Bergamo: Lorenzo Lotto in Bergamo

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Category: special itineraries
  • Tarsie nella Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore
  • Pala con Madonna e Santi nella chiesa di S. Bernardino
  • Pala nella chiesa di S. Spirito
  • Pala (part.) nella chiesa dei Santi Stefano e Bartolomeo


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The itinerary which is dedicated to the Venetian artist who lived in Bergamo between 1513 and 1525, starts in the Basilica of S.M.Maggiore in the Upper Town, where you can admire the marquetries covering the iconostasis and the choir stalls (upon request), realized in the course of 30 years between 1522 and 1555. The local artist Giovan Francesco Capoferri employed more than 100 different types of wood chosen for their proper colours, grains and reaction to light; the 76 figures represented on the marquetries tell biblical stories of the Old and the New Testament. Leaving from the center of the Upper Town, the next stop is in Via Porta Dipinta where, in the church of S. Michele al Pozzo Bianco of Lombard origin, next to the sanctuary, there is the chapel dedicated to the Virgin painted by Lorenzo Lotto. From there, the itinerary continues along Via Pignolo and arrives at the churches of S. Bernardino and S. Spirito: the first holds Lorenzo Lotto’s masterpiece, an altar- piece showing the Virgin with the child among Saints, of 1521, the second an altar -piece also dedicated to the Virgin, of the same year, but distinguished by more tender, refined and elegant colours. Finally, in the heart of the Lower Town, there is the church of S. Bartolomeo whose altar- piece was commissioned in 1513 by Alessandro Martinengo Colleoni, grandchild to Bartolomeo Colleoni, for the main altar of the former Dominican church of S. Stefano in the Upper Town. The saints who are venerating the Virgin with the child seem to be absorbed in the interior of a church dominated by symbolic pro-Venetian symbols. The top moulding and the bottom panels of the altar-piece are missing being the property of the State museum in Budapest respectively the Accademia Carrara.Last but no least the sacristy of the church of S. Alessandro in Colonna preserves a painting showing the Deposition from the Cross. The itinerary can be completed by paying a visit to one of the two outstanding museums of the Lower Town: the Diocesan Museum Adriano Bernareggio with the painting known as “Trinity” dated 1519, and the Accademia Carrara with various portraits and sacred scenes.