“La Sapienza” University, Rome
Between West and East: on Some Unknown Panels of the 13th–14th Centuries in Latium (Italy)
I would like to present some unknown panels from Latium (Italy) datable to the 13th and 14th century. At present, I am doing research on panel paintings in order to collect all the specimens in a Corpus. Compared to mural images, the panels have received — with a few exceptions — less attention from the critics. Almost all of them are kept in churches and monasteries and have been subjects of such incidents as mutilations, burglaries or repaintings. Nevertheless, panels from Lazio show some interesting particularities. For example, the iconography of Christ the Savior was widespread in this region because an ancient icon of this type (object of deep veneration and protagonist, for the entire Middle Ages, of a solemn procession around the city) was preserved in the ancta Sanctorum in S. Giovanni in Laterano.
Some panels, like the ones I am presenting here, show stylistic solutions both Western and Byzantine. For example, the splendid triptych of Amaseno (Frosinone) could be placed in the circle of Crusaders paintings. On its left wing, which was stolen, there was the saint knight Ambrose, in the centre there is the Virgin and Child, and on the right wing is saint Nicholas. These are high quality paintings which deserve to be studied in detail. In another panel, also from Amaseno, we can see refined faces in Byzantine style and small narrative scenes already looking gothic. Other panels, which oscillate between East and West, wait a real critic definition. Other similar cases will be taken in consideration in this paper.