Sunday, June 01, 2008

Trento - the Months Pass By

Trentino Province MapIn 1545 the first session of the Council of Trent was convened in the capital of the Trentino-Alte Adige region of Italy. An attempt by the Roman Catholic Church to institute reforms that would encourage breakaway groups - in particular German Protestants - to return to Mother Church, it was held in various venues throughout Trento over an 8 year period. That event still has resonance in modern day Trento, a charming city with a beautiful Romanesque Duomo, A Trento streetthe richly decorated Castello del Buonconsiglio, streets lined with splendid Renaissance mansions, a fascinating Diocesan Museum and at least two great restaurants that we found in the two days we were there. Plus it is surrounded by the snow capped Dolomites.

You may have noticed the ceramic on the sidebar - or maybe not, I'm never sure if people notice that sort of thing - its one of a series depicting the months of the year hanging in the B&B - Maso Wallenburg - we stayed at just on the outskirts of the city. It is a working vineyard and winery and though ideally a car is needed we found taxis readily available and inexpensive. And on two occasions the very personable hosts - Eugene and Bruna - offered to drive us into town. The charming series of plates on the wall of the breakfast room present happy peasants engaged in the activities deemed appropriate for the month. A click on the little guy at the right shows he is harvesting the spring wheat crop - an activity you can still see on the train ride up though in a more modern form.

The Months - Fresco cycleIn the Months fesco cycle at Castello del Buonconsiglio small twisted columns separate the panels giving the impression of an open loggia allowing you to observe the peasants at work and the nobles at play in landscapes that changes as the seasons pass.

The months of the year was a reoccurring theme in Trento - perhaps reflecting the agrarian culture that has always been important to the area. The Torre Aquila of the Castello houses one of the most original and celebrated fresco cycles of the Months in Italy. Dating from 1400, it was commissioned by Prince-Bishop Georg von Liechtenstein probably from a Bohemian artist. It is an extremely idealised view of the Prince's feudal world depicting the activities of eleven months of the year (March was lost when a staircase was cut into the wall of the tower.) Always in the foreground nobles - large figures, slender, splendidly dressed - play, dance, sing, joust or court. In the background the smaller peasant figures toil endlessly at their tasks according to the months of the year.

I thought I would post a panel at the beginning of every month - what I'll do in March I'll worry about next February. The first panel will appear later today.

01 giugno - San Giustino

1 comment:

Doralong said...

Very, very cool!