Parish Church of San Leolino at Rignano sull’Arno
The church, which shows many typical elements of 11th-12th century Romanesque architecture, is designed on three naves, divided by arches resting on square-shaped pilasters and closed by apses, with the walls and the lower part of the bell tower in limestone and local sandstone. The present structure of the Parish Church of San Leolino at Rignano in fact dates from this period, replacing an earlier church that was mentioned for the first time in a document of 1008. The lords of Castiglionchio and Volognano were the patrons of the church in the 15th century.
The simple interior is the result of a recuperative restoration, started in 1883, which eliminated all the heavy 18th century additions and the filling in of the arches; this was followed by another project, completed in 2000, when the building was reopened.The parish church contains a large number of art works, some of which were brought here from their original sites from the 16th century onwards.
A late 14th century fresco of the Coronation of the Virgin with Angels and Sts. Agatha and Mary Magdalene (their two male counterparts on the left have been lost) can be seen near the altar on the left, though its sinopia or preparatory drawing has been recovered. This work was probably brought to the church between the 16th and 17th centuries, but it is not known what church it originally came from. Three paintings on wood of the three Mysteries of the Holy Rosary (the Annunciation, Presentation of Jesus in the Temple and the Way to Calvary) are all that remain, after the theft, in 1980, of the large frame containing fifteen scenes, commissioned in 1636 by the newly formed Society of the Holy Rosary to surround this fresco above the altar of its chapel.
A detached fragmentary fresco of “Our Lady of Consolation” is set above the altar on the right: this Madonna of the Milk was carried out by Bicci di Lorenzo in the early 15th century and worshipped in the Oratory of Sezzano until 1797; from there it was taken to Vallombrosa and then to San Leolino in 1811. The artist may have intended to include the complete figures of some saints on either side of the throne of the Virgin.
Some of the more notable works carried out for this church include the baptismal font in glazed terracotta from the workshop of Santi Buglioni, decorated with six Stories of St. John the Baptist (early 16th century), as well as the bas-relief in polychrome terracotta of the Birth of the Virgin, the work of an unknown Florentine late-Mannerist sculptor of the second half of the 16th century.The Assumption of the Virgin with Sts. Lawrence and Sixtus II, instead, probably only arrived at San Leolino in the early 19th century. The canvas was restored during the 1986 alterations and this led to the discovery of the signature of its painter, Marco Confortini (1565 c.-1641), and its date of 1603.