While walking toward the Diotti Museum, and stopping to take photo of the imposing buildings on the two sides of the Street (see my previous post on Casalmaggiore), I noticed the Duomo closing the view. Could I pass it without a close up? No way….
The Cathedral of Saint Stephen is the mother church of the city, built on the site of the former temple that dated back at the time of Matilda.Built from 1840 by the local architect Fermo Zuccari, the cathedral was consecrated in 1861. Of neoclassical style, the elevation given by a wide staircase that leads to a porch with arches that gice access to the temple,with a Greek cross plan, and each side presents an order of Corinthian columns.The presbytery is raised to allow the construction of the crypt below.Among the furnishings from the previous Church,in addition to the paintings, a majestic organ Serassi adapted to the new premises and a large choir placed behind the main altar, with stalls of the seventeenth century. The bell tower, between the church and the Abbey Palace, could be built only a few decades after the consecration of the temple, in 1898, when they were found the necessary economic resources. It features a concert of eight bells, recently renovated. About seventy meters high, has become rightly one of the best known symbols of the city and one of the tallest towers in the province.
Of impressive dimensions (length. 70 m .; width. 52 m .; height of the dome about 55 meters), it was so designed to emphasize the importance reached by the town after being raised to Royal City and with unconcealed hope (never realized) to be nominated as Bishop Cathedra, head of its own diocese independent and freed from Cremona.
Inside paintings by Giovan Battista Trotti said Malosso – The Last Supper – (mid ‘500), by Christopher Agosta, a local artist disciple of Malosso – The Adoration of the Magi -, William Hunt said Moncalvo, (first half of ‘600) – Prudence, Justice, Fortitude and Temperance. Near the main altar there’s a copy painted in the eighteenth century by Marco Antonio Ghislina of Madonna and St. Stephen also known as Our Lady of Casalmaggiore a work of 1540 by Francesco Mazzola, called Parmigianino, executed for the pre-existent church of St. Stephen. That table became a possession of the pictures gallery of the Duke of Modena Francesco I d’Este, to pass, after many twists and turns, to the Gemaldegalerie in Dresden where it is now. It was one of the last works of Parmigianino, who died in Casalmaggiore in 1540 and was buried in the Sanctuary of the Madonna della Fontana, just outside the city.
Inside there were priests and friars, I didn’t want to bother them too much, so I took some photos with my cell phone almost secretly, so forgive me if they’re a little blurry….
And finally the G.Diotti Museum. Inside it’s forbidden to take photos ….and you know how mad I become when I’m told “no photos allowed”, so…..yes, I took some, my bad, while the tour guide wasn’t looking….
The museum was created in 2007 to house the Civic art collections in the building that was home-studio of neoclassical painter Giuseppe Diotti (1779-1846), born in Casalmaggiore, long-director and professor at the Carrara Academy of Bergamo. At the origin of the museum project, edited by Valter Rosa, more than a decade of research and exhibitions designed to raise awareness and promote the production of major artists of the area, from the mid-eighteenth century to the present. The exhibition was made possible thanks to the program that allowed the City to have support by the Lombardy Region and the Province of Cremona, with the aim of bringing together under one roof all the civic art collections, ensuring in this way a better conservation, enhancement and public use, also giving special attention to the research, educational services and temporary exhibitions such as qualifying requirements of a modern museum.
Due to the origin of the house as the home of the artist, the museum develops in particular the issues of the studio and the artist’s work. The house-atelier of Giuseppe Diotti, in the main floor, is a museum of the nineteenth century: starting from the works of the precursors and masters of Diotti, his early works and the maturity ones, to the production of the students and the profound changes that occurred in the art of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.
The new wing of the palace, The Gallery of Modern Art, is dedicated to the painters of the twentieth century: the main ones are Goliardo Padua, Gianfranco Manara and Tino Aroldi, all related to the theme of landscapes (and here finally I could use my camera freely!). One wing of the building is dedicated to the path of the studios: here are rebuilt with original materials the workplaces pof ainter Goliardo Padova, the painter-decorator and sculptor Ercole Palmiro Vezzoni Priori. The Rossari Space is a special room reserved for temporary exhibitions alternating solo and group exhibitions devoted to moments and figures of local art history.
A branch of the museum is represented by the School of drawing “Bottoli”, an ancient school of arts and crafts whose collections allow you to document the history of art education in Casalmaggiore in the nineteenth century and offers important examples of applied arts and crafts This section is housed in the Renaissance Palazzo Martinelli, a few hundred meters from the Museum Diotti. Once called House Vaini, is a valuable construction of the fifteenth century with a brick facade, which shows a simple but beautiful door, Bramante style. The windows present very rich ornamentsin in terracotta. The interior as well presents staircases, ceilings and doors in the characteristics of the buildings of that era.was home of Don Ferdinando Francesco Ferrante d’Avalos, Marquis of Pescara, consort of Vittoria Colonna, when Philip II granted him the fief of Casalmaggiore.
And that was the end of a very busy day but relaxing as well……….when I got out of the school, the first rain was falling, so I needed to find a shelter …..and I found one that had a indoor garden….
I couldn’t stay forever anyway; looking outside the tent I could see the rain was still heavy……can you imagine what a mess I was when I finally reached my car?….