Milano, Santa Maria presso San Satiro
A 15th century Renaissance church.
A very important work designed by Donato Bramante(Fermignano, Pesaro, 1444 - Roma, 1514), central Italian architect and painter who brought a new concept of Renaissance space to Lombardy (also of note is his important contribution made to Santa Maria delle Grazie), to more grandly exhibit a miraculous fresco depicting "Madonna with Child" which used to be on the external wall of the pre-existing higher Middle Ages church dedicated to St. Satiro.
The façade does not date back to the time the church was built, but was completed in 1871. The interior: a "T" shaped plan with 3 naves. Bramante had to adapt to this solution due to limited space. The architect brilliantly solved the problem of the missing apse by creating an illusion of space behind the altar with a stucco perspective and fresco that seem to recreate the missing space. The vault of the central nave is barrelled and above the altar there is a hemispheric dome. The bell tower is Romanesque and is one of the oldest in the city. (10th-11th C.) and an example of the Romanesque-Lombard bell towers: built in brick at the bottom (the base also contains Roman remnants), divided into 4 levels by frames and hanging arches. The sacristy, designed by Bramante has a central octagonal plan emulating the Baptisteries and is decorated in cotto: friezes with putti and male busts by Agostino de' Fondutis (Crema ? 15th-16thth C.), sculptor and architect who studied in Lombardy and developed a refined and classical style after having worked with Bramante.
The most precious architectural treasure in the church is the mortuary chapel of San Satiro, reachable through the left transept. The chapel has Greek cross central plan and is the most important work of the higher Middle Ages in Milan dating to the Carolingian period. Commissioned by the Milan bishop Ansperto to honour St. Satiro, brother of St. Ambrogio, its columns are topped by higher Medieval capitals that support Byzantine arches. The walls still reveal important fragments of Byzantine mural art. Since the end of the 16th century, the niche in front of the entrance has contained the statue of the " Pietà" in polychrome terracotta, by De' Fondutis who also modelled the putti for the sacristy.
Address: Via Speronari 3
Phone: +39 02874683