Passions & Places

Trittico di Domo

One of the treasures of the diffused theatre
Il Trittico di San Paterniano – Domo

Domo, is not just a village, it is a castle. It is completely enclosed by the city walls. The entrance was anciently allowed only through two city gates. Narrow, characteristic roads trim the whole village. A nineteenth century church, Madonna del Rosario, opens on the regular city square.

Chiesa di San Paterniano, located in the South side of the city walls, is remarkable for its artistic and historic importance.

The Cathedral of Domo has always been the main church of the castle. It was built in 1200. It underwent some alterations almost immediately. The roof was in fact vaulted and raised of some metres in 1450. A crypt (2metres high) was obtained and the roof was decorated with beautiful frescoes. They embellished the chancel and the ancient walls.

The raised church was provided of a new entrance from the square. The portal, influenced by the Renaissance Art, dates back to1473. The cusp above is instead in late-gothic style. The chancel, looking East was moved at the bottom of the Church (West side) after a terrible earthquake in 1741. It was covered by a dome shaped roof in typical eighteenth century style. Attics were taken away and beautiful frescoes were brought back to light in occasion of the restoring works.  

The 1473 portal is remarkable. Two side columns sustain the beam that is carved with wreaths containing the Camaldolese coat of arms and the figure of San Paterniano bishop and Pope Niccolo V with the usual crossed keys.

The inside is in Renaissance style with an only nave roofed in trusses. It is frescoed with votive imagines dating back to XV-XVII century. The most ancient frescoes in the church date back to 1300.

The frescoes that decorate the chancel are slightly odd as far as the theological meaning and iconography are concerned. The artist, or artists, have anyway stressed the Holy Mary symbols and the ones referring to the popular and rural  world.

The Saints portrayed are numberless: Sant’Antonio and San Rocco, San Paterniano, Madonna Del Soccorso. The chancel is decorated with a large scene of crucified Christ surrounded by the Virgin, San Giovanni, Maddalena and Arcangelo San Michele.  

Trittico di San Paterniano is the most important masterpiece kept in the church. It is better known as Trittico del Maestro di Domo (after the name of the supposed author of the triptych). It is composed of three wood panels. The central board represents Madonna di Loreto con Bambino, on the left panel San Paterniano Vescovo and on the right one Santa Lucia are portrayed. On the four half-moon shaped wood panels above there are the portraits of God, Madonna col Bambino, Arcangelo Gabriele and Vergine Annunziata. The triptych is said to have been made by “Maestro di Domo” and dates back to 1470-1480.

The triptych is characterized by a strong influence from Gentile da Fabriano. The similarity to Gentile da Fabriano’s art can be easily detected in the face of the Madonna. The figure of San Paterniano reminds the Works by Maestro di Staffolo

The late-gothic style is betrayed by the long lines (see the fingers of the figures), by the excessive brocades and in the flourishing vegetation in the background.

Fotografia: Alessio Brocanelli

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