Loquis: Santuario di Santa Maria della Misericordia

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Santuario di Santa Maria della Misericordia

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Published on:  2018-11-14 19:22:41

  Stories of art in Lombardy

A series of miraculous apparitions are at the origin of the foundation of the Sanctuary, built between 1513 and 1516 to a design by the architect Agostino De 'Fondulis, in an isolated place, surrounded by nature 1.5 kilometers from Castelleone. The works end with the consecration of the temple on May 11, 1516. The dome was built a few years later, in 1525 and is completed by frescoes that decorate the 13 niches of the drum. De 'Fondulis realizes a simple and harmonious architecture both in the constructive elements and in the decorative ones, that effectively illustrates his artistic path focused on the use of the cotto. On 12 May 1617 the Sanctuary was entrusted to the Augustinian Fathers who two years later built the Convent east of the temple. With the suppression of the Religious Orders, in 1737 the Augustinian Fathers left the convent which was partially demolished, keeping only two wings of the cloister. If at the end of the eighteenth century the Sanctuary still appears as originally, in the two following centuries the situation changes radically because both the exterior and the interior is seriously altered. In the nineteenth century the interior surfaces are uniformly bleached and decorated with monochromatic patterns and the terracotta frames are redone and simplified. In the early years of the twentieth century it was decided to enlarge the temple by adding a span at the entrance of the church and redoing the façade, changing in this way the original volumetric relationships between nave and tiburium, which loses the strong verticality desired by De 'Fondulis. These are the restoration works carried out in 1965 on a project by architect Amos Edallo, which partially restore the original Bramante-like architecture that we now appreciate.

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