Tours at a stone’s throw from the sky, among the great frescoes of Reggio Emilia.
1. THE DOME OF LIONELLO SPADA IN THE TEMPLE OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN OF THE ICE OF REGGIO EMILIA
Among the most artistic Marian sanctuaries in Italy, a monument of faith erected following a prodigious miracle, the Temple of the Blessed Virgin of Ghiara in Reggio Emilia boasts a majestic decoration result of the work of an élite of Emilian artists of the first half of the seventeenth century.
The project of the architect Alessandro Balbo from Ferrara was then executed by the Reggiano Francesco Pacchioni, assisted for the construction of the dome by Cosimo Pugliani.
Frescoed in 1614 by Lionello Spada, a pupil of Carracci, who was inspired by the scriptures of the Old Testament and was able to show great qualities perspective, especially in the realization of angels, the decorative cycle of frescoes that adorns the vaults, the domes and the apse in very rich decorations, amplifies as in a sacred representation the image of the Blessed Virgin of Ghiara presented by the motto "Quem genuit adoravit".
It is the exaltation of Mary, which sums up the mystery of the covenant between God and his people.
Guercino’s masterpiece "the Crucifixion of Christ, with at his feet Our Lady and Saints Mary Magdalene, Saint John and St. Prospero" makes the altarpiece of the Altar of the City the artist’s greatest work on his return from Rome.
To personalize the visit, is available the App "Arte e biblica nella Basilica della Ghiara", which dialogues with the QR codes inside the basilica, providing historical, artistic and theological insights of the work.
2. THE LAST JUDGEMENT IN THE BASILICA OF SAN PROSPERO DI REGGIO EMILIA
To admire "The Last Judgment" by Camillo Procaccini (1558ca -1629) you have to go through the door of the Basilica of San Prospero in Reggio Emilia and look at the pictorial cycle of the presbytery and apse.
The Bolognese artist skillfully depicts in the church dedicated to the patron saint of the city and located in the heart of the historic center, the day of the supreme judgment of Christ, located at the highest point of the apsidal basin, which resolutely, but laden with human piety, invites souls to ascend, surrounded by angels and saints of paradise.
The Apostles Andrew and Peter are not lacking, and then the evangelists, the patron saints of the city and other figures are arranged according to precise hierarchies. Then the resurrected, who emerge from the burials turned towards the sky.
The atmosphere changes in the representation of the damned who sink into the flames of hell, between blinding flashes, backlight, vapors, and the impressive figure of the devil.
Other scenes characterize the artwork, such as the representation of the dead Christ in the tomb and then in the vault of the presbytery the creation of Eve and the Apocalypse.
To complete the cycle of frescoes of the apsidal basin, the two biblical stories: the fall of Jetzabel and the resurrection of the widow’s son in Naim.
The artwork marks the end of Mannerism in Reggio Emilia and the arrival of the innovations of Caracci painting.
3. IN THE LITTLE GHIARA OF REGGIO EMILIA, THE DOME INSPIRED BY CORREGGIO
Called the "Little Ghiara", the Church of San Giovannino in Reggio Emilia houses prestigious artworks and a splendid dome made by Sisto Badalocchio, which was inspired by the Ascension painted by Correggio in the Abbey of San Giovanni Evangelista in Parma.
The present structure dates back to the sixteenth century, although the first news of the church date back to the twelfth century.
In the early seventeenth century several artists, who later enriched the Basilica della Ghiara in Reggio Emilia, frescoed the Church of San Giovannino making it precious.
The dome has four windows and terracotta statues.
The frescoes made in 1613 represent a whirling of figures and clouds that look upwards, towards the "Return of Christ".
The vault of the central nave presents, enclosed in daring illusionistic perspectives of the Brescian Tommaso Sandrini, frescoes by Lorenzo Franchi, representing Saint John who writes the Apocalypse.