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Église Saint-Maurice

Diocesi di Susa ( sec. XV )

Rue Saint-Maurice, 74000 Annecy, Francia

Located in the old town of Annecy, in the French department of Haute-Savoie, the church was built from 1422 onwards as the chapel of the Dominican settlement promoted by Cardinal Jean-Allarmet de Brogny (1342-1426), in the aftermath of the fire that had devastated the town. Jean Magnin is responsible for the continuation of the building with the construction of the nave. This was followed during the 16th century by the foundation of the side chapels by local corporations and noble families.
The building, modelled on the churches of the Dominican Order with a wide central nave to accommodate an increasing number of worshippers, established itself as a privileged place of local devotion, a role it maintained until the end of the 18th century. Following the French Revolution, the church was sacked and used as a wheat market until 1802, when Catholic worship was restored and it was dedicated to Saint-Maurice, the patron saint of Savoy.
Restoration work carried out in 1956 brought to light two extraordinary examples of 15th-century pictorial decoration: the Assumption of the Virgin supported by four angels between the kneeling figures of the blessed Cardinal Pierre de Luxembourg (1369-1387) and the apostle Thomas, painted in a niche (originally deeper) on a pillar in the central nave, near the entrance to the chapel founded in 1478 by the Savoy-Luxembourg family. Linked to the incredulity of St. Thomas and the miraculous descent of the Virgin's belt, the subject is inspired by an apocryphal episode narrated by the Dominican Jacopo da Varagine in his famous Leggenda Aurea. The theme was depicted in the same years at Notre-Dame des Fontaines in La Brigue but within a cycle dedicated to the life of the Virgin.
Also rare and of particular note is the large wall painting (h 2.20x5 metres) adorning the left wall of the choir, a fragment of a larger composition and hitherto hidden behind the wooden stalls. It symbolises the burial of Philibert de Monthouz, advisor to the Dukes of Savoy and Burgundy, who died in 1458. The composition is dominated by a large stone sarcophagus on which the skeleton of the deceased is portrayed. All around, inside architectural niches with cross vaults, is the procession of mourners dressed in cassocks. The fresco, painted in grisaille, i.e. monochrome in shades of grey, is attributed to Hans Witz, originally from Eichstätt in Bavaria, active from the mid 15th century under the high patronage of the Savoy family between Chambéry and Geneva and an essential point of reference for exchanges between Italy and Northern Europe.
Major works carried out in the church since 2014 have made it possible to further the material and formal knowledge of these paintings.

La figura della Vergine è tra le più venerate nella liturgia cristiana cattolica e ortodossa e conseguentemente la rappresentazione della sua vita è tra le tematiche più presenti nella storia dell’arte e nei cicli affrescati presenti nelle chiese cristiane. I Vangeli canonici forniscono un quantitativo limitato di notizie relativamente alla figura della Madre del Cristo, mentre una maggiore fonte di ispirazione è giunta agli artisti dai Vangeli apocrifi e in particolare dal Protovangelo di Giacomo, databile al 150 circa: in quest’ultimo testo sono presenti le storie della nascita, infanzia e giovinezza di Maria. Dal Vangelo di Gamaliele (IV sec.) vengono invece attinti particolari legati al dolore vissuto dalla Vergine durante avvenimenti della Passione di Cristo, mentre i racconti della Dormitio Mariae (II-V sec.) narrano del trapasso e dell’Assunzione di Maria.

External links
Lun-Dom 09:00 - 18:00

The building may be visited at the times indicated unless a religious function is in progress


Cattedrale di Susa
type of building
Chiese e comunità parrocchiali
Rue Saint-Maurice, 74000 Annecy, Francia


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