The Benedictine Abbey of Castione Marchesi, founded as the family monastery of Marquises Pallavicino, is one of the most important sources of information on the evolution of monastic art during the late Romanesque and Proto-gothic periods in Western Emilia (Emilia Occidentale) in Italy. The article discusses the date of construction of this monastic church, comparing it to neighboring coeval monuments, such as the Cistercian Abbeys of Chiaravalle della Colomba and Fontevivo, and the Cathedral of Fidenza. It is possible that the Cistercians transmitted to these monuments some elements from the early stage of French Gothic art that conformed from the very beginning to traditional Lombard Romanesque art, in particular at the Church of Castione Marchesi. The article also describes how the cloister of Chiaravalle della Colomba constitutes one of the earliest examples of reception of French Gothic in Italy, especially in a Telamon in the north-west angle of the structure. By the way, the layperson represented in a capital of the Church of Castione Marchesi may be one of the most rare and significant examples of lay connotation in a monastic ecclesiastic space.
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