“Padua’s fourteenth-century fresco cycles” in UNESCO World Heritage List

World Heritage Committee included Padova Urbs picta in the List, recognizing its Outstanding Universal Value in the new way Padua fourteenth-century fresco artists depicted allegorical narratives in spatial perspectives influenced by advances in the science of optics and their new capacity in capturing human figures, including individual features displaying feelings and emotions

“Padua’s fourteenth-century fresco cycles” are inscribed in the World Heritage List. The proclamation occurred within the framework of the 44° extended session of World Heritage Committee, held from Fuzhou, China, in blended mode which will connect 192 nations from all over the world since 27th of July.

The UNESCO Committee Statement of Outstanding Universal Values says that: “The fresco cycles housed in eight complexes of buildings within the old city centre of Padua illustrate how, over the course of the 14th century, different artists, starting with Giotto, introduced important stylistic developments in the history of art. The artists who played a leading role in the creation of the fresco cycles were Giotto, Guariento di Arpo, Giusto de’ Menabuoi, Altichiero da Zevio, Jacopo Avanzi and Jacopo da Verona. Working for illustrious local families, the clergy, the city commune or the Carraresi family, they would – within buildings both public and private, religious and secular – produce fresco cycles that gave birth to a new image of the city. The property illustrates an entirely new way of depicting allegorical narratives in spatial perspectives influenced by advances in the science of optics and a new capacity in capturing human figures, including individual features displaying feelings and emotions. Innovation in the depiction of pictorial space involved explorations of the possibilities of perspective and trompe-l’oeil effects. The innovation in the depiction of states of feeling is based on a heightened interest in the realistic portrayal of human emotions and the integration of the new role of commissioning patron as the patrons begin to appear in the scenes depicted, and ultimately even take the place of figures participating in the biblical narrative. In effect, the works illustrate the adaptation of sacred art to serve the secular celebration of the prestige and power of the ruling powers and associated noble families.”.

Padua Municipality City Council has led Padova Urbs picta nomination steering committee so far, proposing for inscription a serial property which includes all the most precious fourteenth-century fresco cycles preserved in eight complexes of buildings of the city:  Cappella degli Scrovegni,  Chiesa dei Santi Filippo e Giacomo agli Eremitani, Palazzo della Ragione,  Cappella della Reggia Carrarese,  Battistero della Cattedrale,  Basilica and Convento di Sant’Antonio,  Oratorio di San Giorgio e  Oratorio di San Michele. To fresco the walls of these places, during the fourteenth century, we see some of the most extraordinary artists of the time: Giotto, who with the frescoes of the Scrovegni Chapel realizes his absolute masterpiece, Guariento di Arpo, Giusto de’ Menabuoi, Altichiero da Zevio, Jacopo Avanzi e Jacopo da Verona.

The serial site “The frescoed cycles of the fourteenth century in Padua” presents some extraordinary numbers: 3,694 square meters of frescoed walls, 530 hectares of buffer zone and 19.96 hectares of core areas,  9 project partner, 100 associations and private citizens involved in the “Tables of ideas” participation programme and 95 years of Art History condensed into a single, revolutionary and exceptional path. 

<<Receiving this recognition brings us great joy, and also great responsibility towards the whole world. – commented the mayor of the city of Padua – These frescoes are part of the identity of the city and the people of Padova are proud of this asset, which will now be shared with the world. For us, this prestigious recognition today marks the start of a new commitment to the world.>>.

PADOVA URBS PICTA - PLACES

VISIT “PADOVA URBS PICTA”

“Padova Urbs picta” is the official mobile App which will accompany citizens and visitors to the places of the World Heritage site, offering an experience of knowledge and fun to discover the masterpieces of Giotto and others artists of the fourteenth century.

Thanks to the interaction of images, texts, maps, stories and music, the App is a guide tool to discover the frescos masterpieces and the churches and palaces in Padua that preserve them.

Characteristics of the App Padova Urbs picta are the complete accessibility of the tool, thanks to the possibility of viewing and listening to the narration of the contents, as well as an interactive game proposal to enjoy in-depth content.

Download and try >> 

EnglishItaly