Maria Laura Tomea Gavazzoli
Una testimonianza figurativa e brevi note sul carme Salve festa dies, quae vulnera nostra coherces (AH XV 5) digital
formato: Articolo | AEVUM - 2011 - 2
SUMMARY: Unusual scenes concerning Melchisedek, Abraham and John the Baptist, painted around 1250 by Byzantine painters on the vault of Parma Baptistery, show connections with themes of an anonymous Latin short poem. The poem appears for the Annunciation Day (25th March) in Guillaume Durand, Rationale (post 1286), but was first quoted by Bartholomew of Trento (1244-1246). The text gathers several events of the sacred history in a single liturgical, providential day: the Incarnation of Christ and his Passion, the creation of Adam, Melchisedek’s offering and others. The verse helps to understand the pictorial program displayed on the Baptistery Western wall, since in the 13th century this portion of painting received the light of the rising sun around 25th March. The origin of the poem, undoubtedly echoing contact with the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, is an open question. But its theme existed in the West in the 12th century, when Honorius Augustodunensis listed most of the holy events mentioned by the poem in the same connection with the Feast of the Annunciation. For this reason a Western (Latin) written source can be reasonably supposed behind this part of the Parma decoration.
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