Milan's Duomo Cathedral


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Very few churches in Italy took such a long time to build as Milan's towering Gothic Cathedral.

To complete the magnificent "Duomo" took more than five centuries and necessitated resolving many vicissitudes. Numerous outstanding personalities were summoned to the building yard from all over Italy to give their opinions and offer advice.

The foundation stone was laid long ago in 1386 under the patronage of Bishop Antonio da Saluzzo. In 1390 a great Jubilee was proclaimed to give impetus to the building of the Duomo urging the Milanese to offer money or manual labour.
Originally it was planned to use fired bricks but in 1387 Duke Gian Galeazzo Visconti insisted on marble and the then more up-to-date International Gothic style. His intention was to create a majestic power symbol..

The five centuries it eventually took to complete the construction determined the very evident mixture of styles that are a characteristic of Milan's Cathedral. Lombard, German and French architects were called to supervise the "fabbrica" or building work. White marble, brought by waterways along the "Navigli" canals from a quarry at Condoglia di Mergozzo near Verbania in Val d'Ossola to the centre of Milan, was used according to the specific desire of Duke Gian Galeazzo Visconti to cover the façade.
The slabs of pinkish-white marble were marked A.U.F. (ad usum fabricate) and exonerated from payment of customs duty.
The Cathedral was consecrated in 1418 but not completed until the 19th century when Napoleon spurred on work to finally complete the façade.

The building has undergone two major periods of renovation work: the first in 1935 and the second, obviously much more complicated, to repair bomb damage in 1943. At last on the 8th December 1966 the new parvis or entrance frontage was ready.

Santa Maria delle Grazie church


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Santa Maria delle Grazie church

The Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie is one of the most striking monuments of Lombard Renaissance.

The Church was built between 1466 and 1490 under the direction of Guiniforte Solari, only subsequently in 1492 the apsidal part was added by Bramante.
In the refectory of the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, ancient premises of the Court of the Inquisition, one of the absolute masterpieces of history is kept: Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper.

The fame of the building is also due to the tribune of the apsidal part on today's Via Caradosso, added in 1492. The inside of the church with a double series of side chapels highlights the Solari's Gothic background just as the arcades on the two rows of columns.
The vaults bear frescoed decorations dating from the birth of the building, rediscovered after they had been hidden in 600.

From the apse one goes into the small arcaded cloister which leads into the Old Sacristy, built in 1499 and restored in 1982. The walls are lined with wooden cabinets decorated with rich inlay, above which one can see remains of hand painting and fragments of detached frescoes that date back to the construction of the building.

Leonardo's Last Supper.

You will find this great work of art that Leonardo da Vinci was commissioned to paint by Ludovico il Moro, from 1496 to 1498, in the refectory of the Dominican convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, outside the church a door, on your right, will lead you into it.

The Last Supper painted by Leonardo da Vinci is ingeniously devised as an expansion of the perspective of the space in which it is set (1495-1497). It is one of the most famous works of art in the world, and has long been an icon of Western civilization.

The scene portrays the moment in which Jesus tells his disciples that one of them is about to betray him. The Last Supper is included in the UNESCO's list. On the opposite wall there is a Crucifixion dating of the same period by Giovanni Donato Montorfano.


Art galleries - Exhibitions in Milan Vol.10


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Via della Moscova 25 • MM2 Moscova, MM3 Turati.
Open Tues-Sat 11.00-19.00, Sun and Mon closed. Admission free. Info: tel. 02.6595.285,

• Until 17 January. Giacomelli for Africa. A photographic exhibition and a book for Africa.

Galleria Milano
Via Daniele Manin 13 • MM3 Turati.
Admission free.

• Until 17 January. Sandro Somarè. Solo exhibition. Canvases, drawings, tempera paintings, watercolours, miniature theatres, and more.

FMG Space
Via Bergognone 27 • tram 14
Open Tues-Sat 15.00-20.00. Closed Sun and Mon. Admission free.

• Until 18 January. London calling. Four emerging British architecture studios present their latest designs building in London’s outskirts.

Fabbrica Eos
Piazza Baiamonti, 6 · MM2 Moscova
Open Tues–Sat 10.00-13.00, 16.00-19.00. Entrance free.

• Until 18 January. Ruggero Rosfer and Shaokun. An Italian photographer and a Chinese painter, building a bridge between photography and art, Italy and China, East and West.

Spirale Arte Contemporanea
Corso Venezia, 29 • MM1 San Babila
Admission free. Open Tues-Sat 11.00-19.30

• Until 18 January. Hidetoshi Nagasawa. Solo show by the Japanese artist, presenting a marble Butterfly Tree, designed and created specially for this space. Plus 15 paper works.

Palazzo dei Giureconsulti
Via Mercanti 2 • MM1/3 Duomo.
Open every day 10.00-19.00.

• Until 21 January. Sudan, Straight to the Heart. 50 photos by Marcello Bonfanti, depicting humanitarian work by Emergency in Sudan.

Art galleries - Exhibitions in Milan Vol.9


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Fondazione Luciana Matalon
Foro Buonaparte 67 • MM1 Cairoli.
Open Tues-Sat 10-19. Admission free.

• From 7 until 31 January. The wind alphabets. A selection of sculptures and paintings by Luciana Matalon.

PrometeoGallery di Ida Pisani
Via Ventura 3 • MM2 Lambrate.
Open Tues-Sat 11–13/ 15-19. Admission free.

• Until 28 January. Facts and Politics. A solo show by Greek artist Vangelis Vlahos. 22 panels with photos and articles. Images illustrating Greek interests in Eastern Europe and the Balkans today. A second show features 42 photos from the archive of Greek newspaper Eleftheros Cosmos (Free world), the official press organ for the regime of the colonels.

Arte Due Gallery
Via Boltraffio, 12 MM3 Zara
Open Mon-Fri 15-19

• Until 25 June 2009. Street Art only. Organized by the Italian Writers’ Association, illustrating the professional possibilities of spray art, by means of a series of exhibitions featuring artists with worthwhile style and skill. The first show named “Returnable Empties” presents 30 artists, with different techniques, background, underground reputation, and modes of expression.

Galleria Grazia Neri
Via Maroncelli 14 ● MM2 Garibaldi tram 3, 4, 7

Open Mon-Fri 9.00–13.00/14.30–18.00; Sat 10.00-12.30/15.00–17.00. Admission free. Tel. 02 625271

• Until 16 January . James Whitlow Delano, photographer, returns to some of the countries that he has visited. Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Mongolia, India, Tibet and many other nations.


Art galleries - Exhibitions in Milan Vol.8


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Galleria Poleschi
Foro Buonaparte 68 MM1 Cairoli, MM2 Lanza
Open Tues-Sat 10.00-13.30, 15.30-19.30; Mon 16.00-20.00. Entrance free.

· Until 21 February. “Mondino and Friends”. Art works by Aldo Mondino and his assistants Roberto Coda Zabetta, Federico Guida and Davide Nido.

Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci
Via San Vittore 21 MM2 Sant’Ambrogio buses 50,58,94
Open Tues-Fri 9.30-17.00, Sat and Sun 9.30-18.30. Entrance €3.00-8.00

• Until 22 February. ARNOhammacher. Solo show by the Dutch photographer and designer. Under the auspices of the Koninkrijk der Nerderlanden.

Galleria Salvatore + Caroline Ala
Via Monte di Pietà 1 · MM1 Cairoli, MM3 Montenapoleone; bus 61; trams 1, 2, 20
Open Tues-Sat 10.00-19.00, closed Sun and Mon. Admission free.

• From 29 January Until 21 March. Bärbel Schulte Kellinghaus. Solo show by the sculptor from Berlin. The show includes sculptures made in oak, ceramic, terra cotta and porcelain.

Galleria Ca' di Fra'
Via Carlo Farini, 2 · buses 41, 70; trams 3, 4, 7, 11

• Until 31 January. The Polaroid. A group show showing different artistic styles, but all using the Polaroid photographic medium.

hotel 250x250

Art galleries - Exhibitions in Milan Vol.7


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Galleria Artra
Via Burlamacchi 1 • MM3 Porta Romana
Open: Tue- Sat 15-19. Admission Free

• Until 30 January: Oliver Ressler. “For A Completely Different Climate”, a project on global warming, designed for Milan. A solo show by this Viennese artist.

Galleria Galica
Viale Bligny 41 • MM3 Porta Romana, tram 29-30
Open Tues-Fri 10.00-13, 15.00-19.00, Sat 14.00-19.00

• Until 7 February: Geometrical reflections. The show presents work by four artists from different European countries: Francesco Candeloro, Marco Di Giovanni, Philip Hausmeier and Vincent Lamouroux, in a show curated by Walter Guadagnini. The artists share an interest in sculptural forms and the relation of space with everyday life. They explore the mechanisms of sight and the rules of geometry, moving into areas of abstraction.

Instituto Cervantes
(Sala mostre), Via Dante 12 • MM1 Cairoli.
Open Mon-Fri 16.00-20.00, Sat and Sun closed. Admission free.

• Until 16 January. Más Aún. Y.Aún Más, sculpture by Yolanda Herranz.

Allegra Ravizza Art Project
Via Gorani, 8 • MM1 Cairoli
Open Tues-Sat 11.30-19.00. Entrance free.

• Until 24 January. Solo show by Claudio Massini. 10 paintings.

Nina Lumer
Via Botta, 8 • MM3 Porta Romana
Open Tues-Fri 15.00-19.30. Entrance free.

• Until 30 January. Allutsinatsiya (Hallucination) by Yerbossyn Meldibekov and Nurbossyn Oris from Kazakhstan. Contemporary post-Soviet Russian art.

Art galleries - Exhibitions in Milan Vol.6


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Fabbrica del Vapore
Via Procaccini 4, on corner with Via Luigi Nono 7 ● trams 29/30
Open Mon-Fri 15.00-18.00, Sat & Sun 10.00-18.00. Info: tel. 02.4548.7400

• Until 15 January. The Epson FAR Prize for contemporary art. Work by 23 young artists from all over the world: drawings, photos, installations, performance and video.

Studio D’Arte Cannaviello
Via Stoppani 15 · trolleybus 92; tram 23; bus 60

• Until 7 January: Selected works by Jasper de Beiger. The 21 works by the Dutch artist are inspired by historical ages and events, made using scale models in various kinds of paper, or live models. The resulting images are digitally processed to create a narrative universe entirely independent from the original historical context.

Galleria Raffaella Cortese
Via Stradella,7 MM1 Porta Venezia
Open Tues-Sat 15-19.30 or by appointment

• Until 20 January. Versus Inversus. A collection of works by five female artists living and working in different times and places: Ana Mendieta (Cuba, 1948), video and drawings; Anna Maria Maiolino (Scalea, 1942), video, performance, photography; Martha Rosler, (Brooklyn, NY, 1943) artist, essayist; Zoe Leonard (Liberty, NY, 1961), images; and Joan Jonas (New York, 1936), performer, videomaker.