Loquis: Duomo di Cremona

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Duomo di Cremona


Published on:  2018-11-14 19:22:41

  Stories of art in Lombardy

The history of the Cremona Cathedral is very ancient and complex. The church rises within the walls of the Roman city where originally the original early Christian double basilica was located, to which it seems to belong a large portion of floor mosaic discovered during the excavations of 1901 in the small courtyard of Torrazzo. Founded in 1107 in Romanesque forms, as documented by the stone inscription today walled in the sacristy of the canons, but following a ruinous earthquake of 1117 which interrupts its construction causing its collapse, it is rebuilt from 1129 on the remains of the ancient basilica. The new church maintains the plan of the previous one and reuses a part of its sculptural decoration on the façade. Work on the cathedral continues even after the solemn consecration ceremony carried out by the bishop Sicardo in 1196. At that time the church is very different from the current one: a basilica plan with three apsidal naves without transept with the central nave covered by trusses. In the course of the thirteenth century, various interventions modified the original layout: the Gothic vaults of the central nave were built, those of the minor aisles were replaced and the façade was renovated with the facing marble, the large rose window and the porch in front of the portal. In the same century the northern transept with its relative protiro is realized, while the southern arm is of the fifteenth century. After an initial arrest the activity resumed in the second half of the fifteenth century with the raising of the central part of the façade, including the attic with the side scrolls and the typically Renaissance pediment, by Alberto Maffiolo di Carrara. In 1493 Lorenzo Trotti began the construction of the so-called Bertazzola ended in 1550. The most important artistic season of the Cathedral began in the early sixteenth century with the great pictorial enterprise of the apse and presbytery, started in 1506 by the Cremonese painter Boccaccio Boccaccino and continued by other younger artists ending in 1529. The eighteenth century dates back to the completion of the decorative apparatus of the facade, with the construction of the parapet of the portico and the superior location of the statues of the patron saints of the city. During the nineteenth century Giovanni Motta executed the pictorial decorations in the transects and Giuseppe Diotti completed the frescoes of the presbytery. Around 1930 an important demolition program started in the second half of the nineteenth century leading to the isolation of the Duomo and the redefinition of the great Piazza del Comune.

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