Territory » Gargnano » Point of interest » Church of Santi Martiri

CHURCH OF SANTI MARTIRI

Churches at Gargnano

The village of Bogliaco di Gargnano hosts the church dedicated to Santi Martiri, which is especially famous for the valuable works that it guards, which relate specifically to a happy time in the history of art of Brescia and Lake Garda, which was exactly the seventeenth century. If the exterior of the church is plain, with a temple façade with a semicircular window and a wooden portal framed by jambs of stone and fragmented pediment, the single hall interior is decorated with works by Andrea Celesti and by the altarpiece with the apotheosis of Santi Martiri (Holy Martyrs) made by an artist about which the criticism is still in doubt. However, this altarpiece, which clearly incorporates the painting style of the seventeenth century, is impressive because of the strong agitation that gives life to the whole scene, for the intense chiaroscuro, the animosity and the strong sense of drama that characterises the protagonists of the moment that is portrayed. On the other hand, along the side walls, are the works of Celesti, which are imposed on the view of the visitor. The artist chooses to tell a few episodes of the life of Christ, and he does it giving the characters a high degree of plasticity and realism, where the clarity of colours of the brush stroke finds the right combination with the different moods that characterise each episode; here are therefore a sequence of paintings with the expulsion of the merchants from the temple, Supper in Emmaus, the Dinner at the house of Simone Levi, where some women are dressed in clothes typical of seventeenth-century fashion, and the Resurrection of Lazarus, inspired in all probability by the same subject of Veronese. These works are also very indicative of the level of artistic maturity reached by the painter at that time. (credits Arianna Florioli)

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