Church of Sant’Eufemia in Vello


The small village of Vello develops following the natural course of the lake coast North of the town of Marone. The area was owned by the bishop, then passed under the jurisdiction of the monastery of Sant’Eufemia di Brescia. The Chiesa dei Morti located further South, with an adjoining cemetery, served as a parish church until the title passed to the new church of Sant’Eufemia. The artwork can be traced back to the work of Don Ringhini: the works began in 1699 and are to be considered completed before 1716.

The building is preceded by a staircase that leads to a small churchyard; the simple facade is marked by a double order of pilasters with a tympanum at the top and by four niches with plaster statues. The portal and the access steps are in Sarnico stone. There is a quadrangular base bell tower.

The interior has a single hall covered by a dome and ending with a semicircular apse: the side arches welcome the two minor altars. The main altar was probably transferred from the Chiesa dei Morti: the frontal is formed by a central mirror with a double black frame alternating with variegated red marble and ocher marble; the black of comparison dominates everything; two pilasters with a bust of angels in white marble with some affinity in the manner of the Carra are inserted as a shelf. The canteen and the frame can be traced back to the 17th Century.

The altarpiece is a canvas by Ottavio Amigoni, signed and dated 1642, depicting the Madonna and Child with Saints Eufemia and Francesco. The well-made work is mentioned in the manuscript of the Brescia painter Francesco Paglia as a “very delicate composition by Ottavio Amigoni”. The painting presents refined strokes of light closer to Central Italian culture than to Brescia: you can see the floral decorations on the damask mantle of a pale orange of Saint Euphemia as well as the pink of the clothes touched by light effects similar to the ways of Federico Barocci, that Amigoni perhaps had the opportunity to appreciate in a painting in the Duomo of Milan.

The door of the case of the holy oils is a valuable composition with the holy martyrs in glory by Pompeo Ghitti from the old parish church. The painting is placed in a marble frame with raceme decorations culminating in two palms enclosed in a crown, symbol of martyrdom; the sacrifice is also remembered by the two palm-holding angels in the lunette. The work can be compared to the Triumph of Christ among martyrs in the church of Sant’Apollonio di Lumezzane.

Also in Sant’Eufemia we note the intense activity of Domenico Voltolini: the Isean painter is attributed The martyrdom of Sant’Eufemia, frescoed in the small dome and similar in layout to the Assumption of Mary in the old church of Sale, the Mysteries of the Rosary, the altarpiece depicting the Virgin with Child, Saint Euphemia and the Souls in Purgatory and the canvas with Saints Anthony of Padua, Filippo, Lucia, Fermo and a holy bishop.

In the rectory there is a small canvas with the Baptism of Christ by Pompeo Ghitti; this work also comes from the Chiesa dei Morti.

Federico Troletti

Iniziativa realizzata nell’ambito del bando Wonderfood & Wine di Regione Lombardia e Unioncamere Lombardia per la promozione di Sapore inLOMBARDIA

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