The iconography of the stained-glass window of the Apocalypse in Milan Cathedral has until now been associated in its surviving parts with Dürer’s engravings. The systematic study of all surviving panels has made it possible to identify the stained glass window as a work close to the MS Latin 19, John Rylands Library of Manchester (1360-1370), belonging to the ‘Morgan group’ of Anglo-Norman Apocalypses. The presence of an Anglo-Norman codex in the Milanese Cathedral offers opportunities to reflect on the circulation of models underlying the International Gothic in Lombardy.
Theological interpretation of early Christian rituals in Northern Italy in the era of the Catholic reform and Lutheranism caused a deep reconsideration of the Feetwashing ritual, consciously re-orienting it toward a reflection of the Eucharistic sacrament within orthodoxy. this phenomenon had backlashes on the Catholic evangelising mission in areas disputed between the confessions, such as Northern Italy, especially the border regions of Lombardy and the Venetian republic. Many iconographies with the subject of the Feetwashing, in the context of Christological narratives, found an expression in the works by the Capuchin preachers and the members of the Canons regular of the Lateran order: first, the successful writer Pietro bernardini da Lucca (†1522). Similarly, also Serafino Aceti de’ Porti was a great mediator of the heritage of Northern mystics such as Johann J. Landsberger’s (†1539) Pharetra divini amoris. On the basis of these theological reflections some great Northern Italian artists (Gaudenzio Ferrari, romanino, Moretto, tintoretto and bassano) elaborated original iconographic solutions on the theme of Feetwashing, which also had repercussions in Imperial Spain.
The church of San Cristo in brescia houses one of the most interesting pictorial cycles of local Mannerism, painted in the sixties of the sixteenth century by the jesuat friar benedetto Marone. the examination of the biography and catalogue of the painter provides the profile of a wandering and eclectic artist, able to unify ideas resumed from the tuscan-roman school, Cremona and Venezia with brescia’s pictorial tradition; these features are confirmed by the dense succession of episodes shown within the decoration of San Cristo. the review of the frescoes also provides an opportunity to dig into some open questions, such as the likely presence of the young Pietro Marone on the scaffolding, in aid of his uncle Friar benedetto, or the uncertain dating of the vault, attributable to the fifteenth-century construction site of the building. Eventually, the author proposes some prudent hypothesis on the commissioning of the decoration, the result of a contribution of noble families from brescia among which the Martinengos had to play the leading role.
The altarpiece of the high altar in the abbey church of San Salvatore in Pavia, which depicts the Ascension of Christ, has remained anonymous until now. The composition is taken from the cartoon made in Raphael’s atelier for the tapestry of the Nuova Scuola series whit same subject. The author proposes, on stylistic comparisons, to identify the artist in the Piacenza painter Girolamo Dalla Valle Leoni, documented between 1546 and 1576 and linked to Bernardino Gatti and Bernardino Campi. By adding works located in the Piacenza area to the Leoni catalogue, the study contributes to the reconstruction, started only in recent times, of the artistic career of this petit-maître. Leoni’s activity for the abbeys of San Sisto in Piacenza, San Colombano in Bobbio, and San Salvatore in Pavia also attests the continuation in the second half of the sixteenth century both of an artistic network connecting the Padan monasteries belonging to the Cassinese Congregation, and of a predilection for figurative and stylistic models stemming from Rome and particularly from Raphael’s entourage.
Pier Francesco Gianoli (1624-1690) was the heir of the Valsesian tradition and related to the poetics of the Sacri Monti. According to the Lombard inclination, towards the middle of the century, he integrates suggestions from Roman culture in his works. Now, some unpublished canvases configure an essential nucleus of his itinerary and highlight with particular attention the ability to read the line of the Roman Baroque in dialogue with both the classicist and naturalistic traditions. A dialectical tension that is composed in Gianoli in a meditated and noble balance and makes him one of the protagonists of Lombard painting of the second half of the 17th century.
This essay takes stock of the activity for Piacenza of Carlo Francesco and Giuseppe Nuvolone, two artists undoubtedly to be counted among the protagonists of painting for the churches and private collections of the city throughout much of the seventeenth century. The contribution necessarily starts from the works already known in order to present four paintings that have been little or not studied at all (the Guardian Angel of Bobbio and the Annunciation of the parish of Sant’Anna in Piacenza and the altarpieces in the urban church of Santa Maria in Cortina and in Monticello of Gazzola). The conspicuous presence of paintings in churches and private collections attests to the importance of the Nuvolone for the Baroque artistic culture in the second city of the Farnese dukedom.
The completion of the Milan Cathedral, with the realization of the last gugliotti, the four towers with internal stairs displaced around the tiburio, was characterized by an intense discussion forcing Giuseppe Vandoni to a critic evaluation of the work carried out by his predecessors until the 19th century. The gugliotti built by Amadeo and Pestagalli were considered two reference models for the design of the last two towers. If the tower designed by Amadeo was seen as the prototype for the style, with the high quality of its decorative sculptures, the one realized by Pietro Pestagalli, higher than the first one and directly connected to the top of the dome, was considered as the best practice solution for connecting the lower with the higher level of the terraces constituting the roofing system of the Cathedral. The contents in the discussion exchanged between Vandoni and the academic commission of architecture show the development of a debate still influenced by an open question on the proportion and the style of the Cathedral. The solutions adopted in this period, until the realization of the last tower by Paolo Cesa Bianchi, determine important impacts on the relevant structural interventions carried out by Carlo Ferrari da Passano during the 20th century. These recurrent discussions denote the hard balance among the reasons of the aesthetics and the ones of the practice, putting at risk the preservation preservation of the first tower and droving to the idea of reform the second.
The lost Tower of Boethius in Pavia is mainly remembered because linked to the memory of Severinus Boethius’ imprisonment and for the well-known drawing by Giuliano da Sangallo contained in the Vatican codex Barberiniano Latino 4424 (f. 15v). In 1925, Faustino Gianani studied the events surrounding its history and the state of the art in an article published in the «Archivio Storico Lombardo». However, almost a century later, there is still little debate on whether the tower (or its relieves) may have represented, like other ancient buildings, an architectural model, or a significant memory of “local antiquity”, or simply whether some of its parts may have been used as a repertoire of decorative elements.
The fresco in the chapel of Saints Peter and Paul, in the church of the former female monastery of Meda, embodies style traits of the middle XVI century Cremonese art and of Giovanni Antonio da Pordenone’s manner. According to comparisons with certain works, it is possible to propose an attribution to Giovanni Antonio Sacchiense (1521-1576), nephew of Pordenone himself and active for a long time in Lombardy, executing various fresco cycles in collaboration with Bernardino and Antonio Campi.
This contribution analyzes a painting by Padovanino, a mythological subject, displayed in the art gallery of Palazzo Vertemate Franchi in Valchiavenna, a piece almost unknown up to today and ignored by the artist’s official bibliography. For the subject, previously catalogued as Bacchanal, instead the scholar proposes Venus and Mars surrounded by the Graces and Cupids, with precise references to the ancient mythology and literary works of the early seventeenth century, such as “La rete di Vulcano” by Ferrante Pallavicino. Furthermore, from a stylistic point of view the author highlights interesting affinities with more and less known works of Padovanino, such as the many and famous copies of The Bacchanalia by Titian, and The Graces and Cupids (the Hermitage in St. Petersburg). Finally, the author proposes same interesting references to the five senses, a very popular genre in painting and art between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
In 1990 Luisa Bandera presented two paired paintings depicting the Rest on the flight into Egypt and the Adoration of the shepherds, attributed to Angelo Massarotti (1654-1723), a painter from Cremona, who was able to establish, for his city, a fundamental cultural link between the 17th and 18th centuries. Resuming the discussion on this pair of paintings, in addition to recalling little-known works by Massarotti, allows us to know, on the basis of an unpublished 18th century document, the painting already present in the Jesuit church of Cremona, which disappeared following the dispersion of the artistic heritage of this city between the years 1773 and 1774. It was a canvas judged, at that time, amongst the most interesting pictorial works present in that church.