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San Bartolomeo


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Francés     Inglés     Alemán


The church of San Bartolomeo in Caspano is situated on the side of the valley exposed to the sun, called “Costiera dei Cek”. The building is mentioned in a document from 1352 a. C., but we don't know the date of its foundation.


The existing structure is the result of building work which occured within the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and is of the typical aisleless church structure, with lateral chapels included in the boundary walls.


In 1638 the new presbytery was almost finished, while the harmonious facade, in the past wrongly attributed to architect Pietro Ligari, was built between 1730 and 1738 by the same Swiss masters that built Saint Giovanni's Collegiate Church in Morbegno, in which we can see the plastered surfaces in contrast with the granite pilasters and entablatures, and typical Baroque features that make this facade one of the most scenographical of the whole district.


The church preserves a huge quantity of drawings and artefacts, made from  high quality wood and gold, that are in better condition in Valtellina and Valchiavenna than in other places. 

In particular, thanks to priest Giovanni Maria Parravicini, at the beginning of the Sixth Century the  De Donati brothers, famous carvers from Milano, came to work in Caspano. They were in competition with the well-known workshop of Del Maino who made the great altar pieces in the sanctuary of Assunta in Morbegno and in the sanctuary of Madonna in Tirano, unfortunately dismantled and lost. 

In Caspano, the De Donatis realized the polyptych with the history of Saint Bartolomeo situated at the end of the presbytery; the huge Compianto Sul Corpo di Cristo, a mature work by Giovan Pietro De Donati, unfortunately covered by subsequent painting; and the altar piece representing La Resurrezione di Lazzaro, probably carved by Giovan Pietro e Giovanni Ambrogio and painted by their brother Ludovico De Donati, the one who dealt with polychromy.


These important pieces are the most precious works that the church preserves, but the majesty and the suggestion of the interior are due to the pictorial decorations. Most of them were realized by Giacomo Parravicini, known as Gianolo, an important painter born in Caspano, but active in Milano and occasionally in areas like Novara, Cremona and Varese. His work from 1685 to 1714 includes the frescoes of some chapels and of the presbytery, and some paintings, including ones regarding the life of the patron saint of the church.  


However, the internal decoration was finished only in 1930, when Eliseo Fumagalli was called to paint the vault and the counter-facade.


Next to San Bartolomeo's Church, in the past used both by Catholics and Protestants, is L'Oratorio Dell'Immacolata (1698), and on its altar we can see a piece by Gianolo representing L'Immacolata Con Il bambino (1701).


By Alessandro Caligari