Typical # 12 – Church of St. Annunziata

30 Aug

You know, going to and back from work, either on foot or on my bycicle, there are many routes I can choose from, according to my mood….

Most of the time I choose the shortest one (usually I’m sort of late…) that makes me go past this beautiful church, St. Annunziata (St. Annunciation). This morning I decided to stop and enter the church even if there was the Mass going on (so inside I had to hide my phone taking photos…) The church and convent are of St. Francis Minors. It was dedicated to Saints Gervaso and Protaso up until the 18th century (giving the name to the road, currently known as Massimo D’Azeglio). The building was started in 1566 , founded by Duke Ottavio Farnese and by the bishop of Brugnato (favored by the one in Parma), upon the design of Giambattista Fornovo (who gives the name to the adjacent alley). In 1616 the construction was stalled however at the cornice at the first level and covered with a temporary roof. Only with the intervention of Margherita Farnese (sister Maura Lucenia) and public offers, the temple was completed as foreseen in the original design, with roofing by Girolamo Rainaldi deviating from the project of Fornovo (who had planned a dome with illuminating windows). The resulting plan is quite atypical and an obvious source of curiosity for many artists: Filippo Juvarra , creator of the Superga Basilica and the Stupinigi Palace, made precise sketches of its structure. It has an almost elliptical plan (about 31 m. X 20), with two semi-circles joined by two straight lines, which joins the apse and ten chapels decorated with plasters, as well as an interior atrium; the space is divided by fluted pillars. The exterior perspective, bare yet strengthened by the robust dorsal forms of the chapels and buttresses, express an image of elasticity and strength contemporarily.

In the left atrium there is a copy of the Annunciation by Correggio (1520), a fresco from the church of the Minors in via Farini, which was then taken out in 1546 and eventually placed in the National Gallery of Parma, where one can still find it today. To the right, in a niche, there is Ecce Homo in polychrome terracotta by Antonio Sbravati , and a canvas depicting The Martyrdom of Saints Gervaso and Protaso by Biagio Martini (beginning of the 19th century). The table of the grand altar (by Antonio Brianti, 1776), with the Virgin on throne, Child and Saints Bernard, John Baptist, John Evangelist and Francis of Assisi was done originally for the Minors of the “ Annunziata di fuori ” in 1518 by Francesco Zaganelli of Cotignola, and brought here after the suppression of the convent in 1546. The Choir was commissioned by Rolando Pallavicino (mid-15th century). In the fourth chapel to the left, St. Peter of Alcantara and his life story by Pier Ilario Spolverini (beginning of 18th century). In the ninth chapel, there is St. Bonaventure genuflecting before the Virgin , canvas by Sebastiano Galeotti . In the tenth chapel, there is the baptismal fountain by Camillo Uccelli . The plasters and other decorations in the main area are attributed to Luca Reti (beginning of 17th century).
I was sorry I had to leave because it was so peaceful there………maybe some other time….(for more “Typical” of my hometown click here)

Posted by on August 30, 2013 in Uncategorized


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3 responses to “Typical # 12 – Church of St. Annunziata

  1. Gattina

    September 2, 2013 at 10:25 am

    Very beautiful, but I still think instead of building these impressive churches they should have built houses for the poors !

  2. Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti

    September 3, 2013 at 4:55 am

    This is a beautiful church,Gracie. My mother-in-law’s name was Annunziata!

  3. africankelli

    September 3, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    Geez! So gorgeous. And your “usually I’m kinda late.” Cracked me up.


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