Višnjan – Bačva – Poreč


St. James

In the village south of Višnjan stands the single-naved Church of St. James with an inscribed apse. The frescoes were discovered and restored in 1913. This church is also decorated with mural paintings by Dominic from Udine. The less skillfully executed paintings of Dominic's workshop, similar to the ones of the cycle in St. Anthony's Church in Višnjan, can be observed at the localities of St. Mary in the Square in Gračišće and the Church of the Holy Spirit near Štrped. The more skillfully executed works of this workshop are those in the sacristy of the Parish Church of SS. Cosmas and Damian in Fažana. This is especially interesting because in Višnjan Dominic signed as a resident of Vodnjan. This "Dignano" could be interpreted as the Dignano in the Italian region of Furlania. Judging by the number of works in Istria attributed to this workshop, we tend to believe that Dominic was in fact a resident of Vodnjan in Istria. The last locality that can be attributed to his workshop is St. Sebastian's Church in Lindar. One of the common details on the frescoes in Sovinjak, Višnjan, Bačva and Fažana is the same ornamental repertoire, use of wide orange two-strand pattern and marble imitation in the lower parts of the composition. Dominic is far more successful when portraying large figures, such as the image of God the Father with fluttering drapery in the half-dome vault of the apse and the symbolic scene of Holy Sunday on the northern wall, a female figure replacing Christ who is suffering for disregarding Sunday rest. Different tools represent different activities that can violate the holiness of Sunday rest. Especially interesting is the image of youthful St. George depicted in 16th c. garments. Under Dominic's frescoes, there is an older layer of geometrical-pattern frescoes, most probably dating from the Romanesque period.

The Parish Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel was also decorated with frescoes. In the tympanum are representations of haloes of the Virgin with Child inscribed in plaster. Insignificant fragments on the western and southern wall prove that the church interior was once decorated with quality Gothic mural paintings.

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