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Church of Santa Maria della Passione

Foto Church of Santa Maria della Passione -  Churches / Religious buildings
Foto Church of Santa Maria della Passione -  Churches / Religious buildings
Foto Church of Santa Maria della Passione -  Churches / Religious buildings
Foto Church of Santa Maria della Passione -  Churches / Religious buildings
Foto Church of Santa Maria della Passione -  Churches / Religious buildings
Foto Church of Santa Maria della Passione -  Churches / Religious buildings
Foto Church of Santa Maria della Passione -  Churches / Religious buildings
Foto Church of Santa Maria della Passione -  Churches / Religious buildings
Foto Church of Santa Maria della Passione -  Churches / Religious buildings
Foto Church of Santa Maria della Passione -  Churches / Religious buildings
Show an other treasure of art and history in Milan:
Milan - Churches / Religious buildings: Church of Santa Maria della PassioneMostly represented styles: Renaissance - Baroque

The story of the Church of Santa Maria della Passione is complex, and its structure has undergone many changes over the centuries. The church, which was built by the Regular Canons of St. Augustine, said Laterans, therefore, includes such items as late Renaissance Baroque elements. It therefore includes both late Renaissance and Baroque elements.

The oldest part consists of the back, which includes an octagonal lantern to which eight chapels were connected, alternately semi-circular or rectangular. The original structure was probably designed by Giovanni Antonio Amadeo, but to build it, however, was Giovanni Battagio. It was centralized, as in many Marian shrines of Lombardy Renaissance.

The dome, which is divided into eight segments and decorated with paintings of Panfilo Nuvolone was however completed by Cristoforo Lombardo, said Lombardino.
Note that the structure appears more magnificent by the fact that the dome is not based directly on the entablature, but on a drum in which windows open, interspersed by semicolumns arranged at the vertices of the octagon.
All along the base of the dome there is a ledge that summarizes the prophecy of Isaiah about the Passion and contains quotes from the Old Testament.
To be noticed, furthermore, between the entablature and the arches of the octagon monochrome frescoes of sibyls and prophets (in the Renaissance the sibyls were often depicted at the side of prophets to suggest parallels, in the waiting for Christ, between the pagan world and the Jewish world).
The tiburium, the structure which is superimposed on the outside of the dome, is characterized by classicist lines, both sober and imposing and severe.

Starting from 1573, on demand of bishop Carlo Borromeo, the building was given into a longitudinal structure with three naves, better suited to preaching. The central nave is covered by a barrel vault with lunettes, the lateral naves are lower and have simple vaults.
The aisles are enriched by the lateral chapels, seven per side. They are very deep and this make the observer who is inside the church underestimate the overall size of the building in width.

Regarding the facade of the Church of St. Mary of the Passion, the project is also of Martino Bassi, but it was built by his pupil Dionigi Campazzo. Originally there was a statue of angel on all six pillars, not only on the two outer ones.
Milan - Church of Santa Maria della Passione - Planimetria
The Church of Santa Maria della Passione is important not only from the architectural point of view, but also because it is home to many fine works of various artists, mostly dedicated to the theme of Christ's passion.
Of note, among the many works, the big four blades in the transept, the Last Supper by Gaudenzio Ferrari (in the center of the lower half of Picture 8) and The Crucifixion by Bernardino Campi in the left transept, The Deposition in the right. Curiously, the Last Supper of Gaudenzio Ferrari is almost a copy of the painting with the same title inside the Ancient Basilica of the Sanctuary of Oropa at Biella. The characters are almost identical, while the background is totally different.
Also very beautiful the paintings on the doors of the two organs, with works by Daniele Crespi and Urbino Carlo.
The half-figures of Lateran saints on the pillars of the nave were originally in the refectory of the convent and were moved to inside the church after the suppression of the convent in 1782.
Very beautiful works of Urbino Carlo are finally present in the Tavern Chapel, coinciding in fact, in the present church, with the right branch of the transept and charactrized by a wonderfully decorated ceiling.

A separate discussion deserves the capitular room (Picture 10), a fifteenth-century room wit low lunette vault and containing an important cycle of frescoes by Bergognone. In particular, on the walls there are painting of the fathers of the Church, placed in perspective layouts that are connected with the room.

Many famous persons were buried in the Church of Santa Maria della Passione, for example Bartolomeo Calco (1508), secretary of state of Ludovico il Moro, and his friend Demetrius Calcondila (1511), Greek from Athens, to name two examples.
Illustrious Milanese families also did assign the patronage of the chapels and the right to burial. Among the most known: Pirovani, Legnani, Taverna, Stork, Litta, Dugnani Tettoni. Names that are found linked to various buildings and monuments in Milan.

More photos of the Church of Santa Maria della Passione in the Photography section of this web site

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Categories: Churches / Religious buildings


Via Conservatorio, 14 - 20122 Milano
Further pictures of the Church of Santa Maria della Passione in the section Photography
Milano: Tiburium of the Church of Santa Maria della Passione
Milano: Decorations above the entrance of the Church of Santa Maria della Passione
Milano: Facade of the Church of Santa Maria della Passione
Milano: Presbytery of the Church of Santa Maria della Passione
Milano: Frescoes by Bergognone in the capitular room of the Church of Santa Maria della Passione
Milano: Octagon of the Church of Santa Maria della Passione
Milano: Left Transept of the Church of Santa Maria della Passione
Milano: Altar and presbytery of the Church of Santa Maria della Passione
Milano: Ceiling of the Taverna Chapel in the Church of Santa Maria della Passione
Milano: Octagon and dome of the Church of Santa Maria della Passione
Milano: Apse of the Church of Santa Maria della Passione
Milano: Interior of the dome of the Church of Santa Maria della Passione
Milano: Taverna Chapel in the Church of Santa Maria della Passione
Milano: Right half of the octagon of the Church of Santa Maria della Passione
Milano: Left arm of the transept of the Church of Santa Maria della Passione
Milano: Central body of the Church of Santa Maria della Passione seen from the right aisle
Milano: Church of Santa Maria della Passione