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Point of interests in Rome

TitleChapel of the Magdalene in Fontecolombo
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DescriptionThe artistic highlight of the monastery of Fontecolombo is the small Chapel of the Virgin Mary, also known as the Chapel of the Magdalene. This modestly sized building is located in an area of special mystical concentration, characterized by a curtain wall of striking chiaroscuro influence, rendering, despite the extreme simplicity of the architecture, an overall result of extremely formal harmony. The small temple is set on a barrel-vaulted chamber closed off by an apse, with the essential purpose to counterbalance the vivid frescoes adorning the walls. The apse paintings represent the oldest representations, dating back to the late thirteenth century, by a painter of Assisi-Roman influence. Christ Enthroned with Gospel (Cristo in torn con il Vangelo) flanks Madonna with Child (Vergine con il Bambino) as well as a representation of Saint Francis dictating the Rule of the Franciscan Order which he actually wrote during his stay in Fontecolombo, between 1221 and 1223. The splay of the window to the left of the altar has quite a particular and important design: a Tau traced with purple paint, by Saint Francis himself, for whom the sanctuary of Fontecolombo had great sentimental value, and who often signed his own with the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet.


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