Troglodyte chiseller chips a gem – Chiesa da Piedigrotta Pizzo Calabria

Michelangelo & Bellini need not lose any sleep, Rodin can rest assured, but this is a gem worthy of their attention as they look down at the sublime efforts of a fellow sculptor. Chiesa da Piedigrotta Pizzo Calabria

Church of Piedigrotta Pizzo Calabria

 

 

At the Chiesa da Piedigrotta Pizzo Calabria, local artist Angelo E Alfonso Barone (end 19C) created this series of sculptures in a cave reputed to have sheltered a painting of the Madonna saved from a shipwreck in 1632.

 

 

Towards the end of 1600, a sailing ship sailing in the Gulf of Sant’Eufemia found itself in the middle of a violent storm . 

Church of Piedigrotta Pizzo Calabria

The sailors, all of Torre del Greco, vowed to Maria SS. of Piedigrotta, whose picture was in the captain’s cabin, to erect a votive chapel at the point where they would touch the ground in case of salvation. 

Chiesa da Piedigrotta Pizzo Calabria

The ship crashed violently against the rocks and shattered. The painting of the Madonna was saved and was found intact on the beach

Church of Piedigrotta Pizzo Calabria

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sailors, faithful to the promise, dug a hole in the rock and deposited the painting, promising to return and build a votive chapel.

Chiesa da Piedigrotta Pizzo Calabria

The local fishermen, fearing that it was stolen, took the picture and took it to a nearby cave, building a small altar . 

Chiesa da Piedigrotta Pizzo Calabria

 

 

 

Following another storm the sea invaded the cave and brought the painting near the point where it had been placed the first time.

Chiesa da Piedigrotta Pizzo Calabria

The fishermen then decided to dig better the first cave and also built a bell tower including the bell of the ship wrecked, dated 1632.(extracted with thanks from Wikipedia (Wiki)

 

 

Chiesa da Piedigrotta Pizzo Calabria

Now for an entrance fee of 2 euros (no concessions) you can wander and wonder at the dedication, time and effort of this artist who did not seek fame and fortune but just followed his religious zeal and commitment for his sublime contribution to the world of art.

 

 

Well off the beaten track, facing the sea. Chiesa da Piedigrotta Pizzo Calabria

Chiesa da Piedigrotta Pizzo Calabria