Disciplini Oratory (The Triumph of Death)

Description

Located in Clusone, in front of Santa Maria Assunta Basilica, the Oratory dei Disciplini is a 14th century medieval building, commissioned by the Confraternity dei Disciplini of Bergamo as the base for its order.

The structure presents itself as a simple structure but has numerous frescoes of great value: the most important fresco is that of the Clusonian painter Giacomo Borlone de Buschis, divided into 5 parts, which represents a synthesis, unique in Europe, of the themes of death at the end of the Middle Ages. We can find the Triumph of Death and the Dance of Death on the outside and the Life of Jesus with the Crucifixion on the outside.

In the Triumph of Death, it is iconographically represented as the ruler to whom everyone submits, while in the lower part of the fresco each character, still alive, with fear and despair finds their skeleton. All this is depicted as a parade in pairs, where the skeleton (the dead) is the double of the living person: it is the renowned Dance of Death, a very popular theme in northern Europe.

The Middle Age was a time of uncertainty and pestilences, but art and aesthetics were important, too! ! All kids of messages were conveyed to the common people by means of images, so that even who could not read was able to understand. That’s why the Clusone’s “Disciplini” monks decided to commission these wonderful frescos representing the “Triumph of Death”.

 But who were these “Disciplini”? They belonged to a confraternity dealing with charity activities for the poorest ones, following a life strictly regulated by prayers and penitence, also practicing self-mortification. The monks were so worried about salvation that they decided to depict the Triumph of Death, a skeleton utterly indifferent to the richness and the power of kings, knights and popes: everybody is at His mercy, so everybody is encouraged to live and behave righteously, in preparation for the eternal life.

However, the beauty of this masterpiece decorating the walls of this religious building for the last five hundred years, which has been recently restored, has the power to enchant everyone. 

It is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00am to 6:00pm, but it is advisable to check the opening hours on the website before visiting.


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Located in Clusone, in front of Santa Maria Assunta Basilica, the Oratory dei Disciplini is a 14th century medieval building, commissioned by the Confraternity dei Disciplini of Bergamo as the base for its order.

The structure presents itself as a simple structure but has numerous frescoes of great value: the most important fresco is that of the Clusonian painter Giacomo Borlone de Buschis, divided into 5 parts, which represents a synthesis, unique in Europe, of the themes of death at the end of the Middle Ages. We can find the Triumph of Death and the Dance of Death on the outside and the Life of Jesus with the Crucifixion on the outside.

In the Triumph of Death, it is iconographically represented as the ruler to whom everyone submits, while in the lower part of the fresco each character, still alive, with fear and despair finds their skeleton. All this is depicted as a parade in pairs, where the skeleton (the dead) is the double of the living person: it is the renowned Dance of Death, a very popular theme in northern Europe.

The Middle Age was a time of uncertainty and pestilences, but art and aesthetics were important, too! ! All kids of messages were conveyed to the common people by means of images, so that even who could not read was able to understand. That’s why the Clusone’s “Disciplini” monks decided to commission these wonderful frescos representing the “Triumph of Death”.

 But who were these “Disciplini”? They belonged to a confraternity dealing with charity activities for the poorest ones, following a life strictly regulated by prayers and penitence, also practicing self-mortification. The monks were so worried about salvation that they decided to depict the Triumph of Death, a skeleton utterly indifferent to the richness and the power of kings, knights and popes: everybody is at His mercy, so everybody is encouraged to live and behave righteously, in preparation for the eternal life.

However, the beauty of this masterpiece decorating the walls of this religious building for the last five hundred years, which has been recently restored, has the power to enchant everyone. 

It is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00am to 6:00pm, but it is advisable to check the opening hours on the website before visiting.