Friday, March 13, 2015

A Special Corner of San Michele in Lucca


Sometimes as I am walking through Lucca I have to remind myself that I am not on a film set. Here the streets are all well kept, the inhabitant elegant and everything looks too perfect to be true but even here, where there is so much general beauty that one can become blasé,  there are corners that give me extra delight.

One angle that never fails to lift my spirits and make me forget about my tax bill is when you emerge from Via di Poggio into  Piazza San Michele. All the tourist look up at the magnificent imposing Archangel who is protecting us all. My eye at dusk isn't drawn upwards but through the side door,  left open for the citizens and visitors, past the candles lit by the faithful during their prayers to the rich colours of the robes of the Filippino Lippi's Pala Magrini (tempera on wood) hanging at the end of the south isle. The masterpiece depicts the Saints Roch, Sebastian, Jerome and Helena but it isn't the subject that attracts my attention but the luxuriant coloured cloth of the saints' robes that catch the light.
 

The contrast  between the austere grey stone and the rushes of the canvas is just so theatrical that it never fails to lift me out of my everyday existence.