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Open Access 9 Jerusalem in Renaissance Italy

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9 Jerusalem in Renaissance Italy

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Chapter Summary

The iconography of St Charles Borromeo (1538-84) contains some interesting instances of the kneeling saint in the immediate vicinity of the recumbent figure of the deceased Christ. According to Giussano's account and other biographical sources, in October 1584 Borromeo travelled to a pilgrim's sanctuary known as Sacro Monte near the town of Varallo Sesia in Piedmont, some one hundred kilometres northwest of the archiepiscopal see in Milan. In Varallo, St Charles visited the chapels where paintings and sculptures depicted episodes from Christ's Life and Passion, to which the chapels were dedicated. Borromeo turns out to have given special attention to the theme represented in the chapel of the Holy Sepulchre. The general layout and the location of the chapels on the Holy Mountain of Varallo, loosely and on a much smaller scale, followed the topographical disposition of Jerusalem.

Keywords: deceased Christ; Holy Sepulchre; Jerusalem; Sacro Monte; St Charles Borromeo; Varallo Sesia



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