St. John the Baptist in Carzano of Monte Isola


The church of San Giovanni Battista (St. John the Baptist) in Carzano, built north of the inhabited area in a small clearing on the promenade to Sensole, replaces a religious building of the 15th Century; it was built in the first half of the 18th Century, an age of great religious turmoil and significant economic growth.

The façade, reminding baroque style, consists of two orders and is divided by a projecting belt course with dentil mouldings ending in a curved pediment resting on an entablature. The niches between the pairs of pillar strips, the first in Tuscan order and the second in composite order, display the statues of Saints Peter, Paul, John the Baptist and Ambrose (18th Century). The moulded portal, made of Botticino stone with broken curved gable, and the window surmounted by a gable are most interesting; to the south stands a bell tower with five bells dated 1734 and renovated in 1976.

The interior has a square-shaped central plan with rounded corners to create a polygon. The niche on the short side to the right houses the baptismal font and the fresco of the Baptism of Jesus (20th Century). The main longer sides open onto two chapels with round arches: the one on the left, dedicated to the Holy Cross, has a wooden altar with a large Cross. At the beginning of the 20th Century this section housed the 1842 organ built by Angelo and Aurelio Bossi, then moved to a room adjacent to the building. The chapel on the right is dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes: it is made of marbled wooden altar with a statue of the Virgin Mary (20th Century). The sanctuary, slightly raised, features a 17th Century polychrome marble altar with a single plate on the predella leaning against the back wall, it has no choir stall; a painting of the Birth of John the Baptist attributed to Domenico Voltolini from Iseo, is inserted within a noteworthy wooden frame. The paintings (1942) by Mario Pescatori (1904-1975) with the Holy Family and St. Therese of Child Jesus are also on the walls. The mural decoration on the vaults that overlook the apse and the single nave has also been attributed to Domenico Voltolini and his workshop: the apsidal conch features The Baptism of Christ, in the single nave squinches there are Gideon and the onslaught of the Midians, The sacrifice of Isaac, Judith slaying Holofernes, The death of Sisera; in the central dome within an illusionistic architecture consisting of bundles of painted columns the stories of the Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist and the Prophecy of Isaiah are narrated. The good quality of the painting interventions suggests the constant presence of the maestro artist who has an established workshop in response to the numerous works commissioned in the Sebino area. On the inside façade there is a fresco of the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth attributed to Bernardino Bono, a Brescian artist of the 18th Century whose work features a Bolognese classicist style.

Antonio Burlotti

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

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