Over the centuries, several artists decorated churches, mansions, villas, and buildings all over the province. Among these, one of the most famous is Girolamo Romani, called “Romanino”, born in Brescia in 1484. He died in 1566. Which of his works have stood the test of time and can still be admired today?
The art of Romanino touched Camonica Valley: in the Church of S. Antonio in Breno, declared a “National Monument”, he frescoed the presbytery with a scene from the Book of Daniel. Unfortunately, only a portion of the cycle is still visible today. Romanino also painted the presbytery of the Church of S. Maria Annunciata in Bienno. The cycle is dedicated to the Virgin Annunciate.
Romanino left a lasting legacy in the Church of S. Maria della Neve in Pisogne with his cycle of frescoes depicting the Passion of Christ. This imposing work shows influences of Michelangelo’s style and many consider it one of the most important works by the Brescian artist.
Romanino learnt the art in Brescia and Venice. He first practiced in the style of Giorgione and Titian and then came into contact with the art of Milan painters Bramantino and Zenale. All these influences appear in one of his most important works for the city of Brescia, the cycle of frescoes “Stories of St. Orbizio” (1526-1527), a Catholic saint born in Camonica Valley who, after long pilgrimages, was welcomed in the Santa Giulia Monastery. It is here, in and out of the chapel dedicated to him in the Church of San Salvatore, that Romanino painted the story of the saint’s life.
In honour of the artistic heritage left by Romanino, a few years ago some areas of Camonica Valley and other Brescia province sites started to celebrate him through the festival titled “Romanino faces. Anger and faith” organised by “Cieli vibranti” association. The festival includes films, concerts, conferences, guided tours, and the presentation of the Romanino Award. It’s the right tribute to this artist who dedicated most of his life to enhancing the beauties of the province of Brescia.