LOMBARDIA - Milano - Cathedral
FILE : Milano Cathedral 1
TITLE : Apocalypse Window

LOCATION: Milano, Cathedral, window I

PROVENANCE: original location: the " Finestrone della raza or Visconteo"

DIMENSIONS: window composed by 3 wide lancets each divided into 4 little lancets; the tracery is composed of trilobes and a rose. h. 2370 cms. x w. 1140 cms.. Each rectangular panel measures 120 x 60 cms., each trilobe 86 x 60 cms.

CHRONOLOGY: 1416-22-Stefano da Pandino; 1481-82-Cristoforo de' Mottis; 1482-Niccolò da Varallo; pre1525-Pietro da Velate; 1541-Stefano da Marliano-Battista da Legnano; 1542-Stefano Bergognone del Furno;1544-45-Giorgio da Anversa. (documented)


PATRONAGE: The stone tracery of the rear choir window was ordered and personally planned by the Duke G. Galeazzo Visconti who obligated the Cathedral committee to include his coat-of-arms (that's the " raza" or little dove with radiantig sun), in the marble tracery. Although the first group of stained glass was executed according to commission by the Cathedral, it is reasonable to consider the Duke the real offerer.

SUBJECT(S): Almost all the panels can be interpreted by an inscription on the base:

1a -4n) Apocalypse Scenes (rect.panels) by G.Bertini - 5a),5d),5i),5n): Prophets (trilobes) by G.Bertini; 5e) Missi in stagnum igni; 5f) Vidi turbam magnam; 5g) De ore spiriti quis poterit; 5h) S.Jo.c ff Temptores (sic); 6e) Et culcat torcular vini ; 6f) Et civitates ceciderunt; 6g) Dicentem mihi scribe; 6h) Dominus dominantium; 7e) Vigintiquattuor seniores; 7f) De vino irae biberunt; 7g) Quintus effudit phialam; 7h) Et sicavit aquam eius; 8e) Mitte falcem et mete; 8f) Et igne comburetur; 8g) Agnus supra Sion; 8h) Habentes citharas Dei; 9a) Lavant stolas in sanguine; 9b) Dederunt mortuos; 9c) Adoraverunt eam; 9d) Adoraverunt draconem; 9e) Ego Johannes Evangelista; 9f) Et aprehendit draconem; 9g) Unus habens th. u.; 9h) Veni ostendam tibi; 9i) The angels fight against the Dragon (sans inscription); 9l) Illi statim secuti sunt; 9m) Et vidi thronum magnum; 9n) Domicianus S. Jo.; 10a) Et septimus angelus effudit; 10b) Et unus de senioribus dixit; 10c) Cultores m. est regnum; 10d) Locutus est mecum; 10e) Bellum facere et vincere; 10f) Quicumque non adoraverint uccidantur; 10g)....Otros vinee; 10h) Et reges terrae cum illa; 10i) Tenentes quattuor ventus; 10l) Apertio secundi sigilli; 10m) Apertio tertii sigilli; 10n) Vidit duo fratres in navi; 11a) Habebat mensuram harundineam; 11b) Visa est arca; 11c) Animas interfectorum; 11d) I quattro cavalieri dell'Apocalisse (senza iscrizione); 11i) Et primus tubam cecinit; 11l) Et clausit ut non seducat; 11m) Domicianus; 11n) Et libri aperti sunt- Rosone: opera di G.Bertini.

CRITICAL NOTES: The Cathedral Committee, on account of a competition announcement, selected three glaziers, Franceschino Zavattari, Maffiolo da Cremona, and Stefano da Pandino, and commissioned to execute the three apse windows; but without assigning a precise stained glass to each glazier,and only conditioning them,it seems, to the competition. Through stylistic comparison with The Story of the Queen Teodolinda fresco cycle (Monza, Cathedral), surely painted by Franceschino Zavattari, it is possible to recognize the two surviving New Testament panels executed by this artist now inserted in this window: Vidit duo fratres in navi (10n), Illi statim secuti sunt (9-l). Therefore it is possible to assign Maffiolo da Cremona the three Old Testament panels, now in the museum (see files Duomo Museo 7,8,9,), whose monumental plasticity characterizes the work of this glazier and sculptor who executed the "Collumbeta" (the little dove) or Duke's coat-of-arms on top of this window. The extant Apocalypse cycle panels, by exclusion, are assignable to Stefano da Pandino. (C. Pirina).

CONDITION: Many heavy mending leads. G. and P.Bertini(1864-65) made many replacements and heavily overpainted several panels.

Restoration and Conservation: 1965-66 Ven.Fabbrica del Duomo-Curator E.Brivio: cleaning system:on the external face clear water thickened by cellulose; on the internal face a brush-dusting. Partial substitution of the leads. New frames in "bronzo marina" (a particular type of bronze alloy); and new copper protective nets.No protective glazing.

Many panels now in foreign museums are missing

BIBLIOGRAPHY: see Bibl. Cathedral n. 1

PHOTOGRAPHIC CREDITS: Fototeca Ven. Fabbrica del Duomo

EDITOR: Caterina Pirina (november 1999)

TRANSLATION: Suzanne Miele