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Vimercate (Monza e Brianza): Church of Santa Maria Assunta

Foto Church of Santa Maria Assunta
Foto Church of Santa Maria Assunta
Foto Church of Santa Maria Assunta
Foto Church of Santa Maria Assunta
Foto Church of Santa Maria Assunta
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Places  of historical value  of artistic value around Milan (Italy): Church of Santa Maria AssuntaIt is not known exactly when the ancient Church of Santa Maria Assunta was built. Its existence is however documented starting from the end of the thirteenth century.
Originally it included a single hall with a gabled façade. In the fifteenth century, the chapel on its right was added. Between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the bell tower was built, interventions were carried out on the facade and a series of rooms were added to the northern side of the church which incorporated the Gothic chapel.
The church was gradually abandoned in the sixteenth century, to become more and more a cemetery church.
Currently the church is not in a perfect state of preservation, indeed various details would need urgent work (in particular the ceiling, inside). On the other hand, the very obvious signs of aging give it a charm and a very special aura of mystery.
It should be noted that when the photos visible on this page were taken all the benches had been grouped in the center, covered by a tarpaulin.
The interior is composed of a single rectangular hall, with a trussed roof, and a large semicircular apse, as wide as the nave, with a raised floor and a granite balustrade separating it from the nave.
The flooring looks everywhere very old.

The walls of the church retain numerous traces of pictorial decorations from various periods, although many have been completely lost.
On the left wall (looking at the apse) there are various devotional frescoes, heterogeneous in terms of artistic quality and divided into panels, as often happens for this type of fresco.
Starting from the entrance we note, in particular (Fig. 4), in the first panel a Madonna with Child from the 1530s, of good level and work of some local itinerant master. On the right of it there is the oldest fresco in the group: a Crowned Virgin enthroned with Child and client of the end of the fifteenth century. Note that it is at the same time a Nursing Madonna. Maria is depicted dressed in a mantle with wide and complex draperies. On the lower right, the fresco commissioner kneeling down, he too dressed elegantly. The next adjacent panel, in which a young Saint with a sword and scepter is visible, is clearly by the same author.
The other frescoes are of lower quality.
The right wall is dominated by the fine fresco of the mid-sixteenth century depicting the Mystical Marriage of Saint Catherine (Fig. 3), placed in the center of the wall and around which, in the Baroque period, a large trumpet-l'œil retable flanked by flowerpots (also trompe -l'œil) was painted. Noteworthy, however, is also what remains of the fresco of the enthroned Madonna with Child (and perhaps Saint John child) placed more towards the entrance door.
In the apsidal basin remains a monochrome fragment with the Virgin, the only remnant of the original scene of the Assumption which adorned the apse, executed in the first decades of the sixteenth century. Laterally, in lower position, two other devotional frescoes depicting Saint Anthony the Abbot (the one on the left) and a martyrdom (the one on the right).

Annexed to the church (it is accessible only from the outside, although it is in direct communication with the nave) is the late Gothic chapel, dedicated to Saints Anthony and Catherine. It is a square-plan structure, with a cross vault resting on angular cylindrical ribs, which contains, although much deteriorated, a cycle of frescoes from the mid-fifteenth century.
On the webs of the vault there are the Four Evangelists with their symbols (larger picture), while the Stories of Saint Anthony Abbot (almost completely illegible) and of Saint Catherine of Alexandria (better preserved, Fig. 5) are inserted in the lunettes of the eastern and western walls, in small squares with explanatory inscriptions in Gothic italic characters.
The frescoes are the work of an anonymous fifteenth-century Milanese painter: in the representation of the Evangelists on the vault he recalls the style of Michelino from Besozzo, while references to the Zavattari emerge in the figures of the Stories of Saint Catherine.

Categories: Places of historical value of artistic value


Via S. Francesco 1 – 20871 ORENO DI VIMERCATE – MB
Foto aggiuntive della Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta nella sezione Fotografia
Vimercate (Monza e Brianza): Votive frescoes in the Church of Santa Maria Assunta
Vimercate (Monza e Brianza): Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine in the Church of Santa Maria Assunta
Vimercate (Monza e Brianza): Detail of the stories of Saint Catherine in the Church of Santa Maria Assunta