Bramantino in Milan

The exhibition will take is held in the two large rooms of the Castello Sforzesco that already host some of Bramantino’s most important works: the Sala del Tesoro where the Argo dominates - the large fresco, painted around 1490, created to keep a watch over the Sforza treasure - and the Sala della Balla above it which houses the twelve tapestries of the Trivulzio collection, acquired by the Municipality in 1935.

“This exhibition on Bramantino is something that the Municipality of Milan has created and produced in complete autonomy – something that has not happened for 20 years; it is an exhibition that highlights the extraordinary wealth of works left to the Milanese by an artist that international historical critics are now focusing their attention on. With Bramantino at the Castello Sforzesco - said Stefano Boeri, the Councillor for Culture - we inaugurate a new era of Milanese exhibitions. An extremely prestigious event that is open to the public, free of charge, in order to share the spirit of a new idea of culture with the city".

Bartolomeo Suardi, Bergamo (1480 – 1530) was known as Bramantino having adopted the diminutive form of his master’s name Bramante, architect and painter at the court of Ludovico il Moro. "The recognition of Bramantino as the greatest artist of the Lombard Renaissance took place during the twentieth century thanks to the work of Wilhelm Suida but also thanks to the syntony with experimentations of the avant-garde or with those artists closer to us: from Aldo Rossi to Patti Smith - said Giovanni Agosti. Only further research in recent years has restored Bramantino with an unexpected centrality, focusing on his history and increasing his limited number of works, with the sensational discovery of a series of frescoes in the Castello di Voghera. Bramantino is the only Lombard capable of facing Leonardo, leaning over the Last Supper and not being overpowered by it".

Milan conserves the most prominent nucleus in the world of works by Bramantino: paintings on wood and canvas, tapestries taken from his sketches, drawings, frescos and the only piece of architecture built by him, the Trivulzio Chapel, which is a sort of monumental entrance to the church of San Nazario in Brolo. The exhibition layout is designed and staged by Michele De Lucchi’s studio; Francesco Dondina has coordinated the image. It aims to chronologically display Bramantino’s works that were present in the city but scattered in various locations, they are now gathered together in one place.

Twenty paintings will be exhibited in the Sala del Tesoro around the Argo, paintings and drawings taken from public collections (including the Castello Sforzesco museums, the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana and the Pinacoteca di Brera) and private collections in Milan that enable us to follow the path of Bramantino’s career: from the early Adoration of the Child at the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana to San Sebastian taken from a private collection, Noli Me Tangere from the Civic Collections of Ancient Art to the Madonna with Child and Angels from the Pinacoteca di Brera. "The tale of Bramantino - said Giovanni Agosti - demonstrates his syntony with the most advanced works of his time: Ferrara the expressionist of Ercole de' Roberti, Leonardo’s experiments, Rome the open city of Julius II before Raphael, the languor of Giorgione and Correggio. Everything was transversed by a distinctive signature style assigned to a kind of abstraction, to create often whimsical and mysterious images in the iconography".

The Sala della Balla has a completely new layout with twelve large tapestries, each dedicated to the months of the year, linked to each other in sequences of gestures and seasons. A video by Alessandro Uccelli documents works which, for various reasons, are immovable: the Milan Trivulzio Chapel, with its pure shapes devoid of ornamentation, set against the church of San Nazario, plus, the Muse of the Castello di Voghera. A book will be published by Officina Libraria especially for the exhibition. It is intended as a comprehensive guide to the artist and his works; knowledge of him is limited due to the lack of good quality monographs, thus, an ad hoc photographic selection has been produced for this purpose by Mauro Magliani. The book, with an introduction by Giovanni Romano, contains a register of the documents published on Bramantino with several new pieces of information and is edited by Roberto Cara. The public can follow the exhibition path by consulting a complementary printed guide which will offer insights and analysis of the works with a twofold task; it will provide both a high level of scientific information and an accessible introduction suitable to non-professionals.

Source: Milano Turismo
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