Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Glories of Luca Signorelli in Orvieto

So many pictures today!  These are from our first daylight look at this lovely town and include a brief look inside the Duomo.  As these will be only a fraction of the ones I took, to me the number is negligible so hold on to your hats.

Yesterday I posted the medieval (mid 1300's) clock tower in the Piazza Del Duomo (Cathedral Plaza) but neglected to explain what it was.  I'll try to explain more fully as I go along - or at least when I can.  Below is the medieval Palazzo Del Capitano Del Popolo in the Piazza Del Popolo.  Basically the mayor's official residence and place of business in the People's Plaza.  We discovered the triumphal staircase that took us up to a lovely walkway about two floors up.  From there we could look down on the market taking place in the piazza below.  This building as I discovered from the book we bought was made completely from "tufa", a volcanic stone found all over this area.  It's a gorgeous color.

Here's a view of the elaborate architecture - the Romanesque arches over the windows.  It was a magnificent building, but someone had a sense of whimsy.

Here's what I mean.  I'm not exactly sure what the function of this super dragon was, but it didn't matter to me.  I fell in love.  He's such a delight, isn't he?  Oh, by the way, if you check out the background, you'll see the tents I mentioned in the market place below.

From my new vantage point, I was able to see the tents below that covered the merchants and their wares but was also able to see the Torre Del Moro and its clock and bells beyond a gorgeous salmon tinted building and another handsomely weathered building.

Doorways and windows.  I told you they are a weakness.  Look at this window.  The arch and the simplicity of the window itself attracted me first, but as I looked through the lens of my camera, I saw the fading paintings.  It's a keeper.

On a totally different note, I couldn't resist this cat waiting for its morning latte.

Then the Duomo was finally open.  Even on the inside the black and white (white marble and travertine) was evident. The windows were like light through amber or honey, warm and delicious.  The bottom is translucent alabaster (gasp!) and the upper stained glass.

Organ pipes - very ornate housing! Suitable for one of the largest organs (over 5000 pipes) in Italy, I guess.  Only wish we could have heard it.

And now the stunning frescoes of Luca Signorelli.  Don't forget to click on the photo so you can get a larger view it.  The first one is Deeds of the Antichrist (who is in the red robes with the Devil whispering in his ears. Signorelli is the man in black on the left and Fra Angelico (the painter who started painting in the Duomo 50 years before.  It seems to me that at that time, artists were more open about acknowledging those who went before, those who opened the path to knowledge.  Signorelli was letting the world know what he owed Fra Angelico.  It's a lesson I hope I have learned.

A close-up of the above fresco.  

Signorelli's work again.  A poet? dramatist? the laurel leaves support such an idea.

Signorelli himself looking up at his work?

Two fantastical creatures.  Just beautiful, beautiful work, but I don'tknow who did the work.

Designs created by ???

The vault above the Signorelli frescoes.  This work was begun by Fra Angelico and completed by Signorelli.

There was so much more to see.  I think we'd have had to spend months in the Duomo to adequately see everything it had to offer.  Maybe I'll have to go back again.

1 comment:

  1. All I can think of is that there is so much real art in Italy. Seems like it is everywhere! It's beautiful, all of it.