At an elevation of 1.153 m. - 3,783 ft, in the small village of Gavelli, that until 50 years ago could be reached

only via a small mule track, there is the Church of San Michele Arcangelo.

It is one of the many amazing surprises that can be found wandering around the region of Umbria.

The apse of the Church was painted by Lo Spagna, 1450 - 1529 circa, "The Spaniard" in Italian.

His name was Giovanni di Pietro, but he was known as Lo Spagna because he was born in Spain and was one

of the many Spanish painters to work in central Italy at the beginning of the 15th century.

In 1516 the Comune of Spoleto granted citizenship to “magistri Iohannis hyspani pictoris excellentissimi”,

and in 1517 he became "Capitano delle Arti dei Pittori e degli OreficI -

Captain of the Art of Painters and the Goldsmiths" of the city.

He begun his career as a young apprentice in the Florentine workshop of Perugino and later

moving to Perugia itself at the same time that Raphael was working in the city.

According to Giorgio Vasari, Lo Spagna worked with Perugino in Perugia, but left the city after Perugino’s death

(i.e. in 1524) because the other painters there were “so hostile to strangers”... 
The frescoes of the apse, bear the signature of the Master "Johanne Hispano - 1518" - see the last picture.

The small community of inhabitants of Gavelli commissioned Lo Spagna to paint what would turn out

to be one of his most important cycles, which depicts the Coronation of the Virgin,

Saints Peter and Paul, Saint Michael the Archangel and the Gargano Miracle.

Some of his panel paintings are housed in museums

such as the Staatliche Museen

in Berlin and the

Louvre in

Paris.

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