S. Michele Church


The present church of St Michael was rebuilt between 1663 and 1666 on a primitive building dating back to the 12th century, of which it has preserved the choir, now converted into a chapel. Inside, on the vault and walls of the old choir, a remarkable cycle of frescoes by Antonio da Tradate (15th century) restored in 1966 by the painter Carlo Mazzi. The vault is cross vaulted and in the four sails Christ with the symbols of the Evangelists, the Doctors of the Church, St. Michael between Saints Maurice and Abbondio. On the east wall is the Crucifixion above the allegory of two months, on the north wall Christ carrying the cross, Veronica, Prophets, Apostles and the allegory of five months. On the south wall are Christ in the Garden, Prophets, Apostles and four months. The opening of a door caused the loss of the allegory of the month of December. Under the triumphal arch, within roundels, some half-length Prophets. Under the left window of the north wall, it is still possible to read the date of execution and the painter's signature: '1490 - Antonio da Tradate'. The overall effect of the frescoes is highly suggestive due to the freshness and harmony of the images; the figures depicted stand out for their impressive physical presence in which the draperies do not describe anatomical forms, but through the folds outline ornamental and symmetrical motifs. The allegories of the Months at the base of the paintings describe the activities of the various periods of the year and represent another traditional element of 15th-century popular painting in Ticino, also taken up by two other great painters such as Cristoforo and Nicolao da Seregno. The fresco of the Crucifixion, also interrupted by the opening of the two windows, achieves a remarkable intensity.

  • Key at the Consiglio Parrocchiale, Palagnedra (tel. 091 225 71 22)