Church of San Sebastiano
A renaissance church founded by the Finalese marquises
The church of San Sebastiano is one of the most important examples of renaissance architecture in Finale. The rich and varied decoration of the capitals and keystones of the naves contrasts with the simplicity of the exteriors.
Its foundation is linked to the devotion of the Del Carretto marquises. On the 1500s classic style portal in Finale Stone there is the coat of arms of Carlo Domenico Del Carretto, the cardinal of Finale at the time of pope Giulio II.
MORE INFORMATION – Church of San Sebastiano
The church of San Sebastiano was founded around 1490 by the Del Carretto at the foot of the western slope of the Perti ridge, close to the Pora valley floor. Here the marquises’ power spread out over a vast area known as “Prato del Signore – The Lords Field”.
The simple gabled façade of the church presents two vertical half pilasters that introduce the internal spatial division of the naves. Also, the sequence of woven arches and large open “oculus” windows open in the façade with a brick frame are part of a typical Lombard decorative style, a decorative element that can be found also in the close Church of Our Lady of Loreto in Perti Alta
The internal space is divided into three naves that ends in a central polygonal apse and two lateral chapels. Two distinct building phases can be clearly identified for this church. The apse is therefore characterized by lancets, “umbrella shaped” vaults and articulated typical late-gothic style heavy ribs that end in a keystone decorated with an “Agnus Dei”. While the naves have round arches, that create a “hall” building, where the gothic tradition of the structure of the pillars is passed in shapes that are fully renaissance and thus completely breaking with the local tradition.
Therefore, a mixture of styles was created, typical of the Finalese period, in which the medieval tradition softens with renaissance influence.
However, from the fusion of the two architectural components a suggestive setting came out maintaining its original aspect. It is embellished by a rich and extremely varied repertoire of Finale stone sculptures made by different artisans.
In the keystones and capitals that support the nave vaults there are decorative motifs that are caught between the late-gothic tradition (as in the case of the image of Daniel the prophet), religious symbols (the “Agnus Dei” or the IHS trigram of Saint Bernardino) or naturalistic symbols with floral and plant elements. Symbols linked to the marquise’s family prevail with various coat of arms, including the one with a bishop hat ascribable to Carlo Domenico Del Carretto. In some cases, a renaissance language evolves along the medieval repertoire as can be seen in the cherub head and most of all in the image of the leafy face. It belongs to a cultured humanistic language that refers to the mythological connection between man and nature.
It is thanks to Carlo Domenico Del Carretto, who became cardinal in 1505, that we have the Finale Stone classic style portal (1510 circa).
Inside, a devotional fresco dated to 1493 illustrates the blessed Damiano Fulcheri from Perti in the act of preaching from the pulpit.
HOW TO REACH
CHIESA SAN SEBASTIANO PERTI
How to reache the site
The church can be reached by bike or by car following the provincial road for Calice Ligure.
Bookings for tours are available as part of the “Open door Open art” Project endorsed by MUDIF.
Archeotrekking “I Del Carretto e il Rinascimento Finalese”
The visit is part of the project “Archeotrekking finale” promoted by Museo Archeologico del Finale and by Guide association “Finale Natura”.
Calendar of visits