Spring 1990 • Vol. XII No. 2 |

A Week and a Day with Fra Filipo Lippi’s Frescoes in the Cathedral at Spoleto

1 First Day I go inside at the hottest time of day. It is dark and cool. A woman stands in the back of the Duomo and prays, touching her breasts and forehead in the ritual ways that mean: Here I am again, God, entering your universe with my body, putting the signs of your suffering on my flesh. She looks un-waveringly towards the altar and does not turn when I walk past. Nothing comes between her and her God. Near the altar, a few tourists are gathered around the Fra Filipo. It is larger than I remember from last year. I stand beneath it and am enveloped: it's not just a series of paintings, but a whole world gathered together in a semicircle of panels reaching halfway down the ceiling, so that each figure is larger than life and even a bunch of daisies growing in the lower left hand corner of a panel is large enough to hide behind and never be found again. The panels are of peasants gathered around a dying Mary; the Annunciation; the birth of Christ; and the Coronation of

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So Be It

By Jim Moore

1 First Day I go inside at the hottest time of day. It is dark and cool. A woman stands in the back of the Duomo and prays, touching her […]

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