St George’s OratoryUnknown places & works
St George’s Oratory
Padua is famous all over the world for the Scrovegni Chapel, frescoed with incredible skill by the great painter Giotto at the beginning of the fourteenth century with scenes from the Gospels.
The city of Padua, however, also houses another wonderful oratory, less known but equally worth a visit: the oratory of St. George.
Built by the Soragna Marquis Raimondino Lupi in the second half of the fourteenth century, as a family funerary chapel, it was completed after his death by his nephew Bonifacio Lupi in 1384.
The building is very similar to the most famous Cappella degli Scrovegni ... The façade, with exposed brick, is decorated by three bas-reliefs with St. George killing the dragon and the coat of arms depicting the rampant wolf of the Lupi Soragna family. The interior features a single room structure with a barrel-vaulted ceiling, painted with a starry sky crossed by bands with floral motifs, where busts of saints and five rounds are inserted in each band with the symbols of the Evangelists, the Prophets and the Doctors of the Church. The two side walls are divided into two overlapping bands: on the left are scenes of the Life of St. George, on the right scenes of Life and martyrdom of Saints Catherine of Alexandria (above) and Lucy (below). The counter-façade presents scenes from the Childhood of Christ; the back wall is dominated by a large Crucifixion, surmounted by the Coronation of Mary among angels’ choirs.
This pictorial cycle is an important bridge between the great fourteenth century tradition and the following Renaissance developments: in these frescoes the expressive power of Giotto and the gentle atmosphere of the international Gothic coexist, while the faces and characters are imbued with strong realism.
Upon request, the visit to St Georg’s Oratory can be included in the itinerary of our Your Own Padova, a private tour of the city of Padua which can be fully customized according to your needs.
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