6, Verona, Church of San Zeno Maggiore, study of west front and detail of arcading
Inscribed ‘FRONT/S. ZENONE/VERONA’, with other notes in pencil, 230x160mm.
Mackintosh described San Zeno as ‘a very beautiful example of Italian gothic brick & stone work, some of it very early’ (Diary', 11 June). Although the building originated in the fifth century, the predominantly Romanesque features of this Benedictine church mostly date from the twelfth, with a crypt and polygonal gothic apse completed in the thirteenth, century.
The twelfth century west front is composed of tufa and red Veronese marble. The façade is divided by buttresses into three sections; the wall surface being further animated by pilaster strips and an arcaded gallery, and pierced by a large rose window representing a Wheel of Fortune. The doorway of 1135-9 has a baldacchino supported by columns resting on carved lions and is heavily ornamented with reliefs executed by Maestro Nicolo and Maestro Guglielmo.
Mackintosh had little interest in the Romanesque figure sculpture but included a drawing of a detail of the arcaded gallery.