Notre-Dame-des-Fontaines chapel : Michelin's recommendations
The chapel of Notre-Dame-des-Fontaines (14C) represents the inhabitants of La Brigue's wish to see their dried-up sources flow again. Before being raised in the 18C, it was enlarged in the 15C to make room for an extraordinary decorative work, carried out in 1492. Jean Baleison, master of the Gothic style in this region of the Alps, painted the chancel, which is devoted to the Virgin Mary. The Four Evangelists are depicted on the vault. His delicate, graceful figures are often compared with those of the frescoes at Venanson. The Passion (nave) and the Last Judgement (behind the façade) are thought to be the works of Jean Canavesio, master of the Renaissance Primitive, and are more dramatic and realistic. His exuberant artistic style, always Gothic-inspired, asserts itself with a more lively brush and a better sense of perspective. The compositions, often somewhat elaborate, would seem by specific details to want to reveal biblical theories expounded at the time. Some hint at a pre-Reformation criticism of the Papacy (represented by Peter), depicted as avid for political and temporal power (the dagger), attached to physical comfort, and unconcerned with purity (symbolised by water).