LOMBARDIA - Milano - Cathedral
FILE : Milan Duomo 30
TITLE : Stained glass w. of the Saints Apostoles

LOCATION: Milan Duomo window n. XII

DIMENSIONS: 3 lancets window enclosed by three-foil windows and a rose: height 2086 x 310 cms. Rect. Panels 117 x 81 cms; three-foiled 82 x 67 cms

PROVENANCE: Milan Duomo. Original location (n.XII wind.)


AUTHOR(S): Carlo Urbini da Crema (project); Corrado Mochis from Cologne (execution)

ASSIGNMENT: Carlo Borromeo (1565) assigned the window to complete the "marian cycle" in Duomo

SUBJECT(S): 1a) Pope St. Clemente; 1b) St. Veronica; 1c) St. Jerome ; 2a and 3a) St. John the Baptist; 2b and 3b) St. Stephen; 2c and 3c) St. Paul; 4a and 5a) St. Bartolomew; 4b and 5b) St. Jude Thaddeus; 4c and 5c) St. Mattia; 9a and 10a) St. Thomas; 9b and 10b) St. James the younger (attribution by L. Monciardini, March 1988); 9c and 10c) St. James the Younger; 11a and 12 a) St. John the evangelist; 11b and 12b) St. Simon; 11c and 12cSt. Philip; 13a and 14a) St. Peter; 13b and 14b) St. Andrew; 13c and 14c) St. Barnaba; 15a and 16a) (three-foil w.), 15b and 16b (three-foil w.), Incoronation of the Virgin; 6a,6b,6c,7a,7b,7c,8a,8b,8c) Trophies of fruit with insignia of the Pope, mask, puttoes, sphynxes and central cartouche with date AD.MD.LXVII (mixtilinear panels); rose w. (P. Bertini)

NOTE: As for the XV cent. stained-glass windows of the Milan Duomo the ufficial numeration by C.V.M.A. is kept even if, for some of them, the hagiograohic stories can start to be read from the top rather than from the bottom or viceversa. That for the different location assigned to each panel in the window.

CRITICAL NOTES: At the window nXIII is documented the presence of a previous window lost (St. Helena, 1461-1472) made by Cristoforo de Mottis for the Guild of the Chemists. The present Saints Apostoles window (1567, as is shown on the cartouche AD.MD.LXVII in the tracery) is a work of Carlo Urbini da Crema (preliminary drawings) and Corrado Mochis from Cologne (see Duomo n.)

A well-balanced setting layed out on the gigantic figures of the apostles put in concave niches that give evidence to the plasticity of the bodies almost in full relief; a great variety of colours of the dresses; wise and expressive cut of the glass. As for iconography and style (repeated motif of the isolated figures) there is a relation with the St. Antony window by P. Pellegrini, S. Petronio, Bologna. It’s the most representative window of the XVII century in Duomo, for its monumentality and harmonious setting. The artistic personality of Carlo Urbinida Crema at first is expressed in his paintings in Crema (Palazzo Pretorio, S. Maria Rotonda, S. Agostino) and in Milan (S. Maria presso S. Celso, S. Euorgio, S. Lorenzo, S. Maria della Grazie, about 1560, lombard academicism) but he gets the full maturity in the style with the Saints Apostles window in Duomo (his main work), where the artist works in 1567 (monthly payments).

CONDITIONS: in good conditions, in spite of the several remakings and repaintings. An "integrating"restoration by P. Bertini (1874-1881) as from the inscription POMPEO BERTINI/RISTAURO/NEL 1879 at St. Matthew’s feet (4c and 5c), necessary also to repair the damage due to a violent hailstorm (13 June 1874). 1968-72 Ven. Fabbrica del Duomo, Directed by Arch. E. Brivio: the dusting, the cleaning of the glasses with detergent stuff based on polyphosphates, the washing with distilled water, partial re-leading, replacement of the frames in iron with others in bronze-marina. Remaking of the protective nets with frames in bronze-marina and mesh in copper wire. No counter- stained glass window.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: see Bibl. Milano, Duomo – XVI century stained-glass windows

PHOTOGRAPHIC CREDITS: photographic files Laura Monciardini

EDITOR: Laura Monciardini, (march 1998)