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Chapter 12

THE PALACE OF PILATE.


We now come to the block of several chapels comprised in a building originally designed by Pellegrini at the instance of S. Carlo Borromeo, but not carried out according to his design, and called "The Palace of Pilate." This work was begun about 1590, and according to Fassola was not completed till 1660. The figures, however, must have been most of them placed by 1644, for they are mainly by Giovanni D'Enrico, who is believed to have died in that year. The first of these chapels--the Capture of Christ--and probably several others, comprise some figures taken from earlier chapels. Fassola says that before this building was erected, the old portico built by Milano Scarrognini stood in the Piazza in front of the Holy Sepulchre, that "in its circuit of three hundred paces it comprised several mysteries of the passion." Among these were probably the present Flagellation, Crowning with Thorns, and final Taking of Christ before Pilate chapels. Each of these, however, has undergone some modification.

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CHAPEL No. 23. THE CAPTURE OF CHRIST.


This chapel is in the Palazzo di Pilato block, though not strictly a suffering under Pontius Pilate. The greater number of the sixteen figures that it contains are old, and of wood, and among these are the figures of Christ, Judas, and Malchus, who is lying on the ground. To show how dust and dirt accumulate in the course of centuries, I may say that Cav. Prof. Antonini told me he had himself unburied the figure of Malchus, which he found more than half covered with earth. We have seen that there are also two figures introduced here which had no connection with the original chapel, I mean of course the old Adam and Eve, who are now doing duty as Roman soldiers. The few remaining figures that are not of wood are given to D'Enrico, and the frescoes are by his brother Melchiorre. Neither figures nor frescoes can be highly praised. The present chapel is not on the site of the old, which I have already explained was on the ground floor of the large house on the visitor's left as he enters the smaller entrance to the Sacro Monte.

The servants were put to lodge above this old and now derelict Capture chapel when the present one was made. The date of the removal is given by Cusa as 1570, who says that the Marchese del Guasto contributed largely to the expense. If the figures were then completed and arranged as we now see them, Giovanni D'Enrico can have had no hand in them, but it is quite possible that somewhere about 1615-1619, they were again rearranged and perhaps added to. Melchiorre D'Enrico has signed the frescoes in a quasi-cipher and dated them 1619. The old chapel, though, I think, originally larger than it now is, could not have contained all or nearly all the present figures. Any second rearrangement of the chapel may have been due to its incorporation in the Palazzo di Pilato block, which we know was not begun till after 1590. That the removal from the original chapel had been effected before 1586 is shown by the fact that the chapel is given in its present geographical sequence in the edition of Caccia published at the end of that year. The work contains no trace of Tabachetti's hand, and this should make us incline towards thinking that. Tabachetti had not yet come to Varallo by 1570.

Of the former chapel Fassola says:-

"On again descending where formerly was the Capture of Christ, and near the exit [from the Sacro Monte] we came to the porter's lodge. It should be noted that under the porter's room, in the place where the Capture used to be, there are most admirable frescoes by Gaudenzio" (p. 22).

With his accustomed reticence where he fears to give offence, he does not say that the frescoes are going to rack and ruin, but this is what he means; Torrotti expresses himself more freely, saying that a chapel, although derelict, containing paintings by Gaudenzio and his pupils, should not be left to the neglect of servants. These frescoes were removed a year or so ago to the Pinacoteca in the Museum. They are not by Gaudenzio, and are now rightly given to Lanini. They are mere fragments, and of no great importance.

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CHAPEL No. 24. CHRIST TAKEN TO ANNAS.


This is the one chapel that belongs to the 18th century, having been finished about 1765 at the expense of certain Valsesians residing in Turin. It does not belong to the Palazzo di Pilato block, but I deal with it here to avoid departure from the prescribed order. The design of the chapel is by Morondi, and the figures by Carlantonio Tandarini, except that of Annas, which is by Giambattista Bernesi of Turin. The frescoes are of the usual drop scene, barocco, academic kind, but where the damp has spared them they form an effective background. The figures want concert, and are too much spotted about so as each one to be seen to the best advantage. This, as Tabachetti very well knew, is not in the manner of living action, and the attempt to render it on these principles is doomed to failure; nevertheless many of Tandarini's individual figures are very clever, and have a good deal of a certain somewhat exaggerated force and character. I have already said that from the plan of 1671 "The Widow's Son" would seem to have been formerly on the site of the present Annas chapel.

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CHAPEL No. 25. CHRIST TAKEN BEFORE CAIAPHAS.


Cusa says that this chapel, which again is not in the Palazzo di Pilato block, adheres very closely to the design of Pellegrino Tibaldi. The figures, thirty-three in number, are by Giovanni D'Enrico and Giacomo Ferro, and the frescoes being dated 1642, we may think the terra-cotta work to be among the last done by D'Enrico on the Sacro Monte. The figure of Caiaphas must be given to him, and it is hard to see how it could have been more dramatically treated. Caiaphas has stepped down from his throne, which is left vacant behind him, and is adjuring Jesus to say whether he is the Christ the Son of God. If it were not for the cobweb between the arm and the body, the photograph which is here given might almost pass as having been taken from life, and the character is so priest-like that it is hard to understand how priests could have tolerated it as they did. Indeed, the figure is so far finer than the general run of Giovanni D'Enrico's work, and so infinitely superior to the four figures of Pilate in the four Pilate chapels, that we should be tempted to give it to some other sculptor if, happily, the Herod did not also show how great D'Enrico could be when he was doing his best, and if the evidence for its having been by him were not so strong.

To the left of Caiaphas's empty throne are two standing figures, which look as if they had been begun for figures of Christ, but were condemned as not good enough. They may perhaps be intended for Joseph and Nicodemus. Some few of the other figures, which in all number thirty-three, are also full of character, but the greater part of them do not rise above the level of Giacomo Ferro's supers, and suffer from having lost much paint; nevertheless the chapel is effective, chiefly, doubtless, through the excellence of the Caiaphas himself, and if we could see the work as it was when D'Enrico left it we should doubtless find it more effective still.

The frescoes are by Cristoforo Martinolo, also named Rocca. They are not of remarkable excellence, but form an efficient background, and are among the best preserved on the Sacro Monte. They have also the great merit of being legibly signed and dated.

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CHAPEL No. 26. THE REPENTANCE OF ST. PETER.


Hard by under a portico there is a statue of St. Peter, repentant, and over him there is a cock still crowing. The figure of St. Peter, and presumably that of the cock also, are by D'Enrico. I can find nothing about the date in any author.

This cock is said to have been the chief instrument in a miracle not less noteworthy than any recorded in connection with the Sacro Monte. It seems that on the 3rd of July 1653 a certain Lorenzo Togni from Buccioleto, who had been a martyr to intemperance for many years, came to the Sacro Monte in that state in which martyrs to intemperance must be expected generally to be. It was very early in the morning, but nevertheless the man was drunk, though still just able to go the round of the chapels. Nothing noticeable occurred till he got to the Caiaphas chapel, but here all on a sudden, to the amazement of the man himself, and of others who were standing near, a noise was heard to come from up aloft in the St. Peter chapel, and it was seen that the cock had turned round and was flapping his wings with an expression of great severity. Before they had recovered from their surprise, the bird exclaimed in a loud voice, and with the utmost distinctness, "Ciocc' anch' anc'uei," running the first two words somewhat together, and dwelling long on the last syllable, which is sounded like a long French "eu" and a French "i." These words I am told mean, "Drunk again to-day also?" the "anc'uei" being a Piedmontese patois for "ancora oggi." The bird repeated these words three or four times over, and then turned round on its perch, to all appearance terra cotta again. The effect produced upon the drunkard was such that he could never again be prevailed upon to touch wine, and ever since this chapel has been the one most resorted to by people who wish to give up drinking to excess.

The foregoing story is not given either in Fassola or Torrotti, but my informant, a most intelligent person, assured me that to this day the cocks about Varallo do not unfrequently say "Ciocc' anch' anc'uei"--indeed, I have repeatedly heard them do so with the most admirable distinctness. I am told that cocks sometimes challenge, and wish to fight, well-done cocks on crucifixes, but it is some way from this to the cock on the crucifix beginning to crow too. One does not see where this sort of thing is to end, and once terra-cotta always terra-cotta, is a maxim that a respectable figure would on the whole do well to lay to heart and abide by.

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CHAPEL No. 27. CHRIST BEFORE PILATE.


The Pilate is not nearly so good as the Caiaphas in the preceding chapel, but though there is not one single figure of superlative excellence, this is still one of D'Enrico's best works, and the Pilate is the best of the four Pilates. The nineteen figures are generally ascribed to him; and, I should say there was less Giacomo Ferro in this chapel than in most of D'Enrico's. Possibly Giacomo Ferro was not yet D'Enrico's assistant. The frescoes are by Antonio, or Tanzio, D'Enrico, but I cannot see much in them to admire.

The date is given by Bordiga as about 1620, but no date is given either by Fassola or Torrotti. The nude figure to the left, seated and holding a spear near the spectator, is said to be a portrait of Tanzio, but Bordiga thinks that if we are to look for the portrait anywhere in this composition, we should do so in the open gallery above the gate of the Pretorium, where we shall find a figure that has nothing to do with the story, and represents a "jocund-looking" but venerable old man, wearing a hat with a white feather in it, and like the portrait of Melchiorre painted by himself in his Last Judgment--presumably the one outside the church at Riva Valdobbia. Bordiga adds that Melchiorre was still living in 1620, when Tanzio was at work on these frescoes.

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CHAPEL No. 28. CHRIST BEFORE HEROD.


Bordiga says that this chapel was begun in 1606, as shown by a letter from Monsignor Bescape, Bishop of Novara, authorising the Fabbricieri to appropriate three hundred scudi from the Mass chest for the purpose of erecting it, but it was not finished until 1638. The statues, thirty-five in number, are by Giovanni D'Enrico, and the frescoes by Tanzio, but we have no means of dating either the one or the other accurately.

The figure of Herod is incomparably finer than any others in the chapel, if we except those of two laughing boys on Herod's left that are hardly seen till one is inside the chapel itself. Take each of the figures separately and few are good. As usual in D'Enrico's chapels, there is a deficiency of the ensemble and concert which no one except Tabachetti seems to have been able to give in sculptured groups containing many figures; nevertheless, the Herod and the laughing boys atone almost for any deficiency. Bordiga speaks of the frescoes in the highest terms, but I do not admire them as I should wish to do. They are generally considered as Antonio D'Enrico's finest work on the Sacro Monte.

The figures behind the two boys' heads coming very awkwardly in my photograph, my friend Mr. Gogin has kindly painted them out for me, so as to bring the boys' heads out better.

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CHAPEL No. 29. CHRIST TAKEN BACK TO PILATE.


This is supposed to be the last work of Giovanni D'Enrico, who, according to Durandi, died in 1644. The scene comprises twenty-three terra-cotta figures, few of them individually good, but nevertheless effective as a whole. One man, the nearest but one to the spectator, must be given to D'Enrico, and perhaps one or two more, but the greater number must have been done by Giacomo Ferro. The frescoes were begun both by Morazzone and Antonio D'Enrico, but Fassola and Torrotti say that neither the one nor the other was able to complete the work, which in their time was still unfinished; but Doctor Morosini was going to get a really good man to finish them without further delay. Eventually the brothers Grandi of Milan came and did the Doric architecture, while Pietro Gianoli did some sibyls, and on the facciata "il casto Giuseppe portato da due Angioli." Gianoli signed his work and dated it 1679. We know, then, that in this case the sculptured figures were placed some years before the background, as probably also with several other chapels; and it may be assumed that generally the terra-cotta figures preceded the background--which was designed for them, and not they for it, except in the case of Gaudenzio Ferrari--who probably conceived both the round and flat work together as part of the same design, and was thus the only artist on the Sacro Monte who carried out the design of uniting painting and sculpture in a single design, under the conditions which strictly it involves.

In connection with this chapel both Fassola and Torrotti say that D'Enrico has intentionally made Christ's face become smaller and smaller during each of these last scenes, as becoming contracted through increase of suffering. I have been unable to see that this is more than fancy on their parts.

It is also in connection with this chapel that we discover the true date of Fassola's book. He says that they had been on the lookout "during the whole OF LAST YEAR"--which he gives as 1669--for some one to finish the frescoes. "Now, however," he continues, "when this book is seeing light," &c. The book therefore should be seeing light in 1670. It is dated 1671. True, Fassola may have been writing at the very end of 1670, and the book may have been published at the beginning of 1671, but perhaps the more natural conclusion is that the same reasons which make publishers wish to misdate their books by a year now, made them wish to do so then, and that though Fassola's book appeared at the end of 1670, as would appear from his own words, it was nevertheless dated 1671.

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CHAPEL No. 30. THE FLAGELLATION.


Torrotti and Fassola say that the Christ in this chapel, as well as in all the others, is an actual portrait--and no doubt an admirable one--communicated by Divine inspiration to the many workmen and artists who worked on the Sacro Monte. This, they say, may be known from two documents contemporaneous with Christ Himself, in which His personal appearance is fully set forth, and which seem almost to have been written from the statues now existing at Varallo. The worthy artists who made these statues were by no means given to historical investigations, and were little likely to know anything about the letters in question; besides, these had only just been discovered, so that there can have been no deception or illusion. Both Fassola and Torrotti give the letters in full, and to their pages the reader who wishes to see them may be referred. Fassola writes:-

"Hora vegga ogni diuoto se rassomigliando queste statue al vero Christo essendo lauorate accidentalmente, parendo da Dio sia dato alli Statuarij, e Pittori il lume della sua Diuina Persona non si ha se non per mera sua disposizione e diachiarazione d'hauer quiui quasi come rinouata, e resa piu commoda alla Christianita la sua Redenzione" (p. 103).

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The work is mentioned as completed in the 1586 edition of Caccia-- this, and the Crowning with Thorns, being the only two that are described as completed of those that now form part of the Palazzo di Pilato block. These two chapels do not in reality, however, belong to the Palazzo di Pilato at all; they existed long before it, and the new work was added on to them. Bordiga says that "an order of Monsignor Bescape relating to this chapel, and dated February 1, 1605, shows that there was as yet no plan of this part of the Palace of Pilate." I have not seen this order, and can only speak with diffidence, but I do not think the chapel has been much modified since 1586, beyond the fact that Rocca, whom we have already met with as painting in the Caiaphas chapel in 1642, at some time or another painted a new background, which is now much injured by damp.

Not only does the author of the 1586 Caccia mention the chapel, but he does it with more effusion than is usual with him. He rarely says anything in praise of any but the best work. I do not, therefore, think it likely that his words refer to the original wooden figures, two of which were preserved when the work was remodelled; these two mar the chapel now, and when all the work was of the same calibre it cannot have kindled any enthusiasm in a writer who appears to have known very fairly well which were the best chapels. He says:-


"Da manigoldi, in atto acerbo e fiero,
Alla colonna Christo flagellato
Da scultor dotto assimigliato al vero
Di questo {13} in un de i lati e dimostrato,

E come fusse macerato e nero, D'aspri flagelli percosso, e vergato, Di Christo il sacro corpo in ogni parte, Vi ha sculto dotto mastro in sottil arte."


I think the reconstruction of the chapel, then, and its assumption of its present state, except that a fresco background was added, should be assigned to some year about 1580-1585, and am disposed to ascribe, at any rate, the figure of the man who is binding Christ to the column to Tabachetti, who was then working on the Sacro Monte, and whose style the work seems to me to resemble more nearly than it does that of D'Enrico. Whoever the chapel is by, it was evidently in its present place and much admired in 1586; there could hardly, therefore, have been any occasion to reconstruct it, especially when so much other work was crying to be done, and when it had, in all probability, been once reconstructed already.

On the whole, until external evidence shows D'Enrico to have done the figures, I shall continue to think that at least one of them, and very possibly all except the two old wooden ones, are by Tabachetti. The foot of the man binding Christ to the column has crumbled away, either because the clay was bad, or from insufficient baking. This is why the figure is propped up with a piece of wood. The damp has made the rope slack, so that the pulling action of the figure is in great measure destroyed, its effect being cancelled by its ineffectualness; but for this the reader will easily make due allowance. The same man reappears presently in the balcony of the Ecce Homo chapel, but he is there evidently done by another and much less vigorous hand.

The man in the foreground, who is stooping down and binding his rods, is the same as the one who is kicking Christ in Tabachetti's Journey to Calvary, and is one of those adopted by Tabachetti from Gaudenzio Ferrari's Crucifixion chapel; this figure may perhaps have been an addition by Giovanni D'Enrico, or have been done by an assistant, for it is hardly up to Tabachetti's mark. The two nearest scourgers are fine powerful figures, but I should admit that they remind me rather of D'Enrico than of Tabachetti, though they might also be very well by him, and probably are so.

Fassola says that the graces obtainable by the faithful here have relation to every kind of need; they are in a high degree unspecialised, and that this freedom from specialisation is characteristic of all the chapels of the Passion.

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CHAPEL No. 31. THE CROWNING WITH THORNS.


Much that was said about the preceding chapel applies also to this. It is mentioned in the 1586 edition of Caccia as done "sottilmente in natural ritratto," and as being one of the few works that would form part of the Palazzo di Pilato block that were as yet completed.

That this chapel had undergone one reconstruction before 1586, we may gather from the fact that the left-hand wall is still covered with a fresco of the Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise; this has no connection with the Crowning with Thorns, and doubtless formed the background to the original Adam and Eve. I have already said that I am indebted to Signor Arienta for this suggestion. Bordiga calls this subject Christ being Led to be Crowned, and gives it to Crespi da Cerano, but I cannot understand how he can see in the work anything but an Expulsion from Paradise. The chapel having been reconstructed before 1586 on its present site--as it evidently had been--and being admired, is not likely to have been reconstructed a second time, and I am again, therefore, inclined to give the whole work, or at any rate the greater part of it, to Tabachetti, and to reject the statements of Fassola, Torrotti, Bordiga, and Cusa, who all ascribe the figures to D'Enrico. The two men standing up behind Christ, one taunting Him, and the other laughing, are among the finest on the Sacro Monte, and are much more in Tabachetti's manner than in D'Enrico's. The other figures are, as they were doubtless intended to be, of minor interest.

Some of the frescoes other than those above referred to, were added at a later date, and are said by Bordiga, on the authority of a covenant, dated September 27th, 1608, to have been done by Antonio Rantio, who undertook to paint them for a sum of ten ducatoons. They are without interest.

It was here the Flemish dancer was healed.

His name was Bartholomew Jacob, and he came from Graveling in Flanders. It seems there was a ball going on at the house of one of this man's ancestors, and that the Last Sacraments were being carried through the street under the windows of the ball-room.

The dancing ought by rights to have been stopped, but the host refused to stop it, and presently the priest who was carrying the Sacrament found a paper under the chalice, written in a handwriting of almost superhuman neatness, presumably that of the Madonna herself and bearing the words, "Dancer, thou wouldst not stay thy dance: I curse thee, therefore, that thou dance for nine generations." And so he did, he and all his descendants all their lives, till it came to Bartholomew Jacob, who was the ninth in descent. He too began life dancing, and was still dancing when he started on a pilgrimage to Rome; when, however, he got to the Sacro Monte at Varallo on the 7th of January 1646, he began to feel tired, tremulous, and languid from so much incessant movement. This strange feeling attacked him first at the Nativity Chapel, but by the time he got to the Crowning with Thorns he could stand it no longer, and fell as one dead, to rise again presently perfectly whole, and relieved of his distressing complaint.

Personally I find this story interesting as giving high support to the theory I have been trying to insist upon for some years past, and according to which in a certain sense a man is personally identical with all the generations in the direct line both of his ancestry and his descendants, as well as with himself. The words "Thou shalt dance for nine generations" involve one of the most important points contended for in my earlier book, "Life and Habit." Fassola and Torrotti both say that more pilgrims left alms at this chapel than at any other. In fact they both seem to consider that this chapel did very well. "Qui," says Torrotti, "si colgano elemosine assai," and, as I have said already, it is here that a few autumn leaves of waxen images still linger.

A few weeks ago I saw the original document in which the story above given was attested. It was dated 1671, and signed, stamped, and sealed as a document of the highest importance. I noticed that in this manuscript, it was a voice that was heard, and not as in Fassola a letter that was found.

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CHAPEL No 32. CHRIST AT THE STEPS OF THE PRETORIUM.


This is not mentioned in the 1586 edition of Caccia, perhaps as being a poor and unimportant work. Fassola says that some of the frescoes, as well as of the statues, which, he says, are of wood, were by Gaudenzio. The other statues are given both by Fassola and Torrotti to D'Enrico, and the paintings to Gianoli, a wealthy Valsesian amateur who lived at Campertogno. Bordiga gives the statues to Ferro, already mentioned as a pupil of D'Enrico, but whoever did them, they are about as bad as they can be--too bad, I should say, for Giacomo Ferro, and I am not sure that they are not of wood even now. No traces of Gaudenzio's frescoes remain. The chapel seems to have been reconstructed in connection with the replica of the Scala Santa up which Christ is going to be conducted. We have seen that the design for these stairs was procured from Rome in 1608 by Francesco Testa, who was then Fabbriciere.

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CHAPEL No 33. ECCE HOMO.


This is one of the finest chapels, the concert between the figures being better than in most of D'Enrico's other work, notwithstanding the fact that more than one, and probably several, are old figures taken from chapels that were displaced when the Palazzo di Pilato block was made. The figures are thirty-seven in number, and are disposed in a spacious hall not wholly unlike the vestibule of the Reform Club, Christ and His immediate persecutors appearing in a balustraded balcony above a spacious portico that supports it. This must have been one of D'Enrico's first works on the Sacro Monte, the frescoes having been paid for on Dec. 7, 1612, as shown by Morazzone's receipt which is still in existence, and which is for the sum of 2400 imperiali. Of these frescoes it is impossible to speak highly; they look clever at first and from a distance, but do not bear closer attention. Morazzone took pains with the Journey to Calvary chapel, which was his first work on the Sacro Monte, but never did anything so good again.

Of the terra-cotta figures, the one to the extreme left is certainly by Gaudenzio Ferrari, being another portrait, in nearly the same attitude, of the extreme figure to the left in the Crucifixion chapel. For reasons into which I will enter more fully when I come to this last-named work, I do not doubt that Stefano Scotto, Gaudenzio's master, is the person represented. I had to go inside the chapel to hold a sheet behind the figure in order to detach it from the background, so had myself taken along with it to show how it compares with a living figure. It is generally said at Varallo to be a portrait of Giovanno D'Enrico's brother Tanzio, but this is obviously impossible, for not only does the same person reappear in the Crucifixion chapel, but he is also found in Gaudenzio's early fresco of the Disputa in the Sta. Margherita chapel already referred to, and elsewhere, as I will presently show. I should be sorry to say that any other figure in the Ecce Homo chapel except this is certainly by Gaudenzio, but am inclined to think that two or three others are also by him, the rest being probably all of them by D'Enrico or some assistant. Some--more especially two children, on the head of one of whom a man has laid his hand--are of extreme beauty. The child that is looking up is among the most beautiful in the whole range of sculpture; the other is not so good, but has suffered in re-painting, the eyelid being made too red; if this were remedied, as it easily might be, the figure would gain greatly. Cav. Prof. Antonini has very successfully substituted plaster hair for the horsehair, which had in great measure fallen off. The motive of this incidental group is repeated, but with less success, in Giovanni D'Enrico's Nailing to the Cross.

There is another child to the extreme right of the composition so commonly and poorly done that it is hard to believe it can be by the same hand, but it is not likely that Giacomo Ferro had as yet become D'Enrico's assistant. The man who is pointing out Christ to this last-named child is far more seriously treated, and might even be an importation from an earlier work. Among other very fine figures is a man who is looking up and holding a staff in his hand; he stands against the wall to the spectator's right among the figures nearest to the grating. There is also an admirable figure of a man on one knee tying his cross garter and at the same time looking up. This figure is in the background rather hidden away, and is not very well seen from the grating. I should add that the floor of the chapel slopes a little up from the spectator like the stage in a theatre.

The dog in the middle foreground is hollow, as are all the figures, or at any rate many of them, and shows a great hole on the side away from the spectator; it is not fixed to the ground, but stands on its own legs; it was as much as I could do to lift it. I am told the figures were baked down below in the town, and though they are most of them in several pieces it must have been no light work carrying them up the mountain. I have been shown the remains of a furnace near the present church on the Sacro Monte, but believe it was only used for the figures made by Luigi Marchesi in 1826. I should, however, have thought that the figures would have been baked upon the Sacro Monte itself and not in the town.

Of this chapel Fassola says:-

"All the pilgrims of every description come here, because it is at the top of the Scala Santa up which they go upon their knees, and there is plenty of room for pilgrims, as the chapel extends the whole width of the staircase. Those who are oppressed with travail, or fevers, or lawsuits, or unjust persecutions of any description, are comforted on being commended to this Christ." "Vi sono qui," says Torrotti, "pascoli deliziosi per i curiosi e piu dotti."

I daresay that on the great festivals of the Church, some pilgrims may still go up the Scala Santa kneeling, but they do not commonly do so. Often as I have been at the Sacro Monte, I never yet saw a pilgrim mount the staircase except on his feet in the usual way. It must be a very painful difficult thing to go up twenty-eight consecutive high steps on one's knees; I tried it, but gave it up after a very few steps, and do not recommend any of my readers to even do as much as this.

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CHAPEL No. 34. PILATE WASHING HIS HANDS.


Fassola, Torrotti, and Bordiga all call this one of the best chapels, but neither Jones nor I could see that it was nearly so successful as the preceding. The seventeen modelled figures are by Giovanni D'Enrico, and the frescoes by his brother Antonio or Tanzio. One or two of the figures--especially a man putting his finger to his mouth derisively, are excellent, but the Pilate is a complete failure; and it is hard to think it can have been done, as it probably nevertheless was, by the sculptor of the Caiaphas and Herod figures. Bordiga says that a contract was made with Caccia (not the historian), called Moncalvo, for the frescoes. This was the painter who did the backgrounds for the Crea chapels, but the contract was never carried out, probably because Antonio D'Enrico returned from Rome. It was dated November 1616, so that the terra-cotta figures probably belong to this year or to those that immediately preceded it.

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CHAPEL No. 35. CHRIST CONDEMNED TO DEATH.


This is better than the preceding chapel, and contains some good individual figures. The statues are twenty-seven in number, and were modelled by D'Enrico prior to the year 1614, in which year Morazzone was paid twelve hundred imperiali for having painted the frescoes, so that it was one of his earlier works, but the Pilate is again a failure. People who have been badly treated, and who have suffered from some injustice, are more especially recommended by Fassola "to try this Christ, who moves the pity of all who look upon Him."

He continues that it was the intention to add some other chapels at the end of the portico of the Palazzo di Pilato, but this intention was not carried out. Bordiga calls attention to the view on the right, looking over Varallo and the Mastallone, as soon as the portico is passed.


Samuel Butler

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