PIAZZA D'ORO

GABRIELE BORETTI  

Albenga | 1991

Church of Sant'Antonino

Rev 21, 9-21

Then one of the seven angels came, who have the seven bowls full of the last seven plagues, and he spoke to me: "Come, I will show you the betrothed, the bride of the Lamb." The angel carried me in spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, which comes down from heaven, from God, resplendent with the glory of God. Its splendor is like that of a most precious gem, like crystalline jasper stone. It is surrounded by large and high walls with twelve doors:

above these gates stand twelve angels and written names, the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel. Three gates to the east, three gates to the north, three gates to the south and three gates to the west. The city walls rest on twelve bases, above which are the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. He who spoke to me had a golden cane as a measure to measure the city, its gates and its walls. The city is shaped like a square: its length is equal to

length. The angel measured the city with the reed: there are twelve thousand stadia; the length, width and height are the same.

He also measured the walls: they are one hundred and forty-four fathoms high, according to the measure used among men by the angel. The walls are built with jasper and the city is of pure gold, similar to clear crystal. The bases of the city walls are adorned with all kinds of precious stones. The first base is in jasper, the second in sapphire, the third in chalcedony, the fourth in emerald, the fifth in sardonice, the sixth in carnelian, the seventh in chrysolite, the eighth in beryl, the ninth in topaz, the tenth of chrysopace, the eleventh of hyacinth, the twelfth of amethyst. And the twelve gates are twelve pearls;

each door was made up of a single pearl. And the town square is of pure gold, like transparent crystal.

The square is the center of the city, the space par excellence, the place of people, the cradle between buildings, the vent of the streets, the vanishing point of the alleys. Everything flows into the square, where we meet, being together. In the city of the Lord, Jerusalem, the square is a sacred place, the most sacred place, since there is no building to keep the Mystery, but the whole city is a large building where in its most generous space one converges and one finds oneself . The church building has the same characteristics, everything is concentrated in the central space, thus entering in close analogy with Jerusalem and its square. The Sacred Space is freed from all trappings, illuminated and ennobled by means of a golden veil. 

Thus a pure image is manifested, almost a Byzantine icon made of only the background, where the reflection takes the place of the main subject.