The architecture and religious painting

The fact that in the Middle Ages Signa holding the exposures a role of primary importance as a place of strategic importance both from a military point of view that trade is not only demonstrated by the presence of the castle on the hills overlooking the Arno river. At the end of the thirteenth century, in fact, the ancient plover of Signa was made up of fourteen nations - each with its own church - distributed on both banks of the Arno. Of this fervent religiosity remain traces in the many churches and churches in the city. Even today, the churches, around which over the centuries had developed the urban fabric of the country, they rank among the most important architectural work in the territory of Signa. Church of San Lorenzo The church of San Lorenzo, located outside the ancient city walls, seems to be built on the remains of an ancient burial site dating back to a period prior to the seventh century. It was donated in 964, together with the church of St. John the Baptist, Bishop Raimbaut Chapter Florence. A semi-circular stone staircase leads to the porch which gives access to the church, which is dominated by the image of St. Christopher, fresco of the Florentine school of the late thirteenth century. The bell tower of Romanesque origin, a square, and the top has elegant mullioned windows. The interior has a Latin cross, it develops into a nave decorated with frescoes. The transept is raised above the floor of the nave, and ends in a semicircular apse characterized by a large central arch. In addition to the important remains of the thirteenth-century frescoes that adorn the walls of the nave and the apse, the church also contains several valuable paintings, among which large altarpieces. The middle of the Annunciation and is the work of John Navesi. The paintings of the left and right, respectively depicting the Madonna and Child Enthroned with the Virgin in Glory with St. John the Evangelist, Saint Lucia and the Blessed Joan, are the work of Bernardino Monaldi and the Senese Pietro Sorri. In the church there is also a wooden case that received the mortal remains of the Blessed Giovanna, the more fervently religious figure revered by the citizens of Signa, the subject of a fervent local cult survived until our days. The case, reminiscent of the contemporary examples of private and domestic destination, was painted in 1438 by Pietro di Chellino from Gambassi. Pieve San Giovanni Closely related to San Lorenzo is the church of San Giovanni Battista. This church was donated to the Florentine Chapter 964 in July along with the parish church of San Lorenzo. For the inhabitants of Signa this church is particularly important because at its core, in a chapel built specially on the right side of the church, was buried the Blessed Giovanna. The presence of the sacred relics of the Blessed, who died in 1307, was probably the origin of blurring the prestige of the old parish church of San Lorenzo and also because of the many architectural transformations of St. John, the last of which dates back to 1949, to result of injuries inflicted by World War II. The size of the early church were in fact considerably smaller than today's, and it was the growing affluence of the devotees of the Blessed Giovanna in determining the need for an extension. During the first two decades of the sixteenth century, the small chapel of the Blessed was even included in the body of the church through the erection of a fourth aisle. Currently, the church has three naves as it should appear in origin, it overlooks a large square, the heart of the town center. Leaning against the right side of the church is the cloister, whose original structure no traces remain valuable, because of the numerous restoration succeeded at various times, with the exception of a Romanesque capital, dating tea the X and XI century. Inside the church, in the chapel dedicated to the Blessed, it preserves an important cycle of frescoes depicting episodes from the life of Blessed Giovanna, the work of two different artists. The scenes on the left wall are attributed to the so-called Master of 1441, anonymous painter certainly gravitating around Bicci di Lorenzo, which owes its name to the date written below stories. His narrative skill, even within a certain archaic view, it is in line with the general trend of Florentine painting of the first half of the fifteenth century. On the right wall is rather active in 1462 the Master of Signa. He also shows a close relationship with the workshop of Bicci and a lively narrative, but, like its predecessor, despite the creation of elaborate architectural backgrounds, still reveals some difficulty in giving them a real spatial consistency. In the Castle of Signa, inside the medieval village, there are two other important churches, the church of Santa Maria in Castello and the church of San Miniato. Church of Santa Maria in Castello The church of Santa Maria in Castello know very little about its origins. Even assuming the existence of the church as early as the seventh century, we only know for sure that in 978 the Countess Willa, mother of Hugh Marquis of Tuscany, it was a gift to the Badia Fiorentina, which she founded in the same year. The destruction of the castle, which took place in 1326 by the troops of Castruccio Castracani, we do not know how many and which adversely harm the church. Currently, the exterior looks with a simple stone wall surface, while the interior has a single nave. The current appearance is due to the renovation work carried out between 1803 and 1816 by the prior Gaetano Giannini, who is responsible for the renewal of the altars of the church and the acquisition of at least two of the four paintings that adorn them, Christ displaying his wounds to St. Bernard of Clairvaux, eighteenth-century copy of the original by Jacopo Vignali, and a large painting of the Adoration of the Magi by Sigismund Coccapani. In the church are the remains of an important cycle of frescoes, whose high pictorial quality has meant that in the past were attributed to Cimabue, in addition to works by Lorenzo Monaco and the Master of Signa. Church San Miniato The church of San Miniato do not know the date of foundation, even if you also have existed before 1000. The oldest documents date back to 1243 and 1224, however. The location of the church, located at the foot of the hill which faces Signa and on an extensive campaign suggests that it is built as a private church, probably at the behest of the Vespucci family, as confirmed by the coat of arms adorns the pediment of the entrance portal Consecrated in 1684 by Bishop Morigia, Archbishop of Florence, San Miniato became a priory in 1745, the period to which was a radical restoration that would have given its current appearance. The church has a simple facade outside the center of which there is a single portal surmounted by a broken pediment in stone and decorated with the coat of arms of the Vespucci family. The interior has a single nave, contains a beautiful organ, dated 1795, built by the organ builders of Pistoia and a series of paintings of great value. Finally, to remember that within the church is buried Domenico Michelacci, who during the eighteenth century gave impetus to the development of the straw industry, an activity that has played a key role in the economic development of Signa, at least until the second war world. These churches are part of the Museum of Sacred Art of Signa and over the following ones: Church of San Mauro A Signa Church of Sant'Angelo a Lecore Church of St. Peter in Lecore Tabernacles all included in the City of Signa

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