In spite of the impression given by its proudly medieval aspect, Spello
also been influenced by the Renaissance period. In 1500 it treated itself to
the luxury of accommodating one of the protagonists of the movement that was
intended to set new standards for the graphic art in Italy. Bernardino di
, better known as ''Pinturicchio
'', was born in 1454 at Perugia
and he had practically next-door an excellent master, Pietro Vannucci
, under whose direction flourished also the best
representative of renaissance painting, Raphael
. The master took
Pinturicchio to Rome
, where he wanted him to help to decorate the Sistine
, and in the frescoes "The Baptism of Christ''
in particular he relied very much on the help of his pupil.
This experience was very important for Pinturicchio and in the meantime he also
learned to know and to admire the works of Botticelli
The presence of the Tuscan masters stirred him into action and enriched him so
that he soon attracted the attention of the sought-after Roman circle, where he
could get many work orders, amongst which was also the decoration of the ''flat
of the Borgia pope Alexander the Sixth''
in the Vatican
. Right after
that arrived the call that led him to Spello. Around 1500 Troilo Baglioni
the prior of Santa Maria Maggiore
, commissioned him to decorate with
frescoes the "beautiful chapel'', which
should become famous under the name ''Cappella Bella
'' and is situated at
the left wall of the nave of Santa Maria Maggiore. In the Cappella Baglioni
as it is also called, one can admire figures full of gracefulness, highly
imaginative landscape backgrounds, a precisely working sense for space and a
perspective order, that are equal in every way to those in his master's works.
On the left chapel wall is the fresco ''The
, where the figures seem to move in an idealized
architectonical space. On the right wall one can see the self-portrait of the
artist in a frame.
On the middle wall is to be seen one of the most mature works of the artist,
, where Pinturicchio has inserted late Gothic motifs in
the Renaissance structure. The scene is carried out in a precise and
harmonically perspective depiction, while on the background one can just see
The right wall is occupied by ''Christ among the scribes''
, a fresco that
takes up again the traditional Renaissance motifs and portrays several figures
crowding the foreground scene and a Raphaelesque, temple-like building in the
background. The first figure at the left margin of the painting is the customer
of the work, Troilo Baglioni, dressed in black and portrayed with a gaunt face.
In order to complete the tour in the Cappella Bella
we want to mention
the four Sibylls painted in the spandrels of the cross vault.
In Spello's Cappella Baglioni Pinturicchio shows all his skills and reveals his
personal, lively and imaginative view of the Renaissance.
The Towers of Spello
is rich in medieval landscapes, and even if each introduces peculiar features,
Spello is surely one of its more precious jewels and admired. Seen by the
Spello: The Villa Fidelia
It is a sightseeing place which dates back
to the 16th
century when the ground on the rests of an antique Roman
sanctuary was terraced and planted with olive tr...
The ''Infiorate'' of Spello
Every year in June the streets of Spello
shimmer with all colours of the rainbow, a spectacle due to the work of artists
who have made over the time a real art of the ...
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