bayeux Museum. Papers and talks will be presented by 23 scholars and researchers  working in different countries (France, Germany, Belgium, Great Britain, Canada and United States) who will share knowledge and experiences from different disciplines and fields of study (textiles, history of Arts, archaeology, latin language, etc.).

Access is free. Lectures are in French only. Complete programme (also in French language) is available at this link.

DU 22 AU 25 SEPTEMBRE 2016
Direction : Cécile Binet, Pierre Bouet, Shirley Ann Brown, Sylvette Lemagnen, François Neveux, Gale Owen-Crocker

For more info, please visit the official Museum Website: http://www.bayeuxmuseum.com/colloque_international_tapisser…

MADRID / BNE announces exhibit on the Beatus “Commentary on the Apocalypse” corpus this autumn

#MADRID / BNE announces exhibit on the Beatus “Commentary on the Apocalypse” corpus this autumn
#medieval #manuscripts @bne @BNE_museo @BNE_directora  

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Beatus by Facundus, f°43v (Wikipedia),

MADRID [©EP- Minima Medievalia/Perceval Archeostoria] – The BNE, Biblioteca Nacional de España, has announced a special exhibition dedicated to Beatus of Liébana’s Commentary on the Apocalypse to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the great exposition that reunited for the first time a great number of codices of the so-called “Beatus”. The exposition,  Beato. El misterio de los siete sellos (Beatus. The mystery of the Seven Seals), will be hosted by the BNE this autumn beginning on September 23rd and proposes to unlock all secrets of the most well known Commentary on John’s Book of Revelation.
Written in the eighth century by the Spanish monk and theologian Beatus of Liébana, the book is world famous for its splendid and icastic illuminated miniatures, which can be seen in  26 surviving copies decorated between the 10th and the 11th century. The illuminated versions represent the best known works of Mozarabic art, and had great  influence on the medieval art of the rest of Europe.

VISIONS OF A JUDGEMENT – As reported on the World Digital Library, “around the year 776, a monk by the name of Beato or Beatus, possibly the abbot of the monastery of Santo Toribio de Liébana, wrote a work entitled Comentarios al Apocalipsis (Commentary on the apocalypse), which had an extraordinary success in the following five centuries. Thanks to his great erudition, Beato combined in this text, as a summa, many commentaries on the topic of the apocalypse by such authors as Saint Irenaeus of Lyon, Saint Gregory the Great, Saint Isidore of Seville, and the 4th-century scholar Ticonius. The genre of apocalyptic literature appeared in the Jewish tradition in the second century BC and had never ceased to be practiced. Obsessed like his contemporaries with the imminent coming of the end of the world, which, according to the calculations of the six ages was to take place in the year 800 (838 in the Spanish era), Beato wrote this work for the edification of his monks. He emphasized that, after the final terrifying catastrophes announced by Saint John the Evangelist, good would triumph over evil”.
The original codex most likely was illuminated but unfortunately has not been preserved. Only 35 manuscript copies dating from the 9th century to the 13th century have survived. By semantic extension, these manuscripts are called beato, and 26 of them are illuminated while some others are only fragments. Two are preserved at the BNE, the National Library of Spain.
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Beatus by Facundus, f°233v (Wikipedia)

EXPO & WEBSITE – The BNE exposition will mainly feature the most iconic manuscript of the corpus, the so called “Facundus” –  Codex Vitr/14/2 -, commissioned in 1047 by King Fernando I of León and Castille and Queen Sancha, and possibly done by a monk or scribe named Facundo in San Isidoro de León. Its 98 miniatures, endowed with amazing expressiveness, are distributed mostly on colorful horizontal stripes in a unique and unmistakable style that blends the Romanesque with various Mozarab and North African influences. Prominent among them are the Four Horsemen, the vision of celestial Jerusalem, the seven-headed snake, and the destruction of Babylon. The manuscript, owned by the Marquis of Mondéjar in the late 17th century, was confiscated with the rest of his library by Philip V during the War of the Spanish Succession.

The BNE has also announced the creation of a website entirely dedicated to the  corpus of manuscripts. The series of the Beatus codexes have been included in the Unesco Memory of the World Register in 2015.

©Elena Percivaldi / Perceval Archeostoria.
Italian version by same Author, linked by permission.