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9 Milan (and Lombardy): Art and Architecture, 1277–1535

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Chapter Summary

The dialectic between local artists and brilliant foreigners intensified during the reign of Ludovico il Moro, although not without local hostility or resistance. This chapter provides a skeletal and synthetic account of the formation of this international crucible. Otto Visconti entrusted his pictorial credo to a workshop steeped in Veneto-Byzantine visual culture. Both the Archbishop's cycle and Chiaravalle are works of the 1340s, crucial landmarks for Milan and Lombardy and a melting-pot for numerous painters who rapidly realized that modish Tuscan art was appreciated by powerful patrons. The Sforza cultural achievement defies brief description. The continuing Cathedral project overshadowed the urban panorama of Milan, and, crucially, the "Solari Dynasty" dominated the cathedral workshop. They produced a simplified and decorated architecture, with plain surfaces and supports reminiscent of Cistercian models, with many antiquarian details and terracotta decorations enduringly popular in Lombardy.

Keywords: Lombard architecture; Milan; Otto Visconti; Solari Dynasty; Tuscan art



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