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Orvieto Duomo - The San Brizio Chapel



The illustration above is taken from the cover of one of eight books published by George Braziller Inc, New York, under the title of  "The Great Fresco Cycles of the Renaissance".  Orvieto Cathedral houses the San Brizio Chapel (more correctly the Capella della Madonna di San Brizio) - famous for the fresco cycle by Luca Signorelli (painted 1499 - 1503) depicting visions of paradise, hell and  the end of the world.  When you walk into the great space, remember that many of the people going there in the 1500s would have believed that the end of the world and the day of judgement were due at any moment.  Talk about a fear driven religion - or was it just that Signorelli liked painting naked male bodies?


Above and Right:  West Side  ... Sadly hardly any visitor notices the Pieta (also by Signorelli) in the recessed alcove, but it's up there with the best of them.


Below:  East Side including the self portrait of Signorelli and his portrait of Fra Angelico.


Lucca Signorelli (c1450 - 1523) (self portrait, on the left) standing next to (posthumously) Fra Angelico (1395 - 1455).   The ceiling of the chapel had been painted some years earlier by Fra Angelico and his assistants. 


Signorelli also painted, along with Sodoma, the cycle of 36 large frescoes depicting the life of Saint Benedict in the Great Cloister at Monte Oliveto Maggiore to the south of Siena.



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All original material Adrian Fletcher 2000-2015 - may not be hotlinked, or reproduced without permission