Chapel of S. Anna

Cemetery chapel


Chapel of S. Anna was built shortly before 1500 as the cemetery chapel, probably at the instigation of Nicolò Firmian, lord of Mezzocorona, given the presence of this aristocratic family's coat of arms. The coat of arms, which was adopted by the Firmian family until the mid-sixteenth century, is carved in minute detail in low relief on a plaque of Trento red limestone which is set into the facade above the entrance.

The tiny chapel has a rectangular plan and consists of a single nave. The restoration work brought to light the paintings which covered parts of all the walls and which turned out to be particularly significant and interesting. They represent a Madonna and child, St. Christopher and St. Barbara, as well as a scroll bearing an inscription in German Gothic. There are also two decidedly unusual subjects: a Last Judgement and a Triumph of Death. The frescoes are the work of various artists, but all of them are unmistakeably Tyrolean in style. The Last Judgement is a subject which is rarely depicted in Trentino, and the composition of the scene invariably follows the Italian pattern. The fresco, therefore, clearly reflects the Tyrolean tradition which was prevalent at the time, with a few figures and angels playing tubas. But it is the Triumph of Death that is the more interesting. Unlike other famous examples of this particular theme, such as the Dance of Death in Pinzolo, there are no elements of dance here, and death, represented as a sardonic skeleton, has a young girl by his side. This, too, is a type of representation that was prevalent in the Germanic world at the time. The fresco was probably painted when the chapel was built and is a kind of self-glorification of the person who commissioned the work, Nicolò Firmian, who is probably the young knight depicted in the scene.

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Chapel of S. Anna