San Castrense di Monreale
Description by the artist
Saint Castrense, Bishop venerated in the city of Monreale, became its patron thanks to William II who laid his relic, received as a gift for his marriage, under the high altar of the Cathedral. Two miracles are attributed to the Saint, the liberation of a man possessed by the devil and the rescue on the high seas of a ship loaded with people. In this painting he is represented in the act of performing the miracle. This painting made on glass sheet, was made with the use of oil paints and gold leaf. The glass painting is an ancient painting technique almost disappeared, whose peculiarity is to realize the subjects according to a “specular” perspective, so that at the end of the work the glass sheet must be “turned”, to show the correct side that will be clearly visible thanks to the transparency of the glass. In order to obtain the correct pictorial result, the artist will have to proceed by superimposing various layers of paint, inserting, first, the decorative details of the subject, and then finish with the larger parts.
Details and dimensions
The artwork in the Sicilian culture
Among the various schools of glass painting in Europe and Italy, that of the Pincisanti (painters of saints), had a particular resonance in Sicily between the nineteenth and early twentieth century. These were craftsmen-artists who made paintings on glass commissioned by the most varied social classes and that were placed in homes, especially as bedside tables in the bedrooms. The saint or the religious scene to be depicted was almost always commissioned by the buyer in relation to a grace received or to some particularly venerated protector.
PhotoMonreale cathedral, mosaics in the central nave, 1702