ARTE LOMBARDA - 2012 - 1-2 - autori-vari - Vita e Pensiero - Fascicolo digitale Vita e Pensiero

ARTE LOMBARDA - 2012 - 1-2

digital ARTE LOMBARDA - 2012 - 1-2
Fascicolo digitale
Fascicolo 1-2 - 2012
Titolo ARTE LOMBARDA - 2012 - 1-2
Editore Vita e Pensiero
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Un ciclo carolingio a Milano. Nuove ipotesi sulle pitture murali in San Satiro
di Manuela Beretta pagine: 18 € 6,00
A Carolingian cycle in Milan.
New theories on the mural paintings in San Satiro

Embedded in the complex urban and architectural stratification of Milan’s historic center, the church of San Satiro is the lone Carolingian monumental building in the area: its plan has been preserved, as has a cycle of mular paintings datable, for the most part, to the years of the foundation, which was ordered by Ansperto da Biassono (Archbishop of Milan from 868 to 881) within the so-called Insula Ansperti. Despite the defective conservation, it is possible to suggest a reconstruction of the original project – a task only inconsistently attempted so far by scholars – based on the recognition of “pairs” of figures on each of the four corners of the building. Such reading gives way to new theories on the identity of the portraited characters, and casts new light on the presence of figural elements such as the flowered cross – strictly connected with 9th-Century funerary painting – or the raceme decoration of the vaults, prompting an analogy with Carolingian cycles north of the Alps, such as the westwork of Corvey.
All the collected data concerning composition, iconography, technique and style are put in relation with Ansperto’s patronage and the cultural scene in late-9th Century Milan: this reinvigorates the ipothesis, often rejected by scholars, of a homogeneous Carolingian cycle. The intent of this article is not to give a final answer to the questions surrounding the artwork, but rather to put such questions in a critical perspective, reconstructing the cycle in its complexity and opening up new lines of interpretation thanks to a broader basis of comparison, and thus to finally include the commission for San Satiro in a truly Milanese – and at the same time European – context.
Il Reliquiario della Santissima Croce del tesoro del Duomo Vecchio di Brescia
di Alessandro Barbieri pagine: 35 € 6,00
The Reliquary of the Holy Cross in the Treasure of the Duomo Vecchio in Brescia

The Reliquary of the Holy Cross in the Duomo Vecchio in Brescia is part of the treasure of the Holy Crosses. This precious work, which would be classified today as a staurotheque, is the result of a series of restorations and alterations through the years. What was originally nothing else than a “tabernaculum” – i.e. a silver case for the relic of the Holy Cross, partially gilded and enameled by goldsmith Bernardino Dalle Croci between 1477 and 1487 – was turned into a pedestal by the same artist in 1516, so that the relic would not be kept inside it, but rather on top of it. A third alteration brought to the definitive transformation of the object, with the addition (1533- 1557) of an exquisite golden shrine, enamels and precious stones, the work of goldsmith Giovanni Maria Mondella, who was capable of skillfully blend the two parts in an elegant, cohesive whole. In addition to the abundance of documents – through which it has been possible to trace back its history – and acknowledgments both in local sources and in the most recent literature, the reliquary has been depicted frequently, which provides specific information on its alterations and the possible additions of later years.
L’allestimento della quadreria di Giuseppe Bossi nel palazzo milanese di via Santa Maria Valle secondo il primo inventario topografico
di Silvio Mara pagine: 42 € 6,00
The set-up of Giuseppe Bossi’s painting collection in the palace at Via Santa Maria Valle in Milan, based on the first topographic inventory

The year 1810 was a turning point for painter Giuseppe Bossi, as he had just given up his position as secretary of the Brera Academy. In December, Viceroy Eugenio di Beauharnais founded a Special School of Painting under the individual direction of Bossi, who establishd its headquarters in the ancient, airy palace he had recently purchased in Via Santa Maria Valle in Milan. Over the next five years the neoclassical painter, involved in ambitious lietrary projects and tours, expanded his art collections and set them up in his new home, according to his peculiar taste. In the article, the entire topographic inventory of the painting collection is presented for the first time as it looked like immediately after the painter’s death on December 9th 1815. The set-up of the collection in the halls at the piano nobile, intended to please the owner’s taste and based in part on the tradition of rich, aristocratic Milanese families, nonetheless shows an attention towards the education of art students. The particular course structure Bossi gave his school could not take its inspiration but from the very artworks he himself collected, a necessary tool for studying and making copies from the great masters of the past. Thus, Bossi’s project for each room can be seen from such point of view. Thanks to the vast documentation found in the private archive of Bossi’s heirs, a large number of paintings could be adequately identified, and it was possible to trace their later changes of ownership.


«Assai annose pitture co’ risalti di stucchi indorati». L’Annunciazione dell’arco traverso del Duomo di Monza: un contributo agli Zavattari
di Roberta Delmoro pagine: 26 € 6,00
«Assai annose pitture co’ risalti di stucchi indorati».
The Annunciation on the transverse arch in the Duomo of Monza: a contribution on the Zavattaris

Recent studies on the fragment of 15th-Century decoration on the transverse arch of the nave in the Duomo of Monza – in a spot hidden under the attic since the construction of the 17th-Century barrel vault – have added new material on the workshop of the Zavattaris. The Annunciation, formerly extended over the entire arch and now limited to the scene with the Heavenly Father with Angels, points to the hand of a Zavattari working in the 1420s, who I suggest might be identified in Franceschino, whose presence in Monza is documented in 1420-21. The analysis of this part of the decoration, in comparison with the late Gothic painting still preserved in the presbytey (including of course the chapel of Theodelinda) and with reference to further archival discoveries (such as the previously undocumented fact that Stefano da Pandino, Franceschino Zavattari’s brother in law, was in Monza in May 1415), casts new light on an important chapter of the history of the Zavattari workshop, providing new evidence on one of the family’s greatest works of decoration.
La decorazione tardogotica di San Cristoforo sul Naviglio a Milano. Novità documentarie e proposte attributive
di Damiano Spinelli pagine: 21 € 6,00
The late Gothic decoration of San Cristoforo sul Naviglio in Milan.
Unpublished documents and possible attributions

The article provides a historical and art-historical analysis of the Chapel of Sts John the Baptist, James, Christopher and Christina – traditionally known as Ducal Chapel – in the church of San Cristoforo sul Naviglio in Milan. Through the examination of a group of documents found in Milanese archives, regarding the foundation of the complex, it is now possible to trace back its origin, controverting the common theory that the Duke himself had sponsored its edification after the end of the plague of 1400. Rather, a group of Milanese citizens, whose names have been identified through previously unpublished documents, had a key role in the construction process. Nonetheless, the most important discoveries are those concerning the fresco painting on the counter-façade, depicting the Madonna enthroned with the Child and Saints, and the Crucifixion below; both works are positively attributed to Bassanolo de Magistris – whose biography can be tentatively outlined through comparison and documentary findings – while their sponsor is identifiable as Ayroldo de Alzate, whose coats of arms are included in the two pictures. Finally, the article analyzes the remaining decorations of the chapel: the Adoration of the Magi and the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus in the gores of the vault, and the magnificent frescoes on the back wall and on the façade, identifiable as the work of the Zavattari workshop and whose sponsor is the subject of a fascinating ipothesis.
Uno strano multilinguismo nella chiesa abbaziale cassinese a San Benedetto Po: Giulio Romano parla persino in dialetto lombardo
di Bruno Adorni pagine: 17 € 6,00
A peculiar multilinguism in the Cassinese abbey church of San Benedetto Po: Giulio Romano even speaks Lombard

As he was employed in the court of Federico II Gonzaga, Giulio Romano mostly addressed religious architetcure in the late years of his career, as in the abbey church of San Benedetto in Polirone, in the greater cloister of the Benedictines in Reggio Emilia, in the Duomo of Mantua and in the project for the afcade of San Petronio in Bologna. According to a pair of bequests by Lucrezia Pico della Mirandola (June 11, 1500) and Cesare Arsago (May 20, 1509), the Benedictines of the abbey of San benedetto Po were supposed to completely rebuild their old Romanesque church, already transformed by the early 15th Century. It seems that Battista Covo had delivered a new project in 1524, thanks to the interest of Isabella d’Este. After Gregorio Cortese was named abbot in 1538, though, the Benedictines requested to Pope Paul III that they be allowed to preserve part of the existing church. Giulio Romano was entrusted with this arduous task, presumably in 1539, while the operations began in August 1540. Giulio mantained most of the old building, while adding a front bay in Lombard-Gothic style. He also added a new façade and two new series of side chapels. Inside, he completed the first three bays with Serlian arches using columns from the late 15th Century. The façade shows a system of repeated trabeated bays, surmounted by a series of tympani, perhaps inspired by the Arco dei Gavi in Verona. On the South side, a similar scheme is topped by an attic providing light to the chapels. Its rhytm is strikingly free and dramatic, with the distance between the columns contnuously expanding, to a point where the interaxis almost vanished betweeen the fourth and fifth arches. In the interior, Giulio associates capitals derived from the Prevedari etching and Bramante’s Lombard buildings to the solecisms of the late-15th-Century columns sculpted by Giovanni Buora. At the entrance of each chapel, for instance, he draws on the irregular section of pillars from Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan. The painted rose windows at the sides on the nave, under the pointed arches, are also a reference to Lombard culture of the 1400s, a proof that Giulio openly intended to speak an arcaic Lombard idiom. He also worked in the adjoining chapel of St Mary, where he gave a Serlian articulation to the base of the cupola and completely transformed the presbytery, each angle of which is marked by columns recessed into joint pilasters, as in the chapel of the Italienische Palastbau of the Stadtresidenz in Landshut, thus confriming Guilio’s presence in that building. Finally, the innovative wooden choir is probably Giulio’s work as well.
Il giardino della Favorita e la presenza a Mantova di Girolamo Rainaldi
di Paolo Carpeggiani pagine: 4 € 6,00
The garden of Favorita and Girolamo Rainaldi’s presence in Mantua

The project for the garden of Favorita – the ambitious suburban residence of Ferdinando Gonzaga, work of Nicolò Sebregondi (1585-1652) – casts some light on the relationship between Gonzaga and Roman architect Girolamo Rainaldi (1570-1655), so far barely considered by scholars. While historians have established that Ferdinando’s passion for collecting decorative arts was governed by a taste developed during the Roman years – he was named Cardinal by Paul V in 1607, and took over the lead of the Duchy after his older brother Francesco’s death –, his connection with Rainaldi, also known as an experienced fountain designer and water engineer. Through an accurate research on the documents and the study of the Duke’s correspondence, the project for the spectacular garden and its fountains is attributed to the Roman architect, who likely met the Cardinal during the latter’s stay in Rome.
Un ritrovamento per Lodovico Antonio David da Lugano: la Natività un tempo in San Silvestro a Venezia, circa 1680
di Giorgio Fossaluzza pagine: 20 € 6,00
A new finding concerning Lodovico Antonio David from Lugano: the Nativity formerly from the church of San Silvestro in Venice, circa 1680

The recent spotting on the antique market of a Nativity signed by Lodovico Antonio David offers an occasion to riconsider the career of this master originally from Ticino, who received his education in Milan under Francesco Cairo and Ercole Procaccini Jr., and subsequently worked for a long time in Venice and Rome. This large painting is identified as that finished in 1680 – or lightly earlier – for the church of San Silvestro Papa in Venice, where it remained until the complex was transformed in the late 1830s, before being sold together with other artworks, such as the better-known Adoration of the Magi by Paolo Veronese, now at the National Gallery in London. The confirmation of the work’s place of origin makes it possible to include David in the “barocchetto” tendency of Venetian painting, which is visible throughout the cycle of paintings in this church, inaugurated by the master from Ticino. The cycle was promoted by the School of San Giuseppe, connected to the “Nazione Bergamasca” in Venice: the subject was the life of Mary and St Joseph, with reference to the dedication of the altar with the Holy Family altarpiece by Bavarian painter Johann Carl Loth, still in place. Gregorio Lazzarini was involved as well, and that led to him parting ways with his mentor David; Antonio Bellucci, Francesco Pittoni and Nicolò Bambini also worked in San Silvestro, and so did Louis Dorigny, who decorated the much praised vault. As confirmed by the retrieved painting – the fifth positively attributed to the Venetian years – David’s style at the time consisted in a peculiar academism, deriving from his Lombard education, his reflection upon the 16th-Century Venetian masters, and also his experience with Cignani in Bologna between 1669 and 1670. Such complexity of research was the typical of Venetian academies, of which David was a key figure, also as a scholar of technical and theroetical elements of painting. The work for San Silvestro shows a specific interest towards Correggio, developed in the Cignani studio. While in the painting this element coexists with references to Carracci and Veronese, it would turn into a downright infatuation for the Emilian master’s nocturnal art after David’s stay in Parma, Reggio and Modena in 1684-85, as shown by the Nativity altarpiece in the Rotonda of Rovigo, finally attributed to him, and the two Adorations in Sant’Andrea al Quirinale in Rome (1691), one of his best-known works. During the Roman years, his transposition of Correggio’s style goes hand in hand with an utter commitment to documentary and theorietical research on the 16th-Century master, which would bring David to have an intense correspondence with Muratori, an adversary of Father Sebastiano Resta, who was in contention with the Academy of San Luca.


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