Casnigo - Sacrestia di S.Giovanni Battista

The 18th century sacristy of the archpresbyterial church of S. Giovanni Battista in Casnigo is a jewel of the Bergamo region’s wooden art.
The walnut and burled wood cabinets which entirely cover the four walls of the room located behind the high altar are the work of Ignazio Hillipront, who lived from 1673 to 1748.
The sacristy was built at the end of the 1600s and its wooden parts between 1714 and 1715. It is remarkable that few substantial changes have been made to its original structure.

 

The sacristy features four cabinets with intaglio work in both the pilasters as well as the small pillars, crowned by an exquisite cymatium. Paraments and liturgical objects of particular value are stored here.
The cabinet doors have arabesque and foliage intaglio work, featuring forty sculpted angel heads and fifty-eight statues of saints and symbolic figures.
In the cabinet in front of the one at the entrance, there is a crucifix between two caryatid angels in a niche, yet another exquisite sculpture by Ignazio Hillipront. The artist surely came from a German-speaking country; some say from Germany itself, but more than likely from the Tyrol area.

 

Hillipront opened an intaglio and sculpture workshop in Gorlago and was already active in Casnigo in 1709 when he sculpted five statues in sandstone in baroque style for the façade of the archpresbyterial church.
The wooden choir of the sanctuary of SS. Trinità in Casnigo is also attributed to his hand, for stylistic likeness. Restoration done on the sacristy (completed in 2012) offers yet another opportunity to discover Casnigo’s artistic context.

 

In addition to the parish church, founded in the 12th century and archpresbyterial as it was the mother church of Val Gandino, there are the [Santuary of the Madonna d’Erbia](v), with the relic cassock that belonged to Pope John II and the [Sanctuary of the Ss.Trinità](0eaBWhQwRa), defined by some as the “Bergamo area’s Sistine Chapel”.

 

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