Marble bas-reliefs of the Medieval period, besides tables and paintings of refined manufacture, made in various times, embellish the Church of the “Santi Filippo e Giacomo”. Among the works worthy of interest there are some works made with techniques typical of the local handicraft.
Rich in artistic and architectural beauties, Sorrento cathedral boasts also the presence of numerous finds of the Medieval period, above all in the Baptistery Chapel (the first one on the right).
Right close to the font where the famous Torquato Tasso is supposed to have been baptized, for instance, there is a fragment of the altar fence of the ancient Sorrento Cathedral (going back to the 10th century) and some tiles – made by Andrea Pisano in 1340 – depicting images of Apostles and Saints. In the same Chapel, moreover, one can appreciate another magnificent marble bas-relief (of the Renaissance period) depicting the Redeemer.
Very close to this chapel – on which Brancia Family, in the past, revenged “patronate” – there is, at the end of the left aisle, another big marble block of the medieval period.
Probably, it was originally (10th century) the support of an altar and is characterized for its sculptured representation of a rampant lioness with its jaws open so as to let its tongue and sharp fangs see.
This same block, nevertheless, was used, in the early-renaissance period, to become the cover of the tomb of a noble man (Marcus Titianus) of whom it has the appearance.
Particularly interesting – under the sculptural point of view – moreover, are the Archbishop throne, commissioned around 1573 by the Archbishop of the time, Monsignor Lelio Brancaccio, and the pulpit which is in front of it.
This one is decorated by marble bas-reliefs which represent Jesus’ baptism and the stem of family Ammone (to whom Archdeacon Giovanni, who gave the work in the same year 1573, belonged).
Many are, then, the altars made with polychrome marbles which can be appreciated in this church entitled to the Saints Philip and James the Younger, and which make each Chapel more precious.
Among the most ancient and precious paintings, instead, there is a 15th century table – situated in the high part of the Presbytery – on which a Virgin of Purity; a table of the Siena school of the 15th century which represents Jesus’ Nativity (and which is situated in the Chapel dedicated to Saint Michael), a table of Silvestro Buono the Younger (1580) on which the Virgin Mary between Saint John the Baptizer and Saint John the Evangelist is depicted, besides a series of splendid paintings distributed in the whole Church.
Among those considered of major prestige, there are pictures of Saint Philip, of Saint James and of the Assumption of the Virgin into Heaven (made between the end of 1600 and the beginning of 1700 by Giacomo del Po’), which decorate the ceiling of the transept.
Set in the ceiling of the nave, instead, there are the paintings which depict the “Martyrdom of the earliest Sorrento Christians” and the Patron Saints of Sorrento: Sant’Antonino, San Baccolo, San Renato, San Valerio and Sant’Anastasio (made respectively by the brothers Oronzo and Nicola Malinconico).
In the same Sorrento Cathedral, moreover, it is possible to admire also interesting artistic expressions made – according traditions of the local handicraft – by recurring to inlay and wood tarsia.
Among the former ones, there is the magnificent wooden chorus which is behind the high altar, whilst among the latter ones both the doors of the main entrance and the ones of the side entrance, and a suggestive Way of the Cross are noteworthy.
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Sergio - 26/03/2017
Quando l'arte muove l'emozione..