Photographer's Note

Abbey of San Giovanni in Venere - Door of the Moon

The magnificent main portal is called the Door of the Moon because, during the summer solstice, it is reached by the light of the setting sun that illuminates the presbytery and the crypt.
Also called "of the Men", it dates back to the period of Abbot Rainaldo, between 1225 and 1230.
In the lunette above the portal is depicted Christ enthroned between the Madonna and St. John the Baptist, a fourteenth-century high relief that partially destroyed the previous decoration that originally provided the figures of San Romano, of which the inscription, San Benedetto da Norcia, remains. damaged inside a niche, and by the client Abate Rainaldo, fragments of which are preserved. On the large marble pillars at the sides of the entrance are masterfully carved, on superimposed directors, interspersed in the middle with a decorative motif, the stories of St. John the Baptist, performed during the reign of Abbot Oderisio, the last two scenes below depict episodes of the Old Testament.
On the left pillar, dominated by the image of two peacocks drinking from an amphora, four characters are depicted, the two central figures, on the left the Baptist, hold scrolls.
Under a frame of arches with three rosettes with bestial figures at the bottom, a small temple is depicted, inside which two figures of women in evident state of pregnancy embrace each other, is the meeting between Mary and Elizabeth, on the side two women support a hand to the column.
Still below is a figure kneeling between two lions.
On the right pillar the relief, surmounted by a raceme decoration with the image of two cupids archers aiming at a dove, is depicted on the right San Giovannino infante in the hand of his mother, then, on the left, to the left an adult San Giovanni separating from his mother, St. John among the Pharisees with the Word of God in his hands, after traveling in the desert. The Annunciation of the Angel to Zaccaria is carved under a frame of small arches with four traditional Abruzzese rosettes. Still below Daniel in the lions' den is fed by the prophet Habakkuk supported by an angel.
Next to each of the two large friezes, on the sides of the portal, are inserted two columns set on bases with a discordant style. The upper part is decorated with bell-shaped capitals, adorned with leaves in a naturalistic style, with abacuses. IN THE WS DETAIL OF THE TWO PILLARS

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Additional Photos by Silvio Sorcini (Silvio1953) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 18965 W: 130 N: 40044] (213775)
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