The Frescoes of 14th and 15th Century

Santuario e Sacro Monte di Oropa

Oropa Ancient Basilica, Arch. Francesco Conti, 1600/1620, From the collection of: Santuario e Sacro Monte di Oropa
The Old Basilica
The Ancient Basilica, the spiritual heart of the Sanctuary, was erected in the 17th century, in the aftermath of the plague of 1599, to fulfill a vow made by the Municipality of Biella.  The Basilica, erected on the site of the ancient church of Santa Maria, holds the Eusebian Sacellum, a shrine which dates back to the 9th century. The cupola and the internal walls of the Sacellum display precious frescoes dating back to the 13th/ 14th century, the work of an unknown artist known as the Master of Oropa. The frescoes, centered on the life of the Virgin and on those saints that were object of particular veneration of the ancient hermitage, are a precious testimony of sacred iconography.
Sacellum, 800/900, From the collection of: Santuario e Sacro Monte di Oropa

The holy shrine at the centre of the Basilica (sacellum) is a church within the church. It is a small building from 9th Century covered with marbles, bronzes and various decorations.

Oropa Black Madonna, 1295/1295, From the collection of: Santuario e Sacro Monte di Oropa

The Shrine holds the statue of the Black Madonna, made of Pinus Cembra or Swiss pinewood, the work of a 13th century woodcarver native of Valle d’Aosta.

Altarpiece, M. Giovanna Brovetto Rondo, 1964, From the collection of: Santuario e Sacro Monte di Oropa

According to the tradition the statue was brought to Oropa in the 4th century by Saint Eusebius, who is said to have hidden the statue amongst the rocks

Altarpiece, M. Giovanna Brovetto Rondo, 1964, From the collection of: Santuario e Sacro Monte di Oropa
Altarpiece, M. Giovanna Brovetto Rondo, 1964, From the collection of: Santuario e Sacro Monte di Oropa
Frescoes of the Sacellum, Oropa Master, 1300/1320, From the collection of: Santuario e Sacro Monte di Oropa

The holy shrine is decorated by interesting frescoes that date back to the beginning of 14th Century. On the walls there is a depiction of saints and of episodes from the Virgin Mary's life

Frescoes of the Sacellum, Oropa Master, 1300/1320, From the collection of: Santuario e Sacro Monte di Oropa

The Annunciation of Mary

Frescoes of the Sacellum, Oropa Master, 1300/1320, From the collection of: Santuario e Sacro Monte di Oropa

Saint Michael and Saint Stephen

Frescoes of the Sacellum, Oropa Master, 1300/1320, From the collection of: Santuario e Sacro Monte di Oropa

King Astyages

Frescoes of the Sacellum, Oropa Master, 1300/1320, From the collection of: Santuario e Sacro Monte di Oropa

The Nativity of Jesus

Frescoes of the Sacellum, Oropa Master, 1300/1320, From the collection of: Santuario e Sacro Monte di Oropa
Frescoes of the Sacellum, Oropa Master, 1300/1320, From the collection of: Santuario e Sacro Monte di Oropa
Frescoes of the Sacellum, Oropa Master, 1300/1320, From the collection of: Santuario e Sacro Monte di Oropa

Our Lady of milk

Frescoes of the Sacellum, Oropa Master, 1300/1320, From the collection of: Santuario e Sacro Monte di Oropa
Frescoes of the Sacellum, Oropa Master, 1300/1320, From the collection of: Santuario e Sacro Monte di Oropa
Frescoes of the Sacellum, Oropa Master, 1300/1320, From the collection of: Santuario e Sacro Monte di Oropa
Frescoes of the Sacellum, Oropa Master, 1300/1320, From the collection of: Santuario e Sacro Monte di Oropa

On the dome of the Sacellum, besides the depictions of Saints, is represented the Coronation of Virgin Mary

Frescoes of the Sacellum, Oropa Master, 1300/1320, From the collection of: Santuario e Sacro Monte di Oropa
Frescoes of the Sacellum, Oropa Master, 1300/1320, From the collection of: Santuario e Sacro Monte di Oropa

Saint Onuphrius

Frescos on panel, 1400/1420, From the collection of: Santuario e Sacro Monte di Oropa
Other frescoes
The chapel behind the sacellum displays the frescoes on panel coming from the Church of St. Paul of Burcina (in Biella Vandorno) and St. Bartholomew, coming from the priorate having the same name. The frescoes, dating from the 14th and 15th centuries, include the Nursing Madonna and Saints, the Madonna and Child and the Agony of St. Bartholomew
Frescos on panel, 1400/1420, From the collection of: Santuario e Sacro Monte di Oropa
Frescos on panel, 1400/1420, From the collection of: Santuario e Sacro Monte di Oropa
Frescos on panel, 1400/1420, From the collection of: Santuario e Sacro Monte di Oropa
Frescos on panel, 1400/1420, From the collection of: Santuario e Sacro Monte di Oropa
Frescos on panel, 1400/1420, From the collection of: Santuario e Sacro Monte di Oropa
Frescos on panel, 1400/1420, From the collection of: Santuario e Sacro Monte di Oropa
Frescos on panel, 1400/1420, From the collection of: Santuario e Sacro Monte di Oropa

Our Lady nursing

Frescos on panel, 1400/1420, From the collection of: Santuario e Sacro Monte di Oropa
Frescos on panel, 1400/1420, From the collection of: Santuario e Sacro Monte di Oropa
Frescos on panel, 1400/1420, From the collection of: Santuario e Sacro Monte di Oropa

Saint Lucy

Frescos on panel, 1400/1420, From the collection of: Santuario e Sacro Monte di Oropa

Paul of Thebes and Anthony the Great

Frescos on panel, 1400/1420, From the collection of: Santuario e Sacro Monte di Oropa
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