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Area:
  • 113,46 sq. km
Altitude:
  • 159 m a.s.l.
Population:
  • 8220
Town Hall:
  • Piazza Matteotti, 1
  • 33081 - Aiello del Friuli (PN)
Neighbourhoods:
  • Beorchia, Castel d'Aviano, Costa Ornedo, Giais, Marsure, Pedemonte, Piancavallo, San Martino di Campagna, Somprado, Selva, Villotta
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Strong Corinthian columns with smooth shafts placed on tall bases support the lintel topped by a projecting moulding: this is the relief combination of elements that appears on the façade and is repeated along the inside walls of the nave of the Neoclassical church of San Zenone, planned by Francesco Riccati in the late 1700s and completed by Giovan Battista Bassi in 1832. This network of plastic elements is the framework in which the artistic wealth of the Duomo spreads before the beholder: from the Enthroned Virgin with Child among SS. Rocco, Zenone, Francis and Sebastian by Pietro da Vicenza (1514), whose characters are set under the barrel vault where prospective hardly reconciles the anatomy of individual figures with the rendition of spatial unity, to the Altarpiece of the Virgin of Rosary (1617) by Gaspare Narvesa, the only Friulian painter capable of developing, in the decades straddling the 16th and 17th centuries, his individual style, free from the prevailing influences by Pordenone. The most remarkable features of his paintings are first of all the freshness of subject matter, which, especially in drapery, results from the superimposition of angular layers, then the arrangements of figures based on exasperated perspective and finally the clashing combination of colours, matching pink and orange with vermilion and metallic blue (closer in this to the anticlassical experimentation of Pontormo and Rosso Fiorentino rather than to the Venetian tradition). Richer yet is the decorative pattern in the cultural buildings of Castel d’Aviano, starting form the cemetery church of Santa Giuliana, showing the wide fresco cycle dating to the earliest phase of its 4th-century construction. Set on the nave walls, the frescoes develop in three superimposed strips of Saints and Virgins, thus suggesting a summa of the most widespread styles and devotional iconography in Friuli in the second half of the 14th century.Gianfrancesco da Tolmezzo is the author of the frescoes in the small church of San Gregorio (end of 15th century), portraying the crucial episodes of Christ’s Passion. In the Last Supper scene, the author seems to concentrate mainly on the graphic definition of characters, though the Crucifixion on the left walls shows how the painter from Tolmezzo distances himself from the model of northern European engravers (which he had used for the rest of the cycle and at Provesano in 1496), thus getting ready, in his last decade of activity, to set his knotty creatures in a universe made of pulsating chromaticism, softer volumes and suggestive atmospheres, more in line with the inescapable sweetness of Bellini’s painting. The oratories of S. Floriano and S. Pellegrino at S. Martino di Campagna also preserve beautiful examples of mural painting, as well as, and especially, the church of Santa Caterina at Marsure, with a large cycle of frescoes by G. Stefanelli (1547). As for sculpture, the Renaissance wooden Pietà in the parish church of San Lorenzo at Marsure is remarkable, as well as a mid-15th-century sandstone Vesperbild in the parish church of Castello and the Shrine in Istrian stone (end of 16th cent.) in the oratory of Sant’Antonio, included in the complex of Villa Policreti-Fabris at Ornedo. And even though the plan of Palazzo Menegozzi at Aviano is reminiscent of the 18th-century villa architecture, the most notable example of the genre is Villa Policreti at Castello, whose large park was reshaped in the mid-1800s by architect P. Quaglia, the author of other late-Romantic landscaping works in Friuli.

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