Rom im Exil – die fiktiven Räume des Matteo Giovanetti in Avignon

Title: Rom im Exil – die fiktiven Räume des Matteo Giovanetti in Avignon
Variant title:
  • Řím v exilu – fiktivní prostory Mattea Giovanettiho v Avignonu
Author: Blume, Dieter
Source document: Convivium. 2015, vol. 2, iss. 1, pp. 74-87
  • ISSN
    2336-3452 (print)
    2336-808X (online)
Type: Article
Summary language
License: Not specified license
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The mid-fourteenth-century papal palace in Avignon built by Benedict xii and Clement vi included several chapels intended to replace churches in Rome that were important for papal processions. Two of these chapels adjacent to the great assembly halls have preserved their original fresco paintings. One chapel is dedicated to St Martial, a provincial saint who was believed to be a follower of St Peter and a contemporary of the apostles. Held to have Christianized Aquitania, Martial was an ideal prefiguration for the popes in Avignon. The other chapel was dedicated to St John the Baptist and St John the Evangelist and thus supplanted the importance of Rome's St John Lateran. The painter of the surviving frescoes, Matteo Giovanetti, depicted complex architecture in perspective construction and developed fictitious rooms and places that are more illusionistic than any pictures before them; they include impressive scenic landscapes. Indeed, these frescoes seem to widen the small chapels and to open their walls. Giovanetti therefore must be regarded as an important pioneer in illusionistic painting.