In Pinzolo, in 1539, Simone Baschenis returned to the subject of the Dance of Death "Danza Macabra", already addressed on the facade of the cemetery church of Carisolo.
The Baschenis and the "Danza Macabra" in the church of Pinzolo
It was founded in 1362 and then widened in 1515. It has a rectangular map with three naves, arches and pointed vaults on granite columns. The medieval facade has different frescos: the most important is Danza Macabra, that is also on the outer facade of Santo Stefano church in Carisolo.
Both the frescos were realized by the painter Simone II Baschenis di Averaria, who lived between 1490 and 1555 and is considered the most famous and important painter of Baschenis family, that painted many churches in Trentino between the half of 1400 and 1500.
The warning of the "Danza Macabra"The fresco of Pinzolo is more than 2 metres high and more than 22 metres long, with captions in local dialects and vernacular: it is a sort of monologue acted only by the dead, that invites the living to come in the dance.
“Io sont la Morte che porto corona, sonte signora de ognia persona at cossa fiera forte et dura che trapasso le porte et utre le mura et sono quela che fa tremare el mondo...”
The figuresThe procession of Danza Macabra starts on the left, with the figure of Death playing the bagpipes: seated on a kind of throne, it is crowned to symbolize its absolute supremacy on the whole mankind. Then there are 18 figures of different religious and social categories, like a Pope, a cardinal, a bishop, a priest, a friar, an imperator, a king, a queen and a duke. Then a doctor, a warrior, a vain young, a beggar, a nun, a lady and a child. Each of these figures has his own skeleton and a writing in verse.
On the right there is Death, depicted as a skeleton with a quiver full of arrows that rides a winged white horse treading on the dead bodies on the ground. In the last part of the painting there are S. Michele archangel and the Devil.
The whole fresco is characterized by a particular attention to the details and a variety in the attitudes and expressions of the mocking skeletons.
The painting was ended in October 1539 and, together with the other frescos inside the church of San Vigilio (dated 1539 as well), they represent the main pictorial whole by Simone II Baschenis di Averaria