Monday, April 28, 2014

Milan in the 1840s (1)

Alessandro Sanquirico (1777-1849)
The Exterior of the Duomo in Milan
From L'Incoronazione di S.M.I.A. Ferdinando I a Re del Regno Lombardo-Veneto
Lithograph Aquatint coloured on India paper
325 mm x 410 mm
Private collection

Alessandro Sanquirico (1777-1849)
The Interior of the Duomo in Milan
From L'Incoronazione di S.M.I.A. Ferdinando I a Re del Regno Lombardo-Veneto
Lithograph engraving on India paper
387 mm x 481 mm
Private collection

Alessandro Sanquirico was an Italian stage scene  designer, architect, and painter.

As well as designing sets for La Scala and other theatrical and operatic productions, he also provided the decorations for the celebration of the crowning of Ferdinando I of Austria, as King of Lombardy and the Veneto in the Duomo in Milan on 6 September 1838

The Kingdom of Lombardy–Veneto was created at the Congress of Vienna in recognition of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine's rights to Lombardy and the former Republic of Venice after the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy, proclaimed in 1805, had collapsed.

The pictures illustrate the coronation of Ferdinand I of Austria as King, a rather tragic figure

Ferdinand himself commissioned a work by Bisi of the interior of the Duomo in 1838 and the work was exhibited at the Esposizione di Belle Arti di Brera in 1840

The work  entered the Belvedere Gallery in Vienna but was auctioned in 1928

Luigi Bisi 1814 - 1886
Interior of Milan Cathedral
Oil on canvas
181 x 139 cm
Fondazione Cariplo, Gallerie di Piazza Scala, Milan

And in the following work Bisi returns to Milan Cathedral to depict a sermon in the cathedral:

Luigi Bisi 1814 - 1886
Sermon in Milan Cathedral
Oil on canvas
100 x 75 cm
Fondazione Cariplo, Gallerie di Piazza Scala, Milan

Austrian rule was certainly not popular in Milan especially under the real power in Austria, Prince Metternich

Italian liberalism and Italian nationalism bubbled under the surface until the popular revolution in Milan and Lombardy in 1848 ("The Five Days of Milan")

Austria also appointed the Archbishop of Milan, Karl Kajetan von Gaisruck (1769 – 1846) an Austrian Cardinal and the Archbishop of Milan from 1816 to 1846.

But Cardinal von Gaisruck  was a reformer

He started with the reform of the clergy. He took a census of all the priests and benefices in the diocese, assigned the empty benefices with open competitive exams, expelled many illiterate foreign priests particularly form Corsica, asked the government to open a penitentiary for priests (in San Clemente in Venice), and reopened the seminaries. 

He governed the diocese through a council of twelve Italian priests.

He preferred the secular priests formed in the seminaries of the diocese. 

His approach with the religious orders was complex: he did not allow the return in Milan of the Jesuits, Dominicans and Capuchins, but he allowed the Barnabites and the Somaschi, more active in assistance and education. 

Among the congregations of nuns, he allowed the reconstitution of the Ambrosians of the Sacro Monte and in 1844 the Ursulines

In 1841 he founded the journal L'amico cattolico (the Catholic friend) to promote an updated religious adult education

He reformed the Ambrosian Breviary.

The centre piece of his reforming zeal was based on St Charles Borromeo and his reforms

Both St Charles and his cousin Federico (his successor) Borromeo were everywhere

Nowhere more so than in the Duomo itself

In addition to his tomb, one had on exhibition in the Duomo the famous Quadroni di San Carlo: two cycles of huge paintings (5m x 6m each) - fifty four paintings in all - in celebration of the life and works of the great Counter Reformation saint

Here is but one:

Giovanni Battista Della Róvere (called Il Fiammenghino) (c 1575-1640)
San Carlo si ritira in esercizi spirituali sul monte di Varallo
Oil on canvas
Il Duomo, Milan

There was also a  huge church building programme. The architect of the Curia in Milan was Giacomo Moraglia who designed over thirty churches in a neo-classical style as well as seminaries

The architecture followed the rules set out by St Charles Borromeo in his Istruzioni di san Carlo Borromeo which were translated into Italian and published in 1823 by Leopoldo Brioschi

In 1843 - 46 the Cardinal had published new editions in Italian of Acta Ecclesiae Mediolanensis

Other works relating to St Charles published in Italian at this time included St Charles` Monita ad confessarios, a theological classic

Around 1840 there were also published Regole delle Scuole della dottrina cristiana, Regole delle Confraternite del Sacramento as well as Istruzionni per la predicazione della parola di Dio, o per le congregazioni del clero

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