The works of Baschenis, the itinerant painters from Bergamo, started in S. Antonio Abate church in Pelugo, where Cristoforo, the first of the dinasty to come in Trentino, painted an important fresco of S. Anotnio Abate above the church portal in 1474.
Pelugo, S. Antonio Abate church, frescos by Baschenis, 1474
This work was finished with the help of his brother Simone: for the first time in St. Antonio Abate church there is a cycle dedicated to only one topic with many images and vernacular captions.
The church has a wide nave and a peculiar Romanesque bell tower with Ghibelline cusp.
SAN CRISTOFORO AND THE TRINITYA huge St.Christopher on the main facade, bears a title block with date and name of the painter, Dionisio de Avevaria, 1493.
The baby Jesus on the shoulder, slightly larger than the saint’s face, and the frontal position, still delineate a strong hieraticity typical of an artistic approach that was still pre-Renaissance.
The image of Trinity around the Gothic portali is majestic in its rhytmic composition. The Cross of Christ with the throne, merges in a Chromatic and geometric balance.
BIBLIA PAUPERUMA characteristic decorative frieze introduces the frescoed part with Sant’Antonio histories.
The subdivision into panels and the underlying captions in the vernacular represent a significant example of “poor man’s bible”, that is, the simplicity of communicating through images.
Dionisio, linked to certain Gothicising formalisms easily appreciated by religious sensibility of the valley, decorates the large inner lunette with stories of Christ. Perspective attempts appear in easy prominence.
THE LAST SUPPERWhat is particularly interesting about “The Last Supper”, is the accurate description of objects on the table: different glasses shape, red and white wine ampoules, the certain breads and fishes.
A peculiarity found in other frescoes is the presence of a species of red shrimp, an original personalisation note of the Baschenis. Heading up the valley along the Sarca River, two must-see stops are Carisolo and Pinzolo with their respective Danze Macabre.