S. Maria de episcopio a Ventaroli: le pitture murali più antiche
In: Quaderni dell'Istituto di Storia dell'Architettura: n.s. 2019, 2020
S. Maria de episcopio at Ventaroli: the oldest wall paintings
The murals of S. Maria de Episcopio were published for the first time in 1871 by Demetrio Salazaro; about thirty years later Émile Bertaux also studied them. Medieval paintings occupy the three apses and part of the central nave of the church. Although the frescoes by Ventaroli have been known for a long time, they remain highly discussed. The Byzantine style of the artists who made them has always been linked to the irradiation of the pictorial cicle of Sant’Angelo in Formis (1072-1087). However, the date of execution and the relationship between the different parts of the decoration remain highly controversial. It has long been believed that the reconstruction of the church may have occurred around the mid 11th century, when Ventaroli was still an episcopal see. The archaeological investigations that brought to light the oldest part of the building have revealed the existence of an early medieval decoration. This calls into question the entire chronology of the building.