The Beautiful Baptistery in Parma, Italy
Staying in Parma for 90-days allowed us to view the Baptistery of Parma many times. It is located beside the Cathedral and is one of the greatest examples of art in Italy. The monument is octagonal and made of Verona marble. It has four tiers of open loggias and is the most outstanding example of the transition from Romanesque to Gothic art in Italy.
Benedetto Antelami supervised the Baptistery’s construction and executed almost all the decorative sculptures. In the interior are the notable sculptures by him and they depict the Months, Seasons, and the Signs of Zodiac.
The Dome and Ceiling
Above the altar, in the semi-dome, is a Christ in Glory surrounded by the symbols of the four evangelists and two angels. The inside contains sixteen arches, forming alcoves and each containing a painted scene. These “frescoes” (read further down why I have this in quotations) are all from the 13th and 14th-centuries.
The most striking part of the Baptistery is its painted domed ceiling. Sixteen rays come out of the center of the ceiling, which each correspond to the arches.
Most noteworthy, over time problems occurred and they found out the paintings were not true frescoes. The paint would start to come off the walls and would be literally just be hanging on the walls! The Baptistery had to be painstakingly consolidated and restored with syringes and spatulas.