The Ceiling of the Rossi Oratory

The ceiling made between 1594 and 1603, with assistance from Paul Piazza, Alvise of Friso said the Benfatto, Palma il Giovane, Andrea Vicentino

The monumental-architectural complex of the Holy Trinity finds its crowning point in the ceiling of the Oratory, a piece of extraordinary harmony unique in the Clodiense territory. The space is very well illuminated thanks to the numerous glass panels in a basilica style providing the visitor with a rare and beautifully suggestive spectacle. The preciousness of the space should in fact be even greater with more pictorial and sculptural works lining the walls, many of which however were plundered during the Napoleonic period. The ceiling piece, painted in oils, and various other works are by various artists working between 1595/6 and 1602. The narratives depicted regard various episodes from both the old and new testaments and there are 17 painted by Paolo Piazza, Palma il Giovane, Alvise Benfatti, Paolo Caliari and other unknown artists.
The centre of the group is dominated by 'The Glory of Paradise' by Paolo Piazza, around which there is a cycle of works from the Scared Scriptures. Below there is a vast oval canvas on which are depicted several members of the confraternity of the Rossi, surrounded by angels, the figures represent and reiterate the importance of the group in the city. Of particular interest for their expressiveness are the figures of the Virgin, St John the Baptist and some of the Apostles, placed in positions of counterpoint much in the perspective style of Michelangelo. Of significance is the positioning of the evangelists at the feet of the Holy Trinity which not only reinforces the pictorial composition by also acts to convey an instructional religious message. Around this central part are distributed in a mixtilinear form several works by Andrea Vicentino and other unknown artists leading us to 'The Annunciation' by Alvise Benfatti and other examples form the New Testament. Alternating works by Benfatti, Palma il Giovane and Carlo Caliari lead us ultimately to 'The Resurrection'.


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