From the territory of the Ambrosian Diocese come all the pieces collected in the section dedicated to goldsmithery and liturgical furnishings, set up in the underground area of the building: the Lombard goldsmithery, particularly the Milanese one, has in fact always stood out for its high quality of its products and starting from the Visconti era and up to the twentieth century, Milan’s shops were in fact configured as an international point of reference.
Among the most important works stand out a series of 15th and 16th century processional crosses, the amphora and the basin made around 1570 by the goldsmith from Vienna but active in Nuremberg Wenzel Jamnitzer, as well as numerous reliquaries and monstrances of different types and periods. This section also displays important illuminated manuscripts, such as the choir book illuminated by the master BF, an artist from Lombardy – Leonardo.
The section displays the liturgical furnishings (reliquaries, monstrances, chalices, candlesticks, etc.), coming from the diocesan territory, often true masterpieces designed for liturgical functions. These constitute the historical and cultural documentation of the Lombard artistic origin from the 6th to the 20th century. Of considerable importance:
Lombard workshop (Milan?) Circa 1500 – 20th century, Silver, embossed and chiseled metal, silvered and gilded, 95 x 54 x 15 cm
The cross from the church of Saints Nazaro and Celso in Bellano, Lecco, is an extraordinary example of Lombard sixteenth-century goldsmithery. Thanks to the restoration of 2005, the redundant decorative system has rediscovered the chromatic and luminescent characteristics, embellished with golden reflections. On the recto the golden Crucifix is dominated by the Pelican, at the heads of the crosses are the figures of St. George, St. Peter and St. Paul, with related iconographic attributes. On the reverse a medallion with the Virgin and Child is surrounded by the Virgin, the Magdalene, St. John and a Saint at the ends of the arms.
With the Entrances and Antiphons of Vespers of all Sundays and holidays throughout the Ambrosian year Illuminated membrane code
Maestro C. F Miniaturist active in Milan between 1490 ca. and 1545 ca. Ambrogio da Olginate Wrote active in Milan between 1507 and 1510, 514 x 374 mm
Written by Friar Ambrogio da Olginate in 1507 in the Milanese monastery of Sant’Ambrogio ad Nemus, the code then passed into the church of San Vittore martire di Casorate Primo (Pv), where they are remembered since 1895. The illuminated part refers to Maestro B. F, artist of Lombard-Leonardesque formation and is a work, together with another code always at the Diocesan Museum, of capital importance in the context of its production. Six are the illuminated letters: among these,The Last Supper (f. 22 v.) is strictly dependent on the Leonardo’s Last Supper, especially in the compositional choice to isolate Christ from the other Apostles.
Wenzel Jamnitzer(1508 – 1585), Chiseled and gilded cast silver, 36 x 13 cm
The initial events of the jug and the basin of completion that come from the Milanese sanctuary of Santa Maria near San Celso, where they have been documented since 1796, are unknown. Both pieces, thanks to the presence of the punch, are to be referred to the workshop of Wenzel I Jamnitzer, goldsmith from Vienna but active in Nuremberg, serving Charles V, Ferdinand I, Maximilian II, Rodolfo II, Filippo II and also in contact with Italy. The two works, of extraordinary quality, can be dated to around 1570, in full Mannerist atmosphere, as evident in the decorative repertoire with friezes of shells and laurel, cherub heads between putti and masks. The spout of the amphora is formed by the sinuous modeling of the diadem of the goddess Diana, on which the handle of the vase rests, crossed by a snake.
Eugenio Bellosio(1847 – 1927), Silver and gold-plated fusion metal, silver, crystal glass and gems, 95 cm, diameter 29
The covered missal, attributable to Delfinoni, probably on a design by the painter Aurelio Luini, from the Sanctuary of Santa Maria at San Celso (Milan) ;
the three Capselle (11th century), in stucco, from Civate;
the lustral trousseau, consisting of an amphora and a basin ( around 1570 ), in embossed, chiseled and gilded silver, made by the Nuremberg silversmith, Wenzel Jamnitzer ;
two chalices (late 18th – early 19th century), in embossed, melted and gilded silver, by Agostino Arbuschi ;
Clip from Cope (1865) and cup (1866), silver gilt, of Giovanni Beauty.
Diocesan Museum of Milan
The Diocesan Museum of Milan was born in 2001 on the initiative of the Archdiocese of Milan with the aim of protecting, enhancing and making known the artistic treasures of the diocese in the context of the spiritual context that inspired them. From the following year it is the scene of the initiative A masterpiece for Milan.
The Diocesan Museum is located in the setting of the cloisters of Sant”Eustorgio, integral part of one of the most antique monumental complexes of Milan, built from the joined units of the basilica and the Dominican convent, a thriving centre in the course of the centuries in an important area for the history of Milanese Christianity.
The permanent collection is constituted of over seven hundred works of art that span the period going from the 4th to the 21st century. Within the Archbishop”s Painting Gallery are the collections from the Milanese archbishops (part of the Monti, Visconti, Riccardi collection and the complete collection of Erba Odescalchi). In addition to the paintings coming from the churches of the Diocese, the Museum houses an important group of works of liturgical furnishing. Completing the collection is the section dedicated to Gold Leaf panel paintings (works primarily from the sphere of Tuscany of the 14th and 15th centuries, collected by Prof. Alberto Crespi and donated to the Museum), and sculptures and paintings coming from the collection of Caterina Marcenaro. Lastly, around a first nucleus of sculpted works by Lucio Fontana, there are many works from the 20th and 21st centuries, which declare a growing interest that the Museum has for contemporary works of art.