Under the August sun, painting the historical center of Marostica
The Chess Square of Marostica painted during the #italiagrandsketchingtour.
Marostica is a city in the province of Vicenza and it is a town that I have always heard in relation to the historical human chess game that takes place here in September in the even numbered here. It is a game with human figures taking the place of the pieces, with real horses and medieval dresses. Even if it is famous, I never had the occasion to visit until today, when my friends took me for a visit under the Venetian sun.
I couldn’t leave without a painting of the famous square where everything takes place. In front you have the castle and on the top of the hill the layout of the old walls and gates of the city. The forefront of the painting is the chess board, that is not visible. Let’s say I was sitting where the lost pieces are kept. The board has been renovated after the war, it is 16 square meters large, in pink marble and white stone typical of the area.
The story of the first chess game
What is very interesting is the story (maybe legend) of the original game of chess that gave birth to the tradition.
Two noblemen, Rinaldo D’Angarano and Vieri da Vallanora, fell in love with Lionora, the daughter of the local lord, Taddeo Parisio. They challenged each other to a duel to win her hand but the Lord of Marostica didn’t want to to make an enemy of either suitor nor lose them in a duel and forbade the encounter. But a decision had to be made. Therefore, he Invited the two rivals to play a chess game and the winner would have the hand of Lionora. The loser of the chess game would also join the family, by marrying her younger sister, Oldrada. The chess match took place on September 12 in the year 1454.
The reenactment of the legendary chess match takes place on the square in front of the Lower Castle with supporters carrying the noble ensigns of Whites and Blacks, in the presence of the Lord, his noble daughter, the Lords of Angarano and Leoncavallo, the court and the entire town population. The challenge is also honoured by an exhibition of armed men, foot-soldiers and knights, with fireworks and dances and music, which makes the approximately 20 minute chess game the anchor of a festival of epic proportions.
An event to add to my bucket list for sure! Maybe even to paint it.