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The Romanesque Architecture of Lombardy and the Great Works of the Castello Sforzesco

Updated on December 4, 2014

The Castello Sforzesco in Milan

Lombardy and Milan

As we say previously, the Romanesque architecture was an important aesthetic feature, but it had to be strengthened appropriately. For this reason, the ribs were used (two arches that intersect and reinforce each other). This was the so-called Cross Vault. Given the particular heaviness of Romanesque structures, the windows are very small, to avoid compromising the stability of the whole building.

You can admire the Basilica of St. Ambrose in Milan, with an imposing cross Vault. Another Romanesque church in Milan is St. Eustorgio's Basilica. In Milan stand at a very high level of excellence the Castello Sforzesco and the Frescoes of Vincenzo Foppa. The Castello Sforzesco was built by Francesco Sforza (1401-1466), on the ruins of an ancient castle built earlier by the Visconti family. Francesco Sforza called the most famous architects of the time in Milan, as Filarete (1400-1469), who started the main tower. The castle was then concluded in the following years by great artists like Vincenzo Foppa, Bramante (1444-1514) and Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1514), becoming one of the most widely known of the Renaissance courts.

The Castello Sforzesco in Milan possesses many fine works of art from Veneto and Lombardy. Among these, Vincenzo Foppa stands out noticeably with numerous paintings. In fact, his painting was very soon appreciated, and justly been admired all over Italy and Europe on account of his suggestive picture of The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian. Vincenzo Foppa was born in Brescia around 1430 (died around 1516), and was a painter who produced many works of art. V. Foppa is known as the founder of the Lombard School and in the second half of the 15th century he frescoed the Portinari Chapel in the church of Sant'Eustorgio.

In the rest of Lombardy there are many representative works of the Romanesque period like the Church of San Michele in Pavia, whose works began under the Lombard rule and were completed in the 12th century. In Pavia, you can find another important Romanesque church, the Church of San Pietro in Cieldaura. In Como there is the Church of St. Abbondio, in Bergamo, the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore and, finally, in Cremona there are the Cathedral and the famous octagonal baptistery.


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