Clippix ETC: An online picture service of Florida's Educational Technology Clearinghouse

picture sizes
San Clemente a Casáuria, west portal, lintel, translation of the relics of St. Clement

San Clemente a Casáuria, west portal, lintel, translation of the relics of St. Clement

The abbey of San Clemente a Casáuria in the Abruzzo was founded in 873 by the Carolingian ruler, Louis II, King of Italy and Emperor (850-875). The church and community were reformed and restored in the late 11th century. Situated on the road from Rome to the Adriatic, the monastery had a refuge for pilgrims, some of whom travelled this route on the way to the shrine of St. Michael – the archangel is represented in the left tympanum at Casáuria – at Monte Gargano in Apulia or to the Adriatic ports for voyages to the Holy Land. Abbot Leonate (1155-1182) undertook a major building program, initating a new church with the west porch and portals and commissioning a cartulary/chronicle of the abbey’s history and privileges (the Chronicon Casauriense). That enterprise is reflected in the decoration of the lintel which – with its remarkably detailed inscriptions – presents the acquisition and translation of the relics of St. Clement, through the intervention of Pope Adrian II (867-872) and Emperor Louis II; the acquisition of lands; and the installation of Abbot Romanus. In this detail of the left side of the lintel, Pope Adrian II stands before a tower labelled as Rome (“Roma”) and hands Emperor Louis II a small chest with the relics of St. Clement. The emperor bends respectfully before the relics and the pope. Accompanied by Count Suppo, the emperor conveys the relics – carried on the back of a mule – to the monks, Celsus and Beatus. A model of the church – perhaps representing Abbot Leonate’s project – is at the center of the lintel, surrounded by waters marking the insula casauriense where the abbey was founded and the boundaries of its territories. See: L. Feller, “La fondation de San Clemente a Casauria et sa représentation iconographique,” Mélanges de l’École Française de Rome 94 (1982), 711-28; G. Fossi, “L’Abbazia di S. Clemente a Casauria. Il Monumento dal IX al XII sec. Leonate e la decorazione plastica dei portali,” Quaderni dell’Istituto di Archeologia e Storia antica dell’Università di Chieti 2 (1982), 161-86; Pierlugi Leone de Castris, “San Clemente a Casáuria,” in Enciclopedia dell’Arte Medievale. 2008. D'Emilio photo archive no. s19771211_395u (13.05.05/JD)
Galleries: Architectural models, Caskets, chests and reliquaries, Counts, Emperors, Historiated lintels, Inscriptions, Italy 1170s, Italy 1180s, Monks, Mules and Donkeys, Popes, Romanesque Sculpture, Rosettes, San Clemente a Casáuria (Abruzzo), St. Clement, pope and martyr, Tituli in stone sculpture, Translation of Relics
Keywords: crown, hood, mitre, relics, sword
Photo Location: San Clemente a Casáuria (Abruzzo), Italy
Photographer: Dr. James D’Emilio
Device Make: Nikon
Device Model: Nikon SUPER COOLSCAN 5000 ED
Original Dimensions: 5333×3577
Picture Orientation: Landscape
GPS Coordinates:
Picture Number: 22747