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  • Davide Ferraris

Church of San Giacomo Maggiore - Gavi


Anyone wishing to admire a wonderful example of architecture and Romanesque art must necessarily visit the parish church of San Giacomo Maggiore in Gavi.

Mentioned, for the first time, in a document of 1172, it is in fact adorned with numerous depictions of men, animals and monstrous beings that belong to the rich and varied imaginary of creatures that populated medieval art.

It is possible to admire some of these representations already outside the church but it is inside, in the rich and precious capitals, that the imagination of the artists has created the most surprising works.

However, religious buildings are living creatures, animated by the faithful who gather in prayer, change and change with the passage of time, with the affirmation (or decadence) of cults and the evolution of artistic styles.

Even the church of Gavi naturally shows the signs of the passage of time: the interior, divided into three naves, was in fact partially renovated during the Baroque period and today houses a series of works also created by famous Genoese artists (for example Giovan Battista Paggi, Giovanni Raffaele Badaracco, Giovanni Battista Carlone and Lazzaro Calvi).

Leaving the church, which can rightly be considered a precious treasure chest of works of art, and before visiting the characteristic arcade that adorns the right side of the parish and from which you access a terrace overlooking the surrounding landscape, it is good to stop to admire the decoration that adorns the access portal.

On the architrave, in particular, a very original representation of the Last Supper is visible: in the center, in a higher position, we see Jesus with the apostles on the sides (Peter recognizes himself thanks to the keys).

Above the Savior two angels are depicted who, with their wings spread and together with the dove of the Holy Spirit, seem to descend directly from Paradise to the Son of God.

Particular attention deserves the depiction of the table, on which there are six plates each containing a fish, which despite being frontal allows the legs of the apostles to be seen.

Finally, under the feet of Jesus we see the representation of a figure upside down which, according to some, represents the devil.

Parish Church of San Giacomo Maggiore - Gavi

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