Sigeric the Serious: Via Francigena, Campmaior (Camaiore), Circa 990 AD

Submansio XXVII – Campmaior

Camaiore has Roman origins, as it was the site of one of the largest Roman encampments near the city of Lucca and an important station along the Via Cassia. The city represented the Twenty-seventh stage during the journey of Sigeric the Serious, and was called Campmaior by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

A little further north, we find Massa, a town mentioned in the Tabula Peutingeriana, a 2nd-4th century AD itinerary, with the name ad Taberna frigida and on the Via Aemilia Scauri road from Pisa to Luni.

The church of San Leonardo al frigido is a 12th century church located in Villagio San Leonardo, near Massa, on the Frigido River. Its original portal is currently being exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City. Following are the curatorial notes for this entry:

monumenti di interesse artistico a Masa - Porta del Beduino San Leonardo al Frigido

Portal from the Church of San Leonardo al Frigido, Met Museum

Portal from the Church of San Leonardo al Frigido

Artist: Workshop of Biduinus (Italian, active last quarter 12th century)
Date: ca. 1175
Geography: Made in Tuscany, Italy
Culture: Italian
Medium: Carrara marble
Dimensions: 13 ft. 2 in. × 76 in. × 14 in. (401.3 × 193 × 35.6 cm)
Classification: Installations
Credit Line: The Cloisters Collection, 1962
Accession Number: 62.189

An Antique sarcophagus was reused for the supporting jambs on the sides of the door and was carved to show scenes of the Annunciation and the Visitation on the left and a large figure of Saint Leonard of Noblat, patron saint of prisoners, on the right. On the lintel above is Jesus’ Entry into Jerusalem, a scene particularly appropriate for the location of the church, on a main road that pilgrims followed through Italy en route to the Holy Land. While the style of the scene recalls Early Christian tomb reliefs, the same subject was famously carved over the door of the church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem in the Crusader era. The doorway was created in the workshop of Biduinus, a sculptor whose name is known from his signature on several monuments preserved in the Pisa-Lucca area.

 

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