Pictures of the Romanesque Parma Baptistry - Italy - { 121 images } Created 11 Apr 2016

Pictures images photos of the 12th century Romanesque Parma Baptistry, Italy. The octagonal Baptistry of Parma is a beautiful harmonious building clad in pink Verona marble. Its position at the South side of the Duomo Square of the Parma was well considered by its medieval architects as it catches the morning sun in a most dramatic way standing out against the shadowy buildings that back it. This was no happy accident as the Baptistry of Palma has been built and decorated to take full effect of the sun pouring through its small windows to highlight specific painting at specific times of the year. The extraordinary Romanesque architecture of the Baptistry of Parma and its splendid exterior sculptural decorations was begun in 1196 under the patronage of Bishop Obizzo Fieschi and was supervised by Benedictus Antelami . Born in 1150, Antelami was an Italian sculptor and Architect of the Romanesque school whose Lombard influences can be seen in the Baptistry. The octagonal Baptistry of Parma has 3 Romanesque style arched portals above which are 4 loggias topped by a row of blind arches that hide the internal dome. Just above eye height a zoophorus, a decorated frieze, runs around the whole building with sculpted panels of mythical animals, centaurs, and mermaids. The meanings of most of these creatures have been lost to us but a hint of their meaning to Medieval people can be see in the Bestiaries, books that describe and define these mythical beings. The Lunettes of the portals are sculpted with religious scenes. Looking out towards the Duomo is the Portal of the Virgin with Child which was the main ceremonial entrance used by the Bishop of Parma into the Baptistry. At the centre of the lunette sits the Virgin Mary with Christ as a child sitting on her knee giving a blessing. Below her is a wave of sculpted stone which represents water and baptism. The frieze of the portal is dated 1196 and is engraved with an inscription that states that Benedictus was the sculptor. The lunette of the West Portal was also sculpted by Benedictus Antelami. At its centre is Christ Pantocrator giving his blessing. The panel is designed to show Christ as redeemer and to his left are angels and to his right is the instrument of redemption, the Cross topped by a crown of thorns. The inside of the Baptistry of Palma is covered in medieval paintings. The style of the frescoes varies from Romanesque to a hint of early Gothic. The ceiling is made up of 16 triangular panels that rise from the octagonal walls to a centre point. The style of the ceiling are rooted in the Byzantine Eastern Roman tradition that dominates much of Romanesque painting.

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