The intensive seismic activity that has always affected the Straits of Messina area and, in particular, the decisions concerning urban reconstruction adopted in Reggio Calabria after the earthquakes of 1783 and 1908 has completely changed the urban fabric of a city that from ancient times has occupied the same site, removing – except for part of a castle – the traces of its glorious past. The ancient church of Santa Maria Annunziata, better known as ‘degli Ottimati’, did not escape this process. It was demolished in 1914 along with the remnants of the cult building dedicated to San Gregorio Magno. A new church, built in 1933 at the corner of the streets Aschenez and Castello, now houses all that was considered worthy of being preserved of the ancient monument, including the altarpiece depicting the Annunciation by Agostino Ciampelli, 1597. More precious is the large marble floor that enriches the nave of the church, one of the rare surviving examples of the Medieval architecture of the city. The marble floor was the subject of careful dismantling and reconstruction (subsequent to integration carried out in 1858 with panels from the church of Santa Maria de’ Terreti) and it constitutes a fine example of ‘Cosmatesque’ art, comparable to the finest sectilia manufactured during the twelfth century in South-Central Italy and Sicily. A recent study of this floor highlighted the abundant use of two of the characteristic marbles of this kind of composition – red porphyry and serpentino – and also drew attention to the presence of white, grey, orange and red marbles, as well as of giallo antico. The aim of this essay is to provide a better definition of the marbles used in the opus sectile floor, and to attempt identification not only of the materials reclaimed from ancient structures but also of replacements used during the restorations of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

I marmi del pavimento medievale della chiesa di S.Maria Annunziata (cd. degli Ottimati) a Reggio Calabria.

TODESCO, Fabio
2012

Abstract

The intensive seismic activity that has always affected the Straits of Messina area and, in particular, the decisions concerning urban reconstruction adopted in Reggio Calabria after the earthquakes of 1783 and 1908 has completely changed the urban fabric of a city that from ancient times has occupied the same site, removing – except for part of a castle – the traces of its glorious past. The ancient church of Santa Maria Annunziata, better known as ‘degli Ottimati’, did not escape this process. It was demolished in 1914 along with the remnants of the cult building dedicated to San Gregorio Magno. A new church, built in 1933 at the corner of the streets Aschenez and Castello, now houses all that was considered worthy of being preserved of the ancient monument, including the altarpiece depicting the Annunciation by Agostino Ciampelli, 1597. More precious is the large marble floor that enriches the nave of the church, one of the rare surviving examples of the Medieval architecture of the city. The marble floor was the subject of careful dismantling and reconstruction (subsequent to integration carried out in 1858 with panels from the church of Santa Maria de’ Terreti) and it constitutes a fine example of ‘Cosmatesque’ art, comparable to the finest sectilia manufactured during the twelfth century in South-Central Italy and Sicily. A recent study of this floor highlighted the abundant use of two of the characteristic marbles of this kind of composition – red porphyry and serpentino – and also drew attention to the presence of white, grey, orange and red marbles, as well as of giallo antico. The aim of this essay is to provide a better definition of the marbles used in the opus sectile floor, and to attempt identification not only of the materials reclaimed from ancient structures but also of replacements used during the restorations of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11570/1918768
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