San Sebastiano Church in Maniace – Via Crucis
The Church of San Sebastiano in Maniace (Catania) offers a large iconographic program of a total area of more than one hundred square meters. The paintings can be divided into two groups. The first corresponds to the area of the altar, the second - the Way of the Cross.
The complex is set in a Byzantine style. Not really Byzantine painting, but inspired by the great tradition of Eastern Christianity. This choice is due to a double motivation. On the one hand, the demand of the pictorial style was oriented towards the Byzantine tradition. On the other hand, my willingness to propose the Byzantine language of painting, in the belief that it can be a source of inspiration for contemporary religious art, after all iconoclastic experience of the twentieth century.
The modern structure of the church, along with its strong brightness, ensured by extensive surface of windows, influenced the choice of the color range and intensity of the contrasts of pictorial compositions. So, no longer the dark blue of the frescoes of the Byzantine churches, but the idea of gold of the great basilicas of Sicily.
WAY OF THE CROSS
The iconographic cycle consists of 14 panels, cm. 110x100 plus the scene of the Resurrection in the Byzantine key, that is the Descent into Hell. The interior, quite round shape, of the church has suggested the idea of linking the stations, which start from the altar and arrive back to the altar, with a band on which is painted a rope as a symbol of the unity of the Christian community. On this band there are medallions in which is represented a long series of Holy Martyrs. Initially it was thought to represent only the Holy Sicilians Martyrs, who are many, although some do not have artistic aspect consecrated in the iconographic tradition. During the work, I abandoned this idea, at the behest of the local community, and have been represented the most famous and revered martyrs of Christianity. Here the martyr is meant in its initial meaning of the word , in Greek μαρτύριον signifies the witness, that is, one who takes up his own cross and follow Christ. The martyrs are the witnesses of the faith and of the cross. They are presented with the cross in hand, a symbol of martyrdom, of union with Christ in the Via Crucis.