During the course of the 2007 season of excavations at the monastery of San Vincenzo al Volturno (central Italy) a small and fragmentary panel of stained glass was discovered, representing a front-facing Christ with a cross-halo and the “A” of his monogram at upper left. This panel is assembled from sections of intensely coloured glass connected by lead cames that also ‘model’ details of the figure in a highly original way. The panel was discovered on the riverbed of the Volturno, below the remains of structures of Carolingian date that had collapsed when Saracen mercenaries torched them in 881. The archaeological record of this disastrous event therefore provides the terminus ante for this panel’s manufacture. The composition of figurative stained glass with coloured inserts in the manner of opus sectile is well known from older (late 7th – early 8th century) contexts in France and England, but was hitherto unknown in Italy. The ‘inventive’ and original use of the leading for both modelling and decorative effects makes the Volturno panel an unusual object in Italy, one that recognises the developments in figurative stained glass in northern Europe (late 8th century). Not only is this the first figurative stained glass discovered at the monastery of San Vincenzo, a complex that has already yielded copious remains of western window glass antedating the year 1000, but as things stand it is the oldest known figurative stained glass in Italy. The questions it raises are therefore many: first and foremost, was the panel produced on site by artisans striving to imitate northern European techniques but yet to come into contact with grisaille painting? In the monastery other coloured window glass was exclusively composed in geometric schemes. So, was this small figurative panel perhaps employed for a fenestella confessionis, or was it isolated on a wall, or was it part of a now lost cycle?

The Christ from San Vincenzo al Volturno (9th c.): Another Instance of «Christ’s Dazzling Face»

DELL'ACQUA, Francesca
2010

Abstract

During the course of the 2007 season of excavations at the monastery of San Vincenzo al Volturno (central Italy) a small and fragmentary panel of stained glass was discovered, representing a front-facing Christ with a cross-halo and the “A” of his monogram at upper left. This panel is assembled from sections of intensely coloured glass connected by lead cames that also ‘model’ details of the figure in a highly original way. The panel was discovered on the riverbed of the Volturno, below the remains of structures of Carolingian date that had collapsed when Saracen mercenaries torched them in 881. The archaeological record of this disastrous event therefore provides the terminus ante for this panel’s manufacture. The composition of figurative stained glass with coloured inserts in the manner of opus sectile is well known from older (late 7th – early 8th century) contexts in France and England, but was hitherto unknown in Italy. The ‘inventive’ and original use of the leading for both modelling and decorative effects makes the Volturno panel an unusual object in Italy, one that recognises the developments in figurative stained glass in northern Europe (late 8th century). Not only is this the first figurative stained glass discovered at the monastery of San Vincenzo, a complex that has already yielded copious remains of western window glass antedating the year 1000, but as things stand it is the oldest known figurative stained glass in Italy. The questions it raises are therefore many: first and foremost, was the panel produced on site by artisans striving to imitate northern European techniques but yet to come into contact with grisaille painting? In the monastery other coloured window glass was exclusively composed in geometric schemes. So, was this small figurative panel perhaps employed for a fenestella confessionis, or was it isolated on a wall, or was it part of a now lost cycle?
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11386/2600803
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