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frescoes

The frescoes exhibited here come from the hermit church of S. Antonio south of Pers and north-west of Sant'Eliseo di Majano. Consecrated in 1459, but construction attributable to the year one thousand, it is a small church oriented to the West, with a very simple original structure with a single rectangular hall, a roof with a solid pointed vault, with two bays, a square presbytery with a vault cross-shaped, the sails divided by ribs, two windows with pointed arches on the south side and a fifteenth-century single-lancet bell window.
Following the 1976 earthquake it suffered severe damage: the roof and some wall plaster partially collapsed, revealing the presence of traces of frescoes on the walls of the apse and on the triumphal arch. In 1977, the first consolidation and partial cleaning of the frescoes was carried out, bringing to light approximately 20 square metres. In 1978 the back wall where the plaster covered fragments of frescoes was discovered and all the paintings were removed. Despite the degradation suffered by the painted surfaces, the paintings, according to the scholar and critic of ancient art, Paolo Casadio, constitute an important testimony of fifteenth-century painting in Friuli. Two authors have been identified: the master who first worked on the decoration of the walls of the apse and the holy arch and the author of the large fragment of the second layer of the north wall with a Miracle of the Saint and six figures of Apostles. The Superintendence for Historical and Artistic Heritage of Friuli Venezia Giulia entrusted the recovered portions of the fresco to a company that carried out their restoration and their application on 12 fiberglass panels, the total surface area of ​​which is 34 square metres.

 

The iconographic subjects of the 12 fragments are described below as:

1. Theory of the apostles (in both layers) in the lower register;

2. Saint Anthony of Padua and faithful (in both layers), in the register above;

3. Angelo Nunziante;

4. Saint Joseph with Baby Jesus in his arms;

5. Fake marble;

6. Madonna with Baby Jesus and Musician Angels.

All the interventions were carried out by the Superintendency for the Historical, Artistic and Ethno-Anthropological Heritage of Friuli Venezia Giulia (Regional Directorate for the Cultural and Landscape Heritage of Friuli Venezia Giulia) in collaboration with the Diocesan Office for the Cultural Heritage and Sacred Art of Archbishop's Curia of Udine.
Having taken note of the decision taken in 2007 not to proceed with the reconstruction of the church, a temporary loan agreement was stipulated between the Parish of San Michele Arcangelo of Pers and the Archdiocese of Udine for the placement of the frescoes which had remained in storage for approximately 25 years. Based on this agreement, the 12 panels are today kept and exhibited in the church of San Pietro Apostolo of the Rosazzo Abbey.