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Old May 5th, 2015, 01:47 AM   #1081
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommolo View Post
Yes it's very legant...it looks like a skyscraper when you actually see it, so tall! It reminds me a little bit the bell tower of the Basilica of Santo Stefano maggiore near the duomo in Milan, started in 1643 by Carlo Buzzi and completed in 1674 by Gerolamo Quadrio. It's actually a lot smaller, but it's the same kind of...what can we say? Lombard early baroque?
Yes, pretty similar, though Bernascone tower is more baroque oriented, due to the elaborate top section built later in XVIII c.


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Maybe we'll talk about the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Sacro Monte of Varese and its loads of arts anytime soon. What do you readers think?
Good idea, there's a lot of material there
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Old May 5th, 2015, 05:05 AM   #1082
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Quote:
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Maybe we'll talk about the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Sacro Monte of Varese and its loads of arts anytime soon. What do you readers think?
Yes, that would be very nice.
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Old May 5th, 2015, 01:46 PM   #1083
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Maybe we'll talk about the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Sacro Monte of Varese and its loads of arts anytime soon. What do you readers think?
Of course yes. Other sites in Italy that deserve this category for many years:
-Bologna, the first university in Europe, in the twelfth century had colleges from 17 different nations. Bologna has written the history of european knowledge and science, people who have been there: Copernicus, Paracelsus, Dürer, Erasmus of Rotterdam, Petrarch, Dante, Thomas Becket, Leon Batista Alberti, Carracci, Guido Reni ....
-Padua, not only botanical garden deserves to be a UNESCO heritage site, the town is a gem and is one of the first universities in the Europe, the first who instituted an anatomical theater and a botanical garden, where taught a parent of modern science, Galileo Galilei, discoveries have been made there: anatomy (Vesalius), blood circulation (William Harvey), female reproduction (D'Acqupendente, Falloppio), pathology (Morgagni, Ramazzini) ....
-Monreale And Palermo (one of my passions)
-Lecce
-In Lombardy I find fascinating Cremona
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Old May 6th, 2015, 02:26 AM   #1084
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I find Cremona, the city of Stradivarius and the chord instruments like the violin, fascinating too!

Thanks for all the kinds comment, an article about the Sacro Monte di Varese is soon to be published!

Yes there are lots of artistical hotspot that really deserves the Unesco certificate, between the ones you said, if I had to pick one and just one, then I personally would choose Palermo and Monreale too...that's just too much not to be in the Unesco League!
Padova, the city of Saint Anthony, has also a magnificent baptistry next to the cathedral that to me represent the most complete medieval frescoes cycles that I have ever had in terms of preservation, and of course the Giotto's Scrovegni chapel, one of the gothic artistical highlight. Bologna too is lovely, it misses a huge and recognizeable monument that would probably help her to promote, but it has a loads of romanesque and gothic delights and an urban uniformity and medieval elegance that makes her really pretty, overall its fascinating porticoes.
Lecce is probably unknown outside Italy but it is a capital of the Late Barocco, almost just like Sicily's Val di Noto, that has the Unesco title instead.
Thank you for commenting!
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Old May 14th, 2015, 02:54 AM   #1085
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Here we start with our special thread about the Sacro Monte of Varese.
First things first: what's a "sacro monte"? Why is worthy of the UNESCO world heritage site title?
The Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy (between them, the one we're focusing on today, the Sacro Monte di Varese) are a series of nine sites that are settled on mountains below the southern side of the Alps.

They were built between XV and XVI century as a symbological recontruction in the Western Europe of the Sacred places of Jerusalem and Palestine, since these sites at the time were very difficult to visit for Christians.

The nine sites in northern Italy shares many common factors: they all have many chapels along a ascending path with strong panoramical and religious meanings, a sort of panoramical via crucis above the hill, all have a Sanctuary and all are interested to a strong pilgrimage and popular devotion throughout the centuries. Many of the best artists of northern Italy have filled these small chapels with their art, many chapels have renaissance and baroque wooden carvings and statues that leaves you just breathless for its beauty. The Sacri Monti were spontaneously built as a sort of Spiritual protection of Italy against northern invasors. These are just some of the reasons why the Sacri Monti are considered a jewel of Western Art and culture by the Unesco since 2003.

The Sacri Monti are (in Piedmont):

-Varallo
-Orta San Giulio
-Crea
-Oropa
-Belmonte
-Ghiffa
-Domodossola

..and in Lombardy:

-Sacro Monte di Varese (that we'll partly see today)
-Sacro Monte di Ossuccio (Como)

Here we go!

Sacro Monte di Varese, 51 kilometers north of the Duomo cathedral of Milan.

The Sacro Monte di Varese was built between 1604 and 1623 and it has 14 chapels, all lined up a mountain and at the highest point there is a Sanctuary, the Santa Maria al Monte Sanctuary, at 844 meters above Varese, and linked to the city below with a cable car.

The Via Sacra, that climbs up a mountain, is 2 kilometers long, and it starts with a church, the little Chiesa dell'Immacolata:



The proper Via Sacra, anyway, starts with an arch. Here you'll begin to leave the urban scenery and you'll be sourrounded by the nature of the Sacro Monte ("Holy Mountain" in English):







Chapel I:





On the inside, a beautiful wooden statue of the Annunciation:



Chapel II:







Wooden statues of the Visitation:



Continues...
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Old May 14th, 2015, 03:09 AM   #1086
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Sacro Monte di Varese, part 2.

Chapel III:



On the right of the chapel, you can see the 1983 "Flee to Egypt" of the great Italian contemporary artist Renato Guttuso. In the Sacro Monte of Varese there's not only classical art!





Extraordinary statues here of the Nativity:





Chapel IV:











Extraordinary statues of the presentation Jesus to the Temple:







Details:







Chapel V:









The interior: statues of the episode of Christ among the doctors.











Details:







Here comes the second arch, called the arch of Saint Charles:







Details:



Chapel VI:







The interior of the chapel shows the episode of Jesus orating in the garden:









The apostles sleeping:







Chapel VII, this chapel has also to offers some frescoes by the early lombard baroque painter called Il Morazzone









The vault of the portico:



The interior shows the statues of the flogging of Jesus Christ:







Chapel VIII:







In this picture we can see the Chapel VIII and above the mountain in the background you can appreciate the tall bell tower of the Sanctuary of Santa Maria del Monte, the end of the route of the Sacro Monte di Varese, on the top of the mointain, 844 meters high:



Inside the chapel, you can find the statues representing Jesus Christ crowned with thorns:



...I will continue tomorrow with the others chapels, the Sanctuary and so on...
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Old May 14th, 2015, 08:51 AM   #1087
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Magnificent
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Old May 14th, 2015, 02:37 PM   #1088
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Thank you very much! Yes, the baroque sculpures in the Sacro Monte di Varese seems actually talk...it's the triumph of baroque theatrality...the sculptures actually recites the sacred scene... I'm happy you can appreciate them!

Let's continue with the chapel IX of the Sacro Monte di Varese:







The magnificent view from chapel IX towards the Lake of Varese, we're actually climbing up the mountain!



The internal scene shows Christ carrying the Cross. Just watch the veil with the face of Christ impressed there...it depicts the birth of the Veil of Veronica. Amazing!



The face of Jesus, so moving!



Details of the veil that Saint Veronica gave to Jesus to wipe the sweat along the way:



Chapel X:









The third arch:



The interior shows the scene of the Crucifixion, just amazing! Please observe the complete fusion between frescoed walls and tridimensional statues, just like in the Sacro Monte di Varallo. This is theater! This is a drama! What a big achievement for baroque art we can appreciate here, the superation of the bidimensional representation, the illusionism like in a frescoed roman vault or dome. Woah! Just whoah!





The whole scene describes also the big mess of the scene, confusion, agitation...somewhat it's definitely happening on the mount Golgotha, anyone can see it!



The pale Mary, the mother of Jesus:



To see her face is a pain in the heart, really:











Of course, these are amongst the best statues you can find along the Via Sacra of the Sacro Monte of Varese...

The third arch, the arch of Saint Ambrose:





The arch of Saint Ambrose and in the Background the top of the mountain with the Sanctuary of the Santa Maria del Monte, where the Via Sacra of the Sacro Monte ends:



Chapel XI:





Inside, the Resurrection scene. Sorry for the bad quality of the images!







As you can see, here we can find a perfect fusion of the painted scene (frescoed) and the sculptural part.
Here we can see that the scene is more made by paintings that statues, and the statues of Christ emerge from the painted part,
like representing a part that is true in an illusionistic, fake world. There's a lot of philosophy too in the Sacri Monti, huh?
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Old May 14th, 2015, 03:25 PM   #1089
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Sacro Monte di Varese,

Chapel XII:















The interiors showing the Ascent of Jesus Christ, sorry for the bad quality images:



The crown of angels, statues that rises from the wall...what a beauty!





The apostles:



Chapel XIII:











Inside, the scene of the Descent of the Holy Spirit:









The last chapel, the Chapel XIV:











The Chapel XIV as seen from the Sanctuary on the top of the mountain, look at the panorama you can appreciate from the Sanctuary, at 844 above Varese:









Inside, the assumption of the Virgin Mary:

Really bad quality images, as soon as I get better ones, I'll publish them!







Detail of the Statue of Saint Mary:







That's all for now, in the next post, we'll see the Sanctuary of Santa Maria al Monte, atop of the mountain, an extraordinary baroque church
with a bell tower dominating all the valley below, in a panoramical position above the lake of Varese! Stay tuned!
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Old May 14th, 2015, 03:29 PM   #1090
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BRAVO!!!!
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Old May 14th, 2015, 04:11 PM   #1091
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Thank you very much! It's really amazing to notice how many artistical jewels we have so close to our city, Milan! That's a real luxury!

Here's an aerial view of the whole complex of the Sacro Monte of Varese, here you can easily appreciate the Via Sacra climbing up the mountain
and the different chapels we've seen in the previous posts:



Picture fount in Pinterest.
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Old May 14th, 2015, 06:00 PM   #1092
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...and here we go with the last "chapel" of the Via Sacra of the Sacro Monte of Varese, the Sanctuary of Santa Maria al Monte, on the top of the mountain, 844 meters above the lake of Varese.

The sanctuary has not a proper facade, but it has a huge bell tower that is an amazing observation point on the valley below:







The arrival of the Via Sacra:



The main entrance of the Sanctuary:



From the Sanctuary, you can see all the valley below and the beautiful lake of Varese:





The well beside of the Sanctuary, here the view is breathtaking!



This is what you see when you arrive on the top of the Sacro Monte (in english: sacred mountain):



The interiors are a triumph of baroque style, soo monumental!



The dome of the sanctuary:



The main altar:



The counter facade and the western entrance, the main one:



Wow!



Reliquiary of Saints in the Sanctuary, site of popular pilgrimage and devotion:



The "Cappella delle Beate":



View of the inside from the main entrance. Baroque splendour!



Details of the extremely decorated vault:



Side chapel:



Details of the statues of the side nave, representing the baptism of Jesus:



Other views of he main nave:





Detail of the gorgeous baroque frescoed vault:



...and to conclude, the very elegant baptistry:



To tell you the truth, there is not only baroque or classical art in the Sacro Monte, but also modern art. For instance, outside the Sanctuary you can see this statue of the Pope Paul VI by Floriano Bodini. Paul VI was the pope that opened (and what a big opening has been!) the Catholic Church to Contemporary Art, and started also the collection of contemporary art in the Vatican Museums.

This is Bodini's statue of Pope Paul VI:



We have seen another contemporary art piece in the Sacro Monte, in the Chapel III we have seen a "Flee to Egypt" (1983) by one of the biggest Italian artist of the XX century, Renato Guttuso:

You can see it on the right of the chapel, here:



...and this is a detail of Renato Guttuso's "Flee to Egypt" (1983):



And, to conclude these posts dedicated to the Sacro Monte of Varese, here you are the panoramical view of the mountain, with on the top the small town of Santa Maria al Monte, where the Sanctuary with the same name is located:









That's all for now about the most beautiful Sacro Monte of Varese! Did you like it? Do you think this site is worthy of the Unesco World Heritage Site title it gained in 2003, along with other 8 sites?

In Lombardy, near Como, in the bigger Milan metropolitan area, we can find another Sacro Monte, the Sacro Monte od Ossuccio. Maybe sometimes soon we'll get the chance to visit it too!

Thank you very much for you kind comments!
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Old May 14th, 2015, 10:50 PM   #1093
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WOW amazing works of art and faith
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Old May 15th, 2015, 12:20 AM   #1094
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Splendid! In particular I like the first chapel, that resembles the shape of a ionic temple.

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Originally Posted by tommolo View Post

Maybe not strictly a part of the complex, but anyway the Fountain of Moses (1817) concludes the itinerary before the sanctuary.


http://www.panoramio.com/photo/47000...=kh.google.com


and here is the 11th century romanesque crypt of the sanctuary, decorated with 14th century frescoes


http://milano.corriere.it/foto-galle...a4c6f057.shtml


http://www.infoinsubria.com
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Old May 15th, 2015, 12:31 AM   #1095
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Wow! It's a never ending well of artistical treasure! I never saw it, is it possible to visit it? I'd be very interested...
what do the frescoes tells? Oh now I'm curious about it!
Thank you very much for your information, a really fascinating crypt!
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Old May 15th, 2015, 08:02 AM   #1096
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I don't know if it's possible to visit it, because i heard that it was under restoration in recent years. Unfortunately I haven't even seen the sanctuary (surely sooner or later I will), and I can't find much information about the frescoes, except for the fact that the artists are unknown ' (though some scenes are clearly recognizable, such as Nativity and Annunciation...)
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Old May 16th, 2015, 12:19 PM   #1097
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I have been impressed this post, I was aware of these sacred mountains for being on the list of UNESCO but did not know of these splendid interiors.
I find many similarities between the most dramatic of these sculptures and the Spanish Baroque sculpture seventeenth emerged from the counter reformation, which is mainly wood and polychrome: drama, theatricality, devotion, tearing, realism. A few years ago was the subject of an exhibition that was presented at the National Galleries in London and Washington titled "The Sacred made real".
Authors such as Gregorio Fernández, Salzillo
I also find analogy with the Brazilian Baroque sculptor Aleijadinho, pilgrimage chapels in the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Congonhas.
However, I think that tradition in Italian art of these polychrome groups and special drama rooted in the Renaissance, specifically the quatrocentro: the wonderful polychrome terracotta groups of
Niccolò dell'Arca in Bologna and Guido Mazzoni (one of his works in Naples impressed me especially).
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Old May 16th, 2015, 11:43 PM   #1098
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Yes, You're right, in Spain I've seen lots of priceless sculptures with dramatic and theatrical poses, many of them are still utilized in the Semana Santa celebrations.
Anyway Spain has a huge tradition in wooden statues, see for instance the many retablos that are scuptorical jewels in almost every church and in many cases are really ancient. They become really dinamic in the XVII century.
In Italy the wooden dramatical statues are less frequent, of course there are exceptions, like the breathtaking Santa Maria della Vita in Bologna, that really is a masterpiece of its own, and the Sacri Monti. In Piedmont and Val d'Aosta there are many, but that's because of the transalpine influence.

This of course has a lot to do with the Saint Charles Borromeo's ideas (he was archbishop of Milan) about the Counter reformation and the art as a way to persuade, to move the souls of the faithful. We can see this in the many mannerist paintings of Northern Italy (Morazzone, Procaccini, Cerano...) and to do so, they also used the spanish language of wooden dramatical and theatrical statues composing a scene.
In northern Italy the church was very interested in this kind of rhetorical instruments because the protestant movement were very close, and there was a sort of "cold war" of ideas vs art between the reformationist movements and the counter-reformationist movements.

The reason of this choice may be easy to understand when we focus on the fact of the heavy influence of the counter reformation in Spain (and the st. Charles' ideas) and overall the fact that Milan was under spanish rule back then...so an overspill of artistical crafts between Madrid and Milan it is definitely possible.
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Old May 27th, 2015, 05:13 AM   #1099
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I wanted to share these beautiful pictures shot from my friends at Urbanfile dedicaed to an extremely important jewel of Milan, the most important abbey of the many abbeys surrounding Milan, the Chiaravalle abbey.
The abbey was started in year 1135 by St Bernard of Clairvaux and consecrated in year 1221, even if the works on the complex lasted at least until the XVII century. The abbey of Chiaravalle milanese (there are other Chiaravalle in Italy, all filiation of the mother abbey of Citeaux in france) is one of the earliest gothic style church in Italy, even if with some clearly still romanesque elements. In this abbey the great italian cheese Grana Padano is said to have born in the years 1100s. It played a key role in the bonification of the "bassa milanese", the southern part of Milanese area, and helped the agricoltural, hidric and economical development of the area, along with the others abbeys of the southern part.
The images speak for themselves! Enjoy!

Here you can find the Chiaravalle abbey and in the background the skyscrapers of Downtown Milan, we're quite close to central Milan, just some 6400 meters southwest of the Duomo cathedral of Milan...Yes, just some 6,4 kilometers!



As you can see, Milan is also an agricultural city with lots of fields and farms near the city center! The fields you see here I would guess are mainly rice fields (the very milanese risotto is the star dish here! )

The "ciribiciaccola", lombard brick gothic bell tower:



Milan is also this:



the bus stop linking Chiaravalle abbey with the very city center in relatively few stops:



The main entrance to the complex:



The restored facade has now lost many baroque superfetations:



The wonderful medieval portal:



The gothic interiors:



The monks choir, the walls are completely filled with medieval frescoes, both in gothic and renaissance style:



Detail of the breathtaking beautiful wooden carvings:



On the right transept, the stairs brings you to the abbey and the part of the complex dedicated to the monks. Renaissance frescoes everywhere...



The wonderful gothic dome, under the "Ciribiciaccola" bell tower:



The right transept and the stairs:



The interior of the dome:



At the end of the stairs of the right transept, an absolute masterpiece of Italian Renaissance, the "Madonna della Buonanotte" of the leonardesque painter Bernardino Luini:



Detail of the amazing painting from year 1512:



Gothic frescoes dating back to year 1340 in the dome:



Details of the frescoes:



Amazing side chapels:



Frescoes on the transept:



Copy of the Christ at the column painting by renaissance master Donato Bramante, now the original is shown at Brera museum.



The amazing cloisters:



knotted capitols:



Details:



Bell tower, still in a solid romanesque style:





Gothic vaults on the galleries of the cloisters:



The beautiful "Ciribiciaccola" bell tower:



And the gothic refectory, with a beautiful fresco in it:



All pictures found at the website www.urbanfilemilano.blogspot.com
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Old June 12th, 2015, 03:33 AM   #1100
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San Giovanni Battista Chapel or Mantegazza Chapel in Cascine Olona, Settimo Milanese, just 6,5 kilometers west of the duomo cathedral of Milan.
A little but delicious renaissance chapel filled with ancient and interesting frescoes whose author is unknown of excellent quality, lombard school of XIV century.
The chapel was built as a chapel by Paolo Mantegazza in the year 1468 beside of his palace.















Northern wall in an ancient but very clear picture, showing all the frescoed scenes:



Southern wall:



The counter facade:



The triumphal arch:





Northern wall:



Triumphal arch:



Details:



More scenes from the interior frescoes:





The vault of the apse:



Detail of the apse:



The panorama of the northern wall with its magnificen frescoes from the Quattrocento:

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