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Italian Gothic architecture


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Genavese Cavera
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« on: January 01, 2008, 04:30:09 am »

The Gothic architecture appeared in Italy in the 12th century. Italian Gothic always maintained peculiar characteristic which differentiated its evolution from that in France, where it had originated, and in other European countries. In particular, the architectural ardite solutions and technical innovations of the French Gothic cathedrals never appeared: Italian architects preferred to keep the construction tradition established in the previous countries. Aesthetically, in Italy the vertical development was rarely important.

A possible timeline of Gothic architecture in Italy can comprise:

an initial development of the Cistercian architecture
an "early Gothic" phase (c. 1228-1290)
the "mature Gothic" of 1290-1385
a late Gothic phase from 1385 to the 16th century, with the completion of the great Gothic edifices begun previously, as in Milan and Bologna.
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Genavese Cavera
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« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2008, 04:31:41 am »



Basilica di San Francesco, Assisi.
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Genavese Cavera
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« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2008, 04:32:37 am »

Beginnings of Gothic architecture in Italy

Gothic architecture was imported in Italy, just as it was in many other European countries. The Benedictine Cistercian order was, through their new edifices, the main carrier of this new architectural style. It spread from Burgundy (in what is now eastern France), their original area, over the rest of Western Europe.

This kind of architecture had in fact already included most of the novelties which characterized the Gothic cathedrals of Ile-de-France, but with a more subdued, and somewhat "ascetic", formal approach. Figurative decorations are banned. The stained glass windows are reduced in size and colorless. The verticalism is reduced. In the exterior bell towers and belfries are absent.

Always present, however, are oval rectangular groin vaults and clustered piers , composed by an ensemble of smaller columns, which continue with engaged pillars to the vaulting-ribs. The capitals have very simple decorations, usually not figurative. The stone-dressing is very accurate as well. The result is a quasi-modern cleanness, lacking embellishments.

The Cistercian architecture could be easily adapted, with slight modifications, to the necessities of Mendicant Orders such as the Dominicans and the Franciscans, which in Italy were living a huge expansion in Italy. Both strove for a certain cleanness, when not poverty, in their edifices. They needed large naves and aisles to allow the faithful to follow preachings and rites without visual obstacles, like it happened instead in the cathedrals, whose interiors contained numerous pilasters and had the choir separated by walls from the nave.

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Genavese Cavera
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« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2008, 04:33:05 am »

12th century

As previously stressed, the first Italian Gothic edifices were Cistercian abbeys. They spread in the whole Italian territory, often adapting the construction techniques to the local traditions. There were in fact brickwork edifices in the Pianura Padana, while stone prevailed in central Italy and Tuscany. In the latter was sometimes present the by-chrome wall decoration from the local Romanesque tradition.

The most important edifices include the Chiaravalle Abbey in northern Italy and the Casamari Abbey in central Italy. Among the non-Cistercian buildings of this century which were influenced by the Gothic style, though still presenting important Romanesque features, are the Parma Baptistery by Benedetto Antelami and the church of Sant'Andrea in Vercelli.

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« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2008, 04:34:01 am »



The interior of Santa Croce, Florence.
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« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2008, 04:35:05 am »



Siena Cathedral.
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Genavese Cavera
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« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2008, 04:36:12 am »



Doge's Palace in Venice.
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Bianca
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« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2008, 07:23:51 pm »



MILANO - IL DUOMO






Milan's Cathedral, the largest Gothic church in Italy and the third largest in Europe, was begun in
1386/7 and provides the most complete demonstration of the decorative focus of the High Gothic style.

Based on an equilateral triangle, its design was the subject of heated debate between local architects and consultants from France and Germany.

The result is an uneasy compromise of Northern and Southern traditions, heavily burdened with Late Gothic ornamentation.

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Bianca
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« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2008, 07:30:44 pm »

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Bianca
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« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2008, 07:43:33 pm »

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Bianca
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« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2008, 07:50:34 pm »



MILAN - THE ROOF OF THE DUOMO
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Bianca
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« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2008, 06:26:00 pm »








                                                 I L   D U O M O   D I   M I L A N O


                                                            MILAN CATHEDRAL




Milan Cathedral (Italian: Duomo di Milano) is the cathedral church of Milan in Lombardy, northern
Italy.

It is the seat of the Archbishop of Milan.

The cathedral is significant in the promulgation of the Christian faith, for its role in the establish-
ment of Catholic traditions of worship, its outstanding musical heritage and the splendour of its
Gothic architecture.

Built from the late 14th well into the 19th century (and in a sense, never completed, as work
continues), the Duomo di Milano is one of the world's largest churches, being second in size within
Italy only to Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome, and being the second largest Gothic cathedral in the
world, after the Cathedral of Seville in Spain.

The interior height of its central nave is surpassed only by the remaining choir of Beauvais Cathedral
in France.

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Bianca
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« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2008, 06:32:39 pm »



Duomo di Milano in 1856.



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Bianca
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« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2008, 06:39:25 pm »









History
 


Plate celebrating the laying of the first stone in 1386.The plan of Milan, with streets either radiating
from the Duomo or circling it, reveals the Duomo occupies the most center site in Roman Mediolanum,
that of the public basilica facing the forum. Saint Ambrose's 'New Basilica' was built on this site at
the beginning of the 5th century, with an adjoining basilica added in 836.

When fire damaged both buildings in 1075, they were rebuilt as the Duomo.
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« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2008, 06:43:19 pm »



GIAN GALEAZZO VISCONTI







The beginning



In 1386 the archbishop, Antonio da Saluzzo, began construction in a rayonnant Late Gothic style more typically French than Italian. Construction coincided with the accession to power in Milan of the archbishop's cousin Gian Galeazzo Visconti, and was meant as a reward to the noble and working classes which had been suppressed by his tyrannical Visconti predecessor Barnab˛. Before actual work began, three main buildings were demolished: the palace of the Archbishop, the Ordinari Palace and the Baptistry of 'St. Stephen at the Spring', while the old church of Sta. Maria Maggiore was exploited as a stone quarry. Enthusiasm for the immense new building soon spread among the population, and the shrewd Gian Galeazzo, together with his cousin the archbishop, collected large donations for the work-in-progress. The construction program was strictly regulated under the "Fabbrica del Duomo", which had 300 employees led by first chief engineer Simone da Orsenigo. Galeazzo gave the Fabbrica exclusive use of the marble from the Candoglia quarry and exempted it from taxes.

In 1389 a French chief engineer, Nicolas de Bonaventure, was appointed, adding to the church its strong Gothic imprint. Ten years later another French architect, Jean Mignot, was called from Paris to judge and improve upon the work done, as the masons needed new technical aid to lift stones to an unprecedented height. Mignot declared all the work done up till then as in pericolo di ruina ("peril of ruin"), as it had been done sine scienzia ("without science"). In the following years Mignot's forecasts proved untrue, but anyway they spurred Galeazzo's engineers to improve their instruments and techniques. Work proceeded quickly, and at the death of Gian Galeazzo in 1402, almost half the cathedral was complete. Construction, however, stalled almost totally until 1480, due to lack of money and ideas: the most notable works of this period were the tombs of Marco Carelli and Pope Martin V (1424) and the windows of the apse (1470s), of which those extant portray St. John the Evangelist, by Cristoforo de' Mottis, and Saint Eligius and San John of Damascus, both by Niccol˛ da Varallo. In 1452, under Francesco Sforza, the nave and the aisles were completed up to the sixth bay.






LODOVICO MARIA SFORZA (IL MORO)
Duke of Milan



In 1500-1510, under Lodovico Sforza, the octagonal cupola was completed, and decorated in the interior with four series of fifteen statues each, portraying saints, prophets, sibyls and other characters of the Bible. The exterior long remained without any decoration, except for the Guglietto dell'Amadeo ("Amadeo's Little Spire"), constructed 1507-1510. This is a Renaissance masterwork which nevertheless harmonized well with the general Gothic appearance of the church.
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