Master of Lusernetta

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The Master of Lusernetta ( Maestro di Lusernetta ) was a Piedmontese painter of the 15th century, the Quattrocento , whose name has not been passed down. In the Pinerolese he is the only painter who represented such a mastery in the mid-15th century. His influence, but also the acceptance of artistic trends by himself, reached far into France. The background of his monumental work in the small town of Lusernetta , which was only recorded at the end of the 20th century , is the battle of the Inquisition with the Waldensians , the preaching trips and the cult of St. Bernardino of Siena , as well as the distribution of the land in the Pinerolese.

In San Bernardino, the church of Lusernetta in the lower Val Pellice , near Torre Pellice , he left behind not only the Cristo in Mandorla with the four evangelist symbols, but as part of an overarching conception a fresco opus that encompasses the entire church, the scope of which only began in 1997 and after became clear. The frescoes of the Twelve Apostles are on the side walls of the Church of San Bernardino . On the north wall from left to right: Petrus , Andreas , Jakobus d. Ä. , Johannes , Thomas and Jakobus d. J. On the south wall the master painted Philip , Bartholomäus , Matthäus , Simon, Thaddäus and Matthias . The center of the apse wall is Saint Bernard of Siena preaching. There also appears hl. Stephan and the patron saint of Saluzzo , little known outside the region , San Chiaffredo - very unusual in the clothes of a knight. The Virgin Mary on the throne is depicted between Mary Magdalene and John the Baptist , with strong French influences also being noticeable in the landscape painting . In the presbytery there are also saints, namely San Costanzo and Lucia , Barbara , Stephan and Caterina. In 1997 a St. Georg discovered on horseback.

The church is mentioned for the first time relatively late, namely in a visitation report from September 23, 1584. It served the residents of Bibiana as a parochial church , for whom San Marcellino was now too far away. In 1754, when the church no longer served as a parochial church - this function has been taken over by Sant'Antonio Abate ever since - it was no longer the church of Bibiana, but of Lusernetta. According to Elena Romanello, the coat of arms can by no means be assigned to the Counts Luserna di Rorà , so that it remains unclear who was the lord of the church in the middle of the 15th century. It is also not possible to equate the building with the oratory of the Brotherhood of San Bernardino di Luserna . There has been much speculation about whether the church might not have been part of an itinerary of San Bernardino of Siena that is not documented in the sources; but others interpreted the corresponding buildings that were erected in the Pinerolese as a sign of the spread of his cult, so he himself had never been in the Pinerolese. It was also assumed that he had preached against the Waldensians , who were widespread in the valley , similar to a sermon that had triggered protests against the Dominican inquisitor Giacomo da Buronzo in Savigliano in 1445 , or in Angrogna, as was the case three years later. In any case, the Brotherhood of Pinerolo existed in 1460 at the latest. There is also a corresponding tradition about a procession , the cause of which was the plague that had struck the area as early as 1450, again in 1452 and 1454, from 1451 - only one year later his canonization. Religious and political, but also economic motives flowed together in the fight against the Waldensians, especially since the church was the largest landowner in the area. The work of the Master of Lusernetta was created against this background.


  • Elena Rossetti Brezzi: Il Maestro di Lusernetta e alcune considerazioni sulla pittura tardogotica pinerolese , in: Bollettino della Società Piemontese di Archeologia e Belle Arti, ns, 51 (1999) 275-300.
  • Elena Romanello: Gli affreschi di Lusernetta. Una testimonianza del culto bernardiniano in val Pellice a metà del '400 , in: la beidana 33 (1998) 3–19 ( online , PDF)


  1. ^ Elena Romanello: Gli affreschi di Lusernetta. Una testimonianza del culto bernardiniano in val Pellice a metà del '400 , in: la beidana 33 (1998) 3–20, here: p. 6.