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Mentioned for the first time in a document of 1123, Rauscedo was probably part of the possessions which the monastery of St. Paul in Lavanttal in Carinzia and the Abbey of Millstatt owned through the earls of Porcia. From the ecclesiastical point of view the community was subjected to the Parish church of S. Giorgio, while the civil jurisdiction was exerted by the earls of Spilimbergo.
In the course of the centuries the hamlet, mainly agricultural, has followed the events of the nearby villages, in particular of Domanins.
In the earliest decades of the 20th century, thanks to the introduction of vine grafting and of cooperation, it saw an extraordinary progressive economic development which made it the most populous hamlet in the municipality, internationally known for the production of grafted cuttings for selected vines.
The Parish Church
The Neo-classical parish church dedicated to St. Mary and St. Joseph (fig. 41) was built to replace the most ancient church of St. Mary located where now is the cemetery in Via Borgo Meduna.
Construction works started in 1845 and were completed in 1850 on a design by the Venetian architect Francesco Lazzari. The facade is characterized by the presence of two niches and a tympanum with a mosaic work in imitation of the Assumption of the Virgin by Titian, two large pilasters jutting out at the sides and the portal surmounted by a lintel supported by brackets. The works were led by the building contractor Pietro Costantini, grandfather of the Cardinal Celso Costantini, sculptor and art scholar.
Lazzari also designed the wooden choir in the presbytery and the high altar. The 19th century tabernacle and the altar of St. Joseph come from the old church. The holy-water stoup decorated with cherubs and the stone basin in the vestry date back to the 17th century.
The Parish church of St. Mary and St. Joseph, with a single nave, houses some valuable paintings, in particular a canvas by Angiolo D’Andrea portraying the Nativity (fig. 42) which stands out among the others. The large work, in the shades of green and azure, used as background for the crib, impresses for the boldness of the visual perspective which characterizes it. The Biblical event of the Nativity is portrayed from the high, among angels, which contribute to express a deep and sincere spiritual motif.
Beside the canvas by Angiolo D’Andrea, the church houses the 17th painting The Coronation of the Virgin (fig. 43), property of the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice; the parish of Rauscedo has its safekeeping, bequeathed by the painter Jacopo D’Andrea who restored it. The painting, once ascribed to Palma il Giovane or to his apprentices, has recently been attributed to the painter Matteo Ingoli (Ravenna 1585 – 1631).
Noteworthy is also the oil painting placed in the altar of St. Joseph (left side) which portrays the Passing of St. Joseph (fig. 44) by Luigi Nono, an exact copy of a work by Michelangelo Grigoletti from Pordenone (19th century).
On the same side there is a painting depicting the Virgin with Child among the Saints Barbara and Lucy; it is attributed to a local painter of the early 17th century.
The fresco on the ceiling representing the Assumption of the Virgin, dates back to the end of the 19th century. It is well tuned in the range of ochre and, according to oral tradition, it is the work of a painter from Pordenone.
The paintings of the high altar are more recent: they represent a Crucifixion (oil on canvas) of 1976 (fig. 45), by Father Giuseppe Pellarin from Zoppola and the Annunciation by the Venetian Antonio Boatto (1980).
The church has an organ made by Cav. Francesco Zanin di Gustavo Zanin and C. from Codroipo. It was inaugurated on October 13, 1996. It is a two-manual organ with 11 stops at the first and 9 at the second, and pedal keyboard with 3 stops. The project is the result of the collaboration between the Parish of Rauscedo and the Committee “Pro Organo” chaired by M.o Sante Fornasier.
The Church of St. John the Baptist
The Church of St. John the Baptist (fig. 46), now situated in Rauscedo, but in the past within the ecclesiastical boundaries of Domanins, was built by the D’Agostini family, near their house, around 1677. The aim was probably that of giving prestige to the family and of creating a place for praying which could be used as a country oratory and a family vault.
In the course of the years it has not been modified: it shows a rectangular room and a window on the left wall; the presbytery is rectangular too, with a flat ceiling. The facade is embellished by a porch with sloping-roof supported by three frontal Neo-gothic vaults held by four pillars. The door has two square windows at the sides. A small eye opens in the upper part of the facade which is completed by a single-lancet window bell tower.
In the interior, the altar and the stone banister were built by the stone-cutter Giobatta Antonelli from Dardago (1667) as testified by an inscription on the left base of the altar. The upper part of the altar is in carved wood and it could be the work of Osvaldo Zotti from Provesano. The altar-piece portraying the Baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ (fig. 47) is by Giuseppe Basso (1889 – 1955).
The Places of Jacopo D’Andrea and Angiolo D’Andrea
Rauscedo is the birthplace of two skilful painters, Jacopo D’Andrea and Angiolo D’Andrea, worth appearing in the artistic scene of the time and mentioned among the artists who have brought prestige to their place of origin.
Jacopo D’Andrea (1819 – Venice 1916) attended the Art Academy in Venice and then he became professor; he was highly regarded as illustrator of historical scenes. Some of his works are in the Museum in Udine, in the parish church of Casarsa (a delicate Virgin with Child which reminds the compositions of the masters of the Venetian Renaissance), in private collections in Rauscedo, Udine, Porcia and Domanins.
At Rauscedo he bought a villa, built by the Stella family in the second half of the 18th century, which became his holiday house. The villa, situated in Piazza delle Cooperative, has recently been restored and it is private property.
Angiolo D’Andrea (1880 – 1942) left Friuli when he was very young, was educated in Padua and lived most of his life in Milan. He made a name for himself in 1908 when he participated in the Biennale in Venice. He was landscape painter, fresco painter, author of paintings of religious subject and illustrator. Realist painter, neither attracted by the futurist avant-gardes, nor sharing the poetics of the artistic movements of the 20th century, D’Andrea distinguished himself in his landscapes, portraits and still lifes for the bright colours, at the beginning with pointillist solutions, symbolist and Art Nouveau motifs, particularly visible in the works of religious subject. His works are in several Italian museums, among which in Milan at the Gallery of Modern Art and the Museum of Milan and in private collections.
He died in Rauscedo on November 10, 1942. His native house is in Via degli Artisti. In the cemetery a tomb was erected to remember him, built by the friend and sculptor Riccardo Fontana.
Vivai Cooperativi Rauscedo
Vivai Cooperativi, whose premises are situated at the entrance to the hamlet, are the reality that best qualifies Rauscedo (fig. 48).
They started in 1933 from a group of farmers devoted to a grapevine nursery activity, who had learned and experimented the vine-grafting technique, and who saw in the legal form of a cooperative company a means to increase and improve the production at remunerative prices.
Since then, and in particular after World War II, the cooperative society has seen a progressive extraordinary development, as a consequence of the continuous expansion to new markets, becoming one of the greatest world grapevine nurseries in the world, with an annual production of 65 million grafted cuttings (fig. 49).
Vivai Cooperativi Rauscedo are present in all vine-growing countries which allow to import material for vine propagation and where it is not possible to export directly, for example to the USA and Australia, new societies have been created to produce grafted vines in the place.
The secret of Vivai Cooperativi Rauscedo’s primacy lies in the never-ending and high level search of new varieties which is done at the “Centro Sperimentale VCR”, situated not far from the headquarters. Here new genetic improvement programmes are implemented whose aim is to obtain new disease-resistant clones, crossings and vines that can allow growers in all wine-growing areas in the world to improve the quality of their products.
The “Centro Sperimentale VCR” is not open to the public.