Turismo Celle Ligure
il Portale Turistico

The Church of the Assumption in Piani: works by Fontana, Luzzati, Rossello

The Church of the Assumption in Piani: works by Fontana, Luzzati, Rossello


Taking the Crocetta gallery leads to the Celle and the parish church of the Assumption of Mary, created from the historical and spiritual heritage of the Sanctuary of Crocetta, which the German Army destroyed in the Second World War on the very day they left. The design of the Church was entrusted to the architect Enzo Magnani and construction took from the autumn of 1954 to 1959.

The Church is an example of modern architecture of great value and is characterised by an absolute essentiality of lines. It is an example of excellence in the district, both architectural and artistic.

Preserved in the façade is a relief by Lucio Fontana of the Assumption of the Virgin with St Michael and the Dragon, in terracotta, which displays the strength of this artist from Argentina. The work depicts the moment when the Virgin, surrounded by three heads of cherubs and two angels holding her veil, is threatened by a long-tailed dragon at her feet that has intruded onto into the heavenly scene, to devour the child. With his right hand, Saint Michael holds his lance diagonally across the Madonna to strike the monster. The fight between evil and good are here suspended in an eternal heaven. Although good will triumph, the scene, observed from below, is perceived as the frame of a dramatic moment that maintains a strong tension within the dynamism of the action.

The trapezoid-shaped building, with a gable roof and two rectangular openings, internally is characterised by a single nave, illuminated by the soft glow which penetrates from the vertical side windows, by Enrica Valenziano, and depicting, in every window, leaves painted in liturgical colours.

The Interior is sober with light shades. A touch of colour, fairy tale and poetry comes from the artwork of Emanuele Luzzati, designer of the holy water fonts, the pulpit and the balustrade.

The architectural elements are transformed by the imagination of Luzzati with timeless characters: musician cherubs made of turquoise ceramics with touches of lapis lazuli. On the left wall you are struck by the grandeur of the work of the engraver Enzo Rossi. This depicts the Stations of the Cross and was recently restored, being exclusively graffito: Rossi had etched the design on a black-grey plaster previously prepared to allow the incisions to reveal the white plaster underneath in a stunning contrast with the black background.

The restorers decided to remake the incisions, emphasising them with strokes in shades of light brown: today the work of Rossi shows itself in all its majesty and expressive power. On the right side of the altar, next to the balustrade, a baptismal font by the Roman sculptor Giovanni Dragoni was placed in 1974. It consists of a hexagonal base of dark red granite, from which rises a prism trunk which holds the bronze sculptural group.

Outside, the churchyard has a black and white mosaic, depicting the three crosses on Golgotha, designed by Mario Rossello. In simple language, the black lines depict crosses that are angular and asymmetrical, inserted into a gaunt and unreal landscape. This work by Rossello completes the outstanding range of art at the Church of the Assumption, by some of the most important masters of the twentieth century.