Monday, May 23, 2016

Parma, Italy: The Parma Cathedral and its Stunning Monochrome Frescoes

Italy is home to grandiose and exquisite age-old churches filled with mind-blowing display of antiquated frescoes, sculptures, paintings, mosaics and stained glass art. It’s one of the treasures of the country that remains free of charge to the ordinary people.

Cattedrale di Parma.

The pictures don't do it justice really.

I have seen a lot of churches in my lifetime, and Italy is hands down the best country to do church hopping and sightseeing. The places of worship in this country, especially the cathedrals are the best there is in the world. It is no wonder because the seat of Christianity was here before.

It had been raining in Parma since late in the afternoon but this did not stop me to go around and discover the city. The core city centre is small and is pedestrianised so that was quite easy to navigate around. Still drizzling, I walked to the Piazza del Duomo where the Cattedrale di Parma and the octagonal Battistero di Parma are located. I quickly sought refuge inside the big romanesque structure. When I stepped inside, I was totally caught by surprise of what I saw.

I stood back in awe. Wow! I did not expect to see these stunning and unique frescoes on the nave of the cathedral! Just plain wow.

This is the first time I have seen dark hues of frescoes. So very gothic. Melancholic. Mysterious and intriguing, it makes you wonder why these renaissance painters picked the dark choice of colours. I found out that Lattanzio Gambara and Bernardo Gatti were responsible for the paintings on the nave and apse of the Parma Cathedral, while the famous Antonio da Correggio painted the dome of the church with the illusionistic Assumption of the Virgin.

The Parma Cathedral has become one of my unforgettable churches that I have visited.

Do you find the frescoes stunning as well?

The Parma Cathedral and Baptistry on Piazza del Duomo.

The striking monochrome frescoes on the nave and ceiling of the cathedral in dark grey hues. This is the first time for me to see dark frescoes inside the church. The grey palette is very dominant.

The paintings on the arch walls are dominantly executed with the grey palette. They tell the stories of the Old Testament.

 On the side corridors of the cathedral are chapels.

The nave of the church is quite busy with the paintings depicting the Old Testament, they are stunning. These pictures I assure don't do them justice. You have to see them with your 2 sets of eyes.

The diamond shape stone slab flooring in different colours.

The apse and altar of the cathedral with the fresco painting, 'The Christ and the Judgment' by Girolamo Mazzola Bedoli


This is the dome of the cathedral with the illusionistic fresco of Antonio da Correggio, the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.

The apse of the cathedral and the cupola with Correggio's painting.

The frescoes in the Valeri Chapel were painted by Bertolino de'Grossi.

The rear part of the church with the stained glass.

I look like a muslim woman here. Well it was raining-drizzling and I have no umbrella with me so I used my black shawl to cover myself from getting wet!

Travel Period: May 2016
Destination: Parma (Emilia Romagna), Italy

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