SAVOIE: La Haute Maurienne

From Chambéry through Bessans to the Averole valley, the routes go over two passes on the territory of the Duchy of Savoy, the Arnès pass (3,010 m), and its descent into the Ala valley, and the Autaret pass (3,072 m), which descends towards the Viù valley. Turin is reached through ‘Marguerite’s Lands’. This territory, the Lanzo valleys (Alà and Viù), ruled by the Laws of Marguerite written in the mid fourteenth century, remained
faithful to the House of Savoy in the sixteenth century.
La Haute Maurienne – Site 04

Lanslevillard (1439 m)

This village has been at the centre of commercial exchanges since the Neolithic Era, as evidenced by the numerous etched stones found around the region, especially the one known as the Pierre des Saints above the Chantelouve hamlets (2,000m), and the one known as the Pierre aux Pieds by the Cuchet refuge (2,750 m).
The Chapelle Saint-Sébastien is believed to have been erected by Sébastien Turbil, whose house was spared when the Arc river flooded the area. The exact date of construction is unknown because there exists no document about it. An etched stone on the outside bears the date 1446, which could indicate the date of construction. Another one, 1518, is painted on the lintel of the window.
A key feature of the chapel is the two series of frescoes dating from the end of the fifteenth century, which depict scenes from the life of Christ and the life of Saint Sebastian. The latter are similar to those in the Voragno chapel in Céres, Val de Lanzo. The life of the holy healer, who was often invoked against the plague (viewed as the sudden expression of God’s wrath), is illustrated on a section of the south wall by 17 panels on three parallel registers. The life of Christ covers 36 panels on the rest of the south wall, on the west and north walls, and on the chancel arch on two parallel registers. The Deposition of Christ, painted by an unknown artist, is particularly noteworthy.
The authors of the mural paintings are unknown: Could they be Bartolomeo and Sebastiano Serra, father and son, the painters from Pinerolo? Or could they be painters trained by Jiacomo Jaquiero or Jean Canavezio, who painted the chapel of Our Lady of the Fountains in Brigue above Tende?

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