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Confraternity of S. Giacomo Apostolo - Diocese of La Spezia-Sarzana-Brugnato

Levanto - SP

Bas-relief (Liguria)

  • Confraternity of St. James the Apostle

    In the oldest part of the medieval village of Levanto stands the Oratory of S. Giacomo Apostolo, which has been the seat of the homonymous Confraternity for more than four hundred years. On the portal of the building, surmounted by the fresco of San Giacomo “matamoros” (literally “fighting the Saracens”) there is a marble bas-relief, from the Lombard school, dating back to the first decades of the 15th century. In this sculptural work, the motifs constituting the spiritual patrimony of the Brotherhood are present, fixed in the marble. The first motif, the oldest and the "foundation stone" of the Confraternity, is the ensemble represented by St. James "pilgrim", located on the left side; it refers to the great medieval pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. The second reason reflects the new religious movements that subsequently characterized Western Christianity, among which we remember the Flagellants and the Whites. The members of the Brotherhood, forgetting the true nature of the previous Iacobean devotion, converted to the new spirituality, accepting its rules and making them enter their religious heritage. Testimony of this is found on the right side of the bas-relief, where the hooded figures carry a "scourge" at the waist. A visible expression of the religiosity of the Whites is the Passion, around which the two preceding motifs of the pilgrim St. James and the Flagellants converge. In it we see, to the left of the Cross, the Apostle John and next to him Mary, both seated in prayer at the foot of the Cross. But above the figures taken in their singularity, the Crucifix stands out and, before Christ who is realized in all his fullness, they strip themselves of their individuality, completing and nullifying their diversity in the living symbol of Divine Redemption.

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