Shrine of Madonna della Rota

The Shrine of the Madonna della Rota is located at a height of 600 m above sea level surrounded by lawn and woods; the dedication is to the Assumption. The locality is called “Corna Rotta”, hence the name of the sanctuary, and is located near the road that leads to Croce di Marone.

The first building nucleus is perhaps to be dated to the 15th Century; there were then various additions in the following Century; the bell tower was raised in 1782. The data is already evident by looking at the unusual facade which seems to consist of two joined churches. There are two entrance portals: above the one on the left there is a round arch and a round window; the lunette of the right portal has a pointed arch. The right facade is entirely frescoed: tradition has it that the images are by the painter Giovanni da Marone and made in the 1400s. Some details, such as the body of the crucified Christ and the Virgin of the Nativity (in the lunette) seem to indicate a dating back to the fifteenth century; others, such as the elongated bodies of the Annunciation and Saints Peter and Paul, seem, on the other hand, to correspond to a culture of the early 1500s. It is also probable that these latter subjects have been repainted: see the faded mantle of the Madonna announced and the body of St. Paul on the right, whose sword has completely deteriorated. To the right of the portal is the small panel with the Blessed Simonino da Trento who was read by critics as Christ.

The interior has a single nave, covered with exposed beams resting on full center arches; the presbytery has a rectangular base. The main altar is a discreet 18th Century work in black marble with polychrome inserts; the niche in the frontal is occupied by the statue of the Virgin. The steps leading from the presbytery floor to the predella in front of the table are of the same make. The precious marble balustrades are the work of Giacomo Selva from 1761.

The elevation consists of a wooden frame with early seventeenth-Century lines with a large central niche, with a Madonna Assunta (twentieth Century), and four minor niches with the awkwardly repainted statues of Saints Peter, Paul, Carlo Borromeo, Antonio Abate. In the tympanum, with a lowered arch profile, is inserted the half-length of God the Father and on the frieze below the Dove of the Holy Spirit. The pavilion vault of the presbytery is frescoed with some allegories of the virtues, while the front of the arch that separates the nave from the presbytery is decorated with stuccos reproducing geometric elements, racemes and angels in low relief. Two angels hold the wooden crucifix in the center of the arch; it is a pleasant work dating back to the 16th Century. On the left wall of the first bay there was the altar of San Mauro, of which the table with the frontal and a shelf is now preserved.

The oldest chapel of the complex has a rectangular plan, partly covered with a barrel vault and, in one span, with a cross vault with Gothic arches. On the bottom of the wall there are fragments of fifteenth-century frescoes; only a few frames and two angels remain, one of which holds a trombone. In the center there is the detached fresco depicting the Virgin praying before the Child Jesus, against the backdrop of a fortified city with a ruined tower. The work finds analogies with the ways seen both in the external ogive lunette of the church and in the facade of the church of the Dead of Vello. In particular, the use of violet, the tendency to define the bodies with cylindrical volumes and the taste for backgrounds with buildings, seem elements that are partly traceable also in some frescoes in the church of San Giorgio a Zone. On the wall of the same span another piece of fresco (destroyed in the lower portion) shows the Madonna enthroned with the Child and the saints Sebastian and Bernardino of Siena, already from the sixteenth century although based on models of the previous Century.

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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