Castelseprio, in the province of Varese, in the most verdant Lombardy, the italian land of Milano, was built in the early fourth century AD as a military camp, defined in Latin castrum in order to defend the boundaries on the Prealps.
During Theodoric's Kingdom of Ostrogoths, the defensive walls of the bulwark of Torba, the tower house, Saint Giovanni Evangelista's Basilique, and the Saint Giovanni Baptistery were built. In the Longobard period, VI-VIII century AD some extensions of the Great Saint Giovanni's Church date back, new houses and the Basilique of Santa Maria Foris Portas. The Basilique of Santa Maria Foris Portas was built outside the gates, rose out of the castrum. In rectangular plan with three apses, it is characterized by the mushrooms windows and the tapered pilasters. The rediscovery of early medieval paintings made Castelseprio a place of cultural interest and international fame. The technique of realization of the paintings of the Basilique of Santa Maria Foris Portas is the Good Fresco, which differs from that of the Fresco: sketched drawings with sinopia and repainting of the same designs with lime colors. The pictorial narrative cycle is inspired by the Apocryphal Gospels of eastern christian tradition: The Pseudo-Matthew and James's Protovangelo, and it illustrates Jesus's childhood. The north-eastern apse includes the Christ Pantocrator: a very widespread theme in Byzantine iconography. The author is an exiled unknown Master from Constantinople, who bring in the western societies the best Hellenistic-Byzantine tradition, which contributed to the phase known as the Caroligian Revival.