Chiesa di San Cristoforo, Vercelli

#2 of 47 in Things to do in Vercelli
Church · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
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  • The interior walls are covered with Beautiful frescos by Gaudenzio Ferraris, a renaissance master. Truly a marvelous church to visit. 
    The interior walls are covered with Beautiful frescos by Gaudenzio Ferraris, a renaissance master. Truly a marvelous church to visit.  more »
  • Don't be impressed by the facade: the wonder is inside. The transept houses wonderful images of Gaudenzio Ferrari. Too bad about the lighting; even activating the timed service (1 €), many parts are not correctly (or not at all) illuminated. Paradoxically, my camera could "see" what my eyes couldn't. But the experience of being in direct contact with the works is exciting. Do not forget to observe, as far as possible, the canvas at the end of the apse.
  • The Church of San Cristoforo is one of the most artistically rich in Vercelli. It was erected in the 16th century, after the demolition in 1515 of a pre-existing cult building dating back to the second half of the 12th century. It underwent other important interventions in the eighteenth century, including the construction of the polychrome marble balustrade designed by Filippo Juvarra (1678 - 1736). The sober, almost humble late Renaissance style of the facade should not be misleading. It is inside that San Cristoforo keeps his treasure, namely some of the major works of Gaudenzio Ferrari (1475/1480 - 1546), probably the greatest Piedmontese painter of the Renaissance. One of them is the very delicate altarpiece known as the Madonna degli Aranci, in which one of the first pictorial representations of the violin appears (let's not forget that Ferrari is also the author of the Concerto degli Angeli, a fresco that covers the entire dome of the Sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin of Miracles in Saronno). The other two great works, created between 1531 and 1534, are the frescoes in the two transepts. The one on the right depicts scenes from the Life of Saint Mary Magdalene, next to which there is an imposing Crucifixion; the one on the left illustrates the most significant episodes of the Life of the Virgin, crowned by a stupendous Assumption. It is possible to illuminate the frescoes using a machine that accepts coins, from 20 cents up to 2 euros, deciding how long you want them illuminated: for example, for one euro you have 4 minutes of light.

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