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Notes on Madonna del Castelletto

The Sanctuary stands in a striking position above Lake Ceresio, where there was probably a fortified medieval building.

 

The construction was started in 1633 following the miracle of the tearing of the ‘Madonna del latte,’ the fifteenth-century fresco of the Seregnese school that was already on the altar of a previous oratory, and was completed in 1637. The speed of execution gave the building a unitary character, subverted only by the interventions of the painter Antonio Rinaldi di Tremona (1816-1875), who in 1868 painted ‘Santi Rocco e Defendente’ on the facade and a grouping of saints and angels inside the hall. The church has a longitudinal layout arranged on the west-east axis.

 

The frontispiece on two superimposed registers with niches arranged symmetrically one above the other, closed at the top by a rectilinear pediment, responds to the Milanese architecture of the Counter-Reformation and to the principle of decoration and simplicity desired by San Carlo Borromeo.

 

Also the interior with a single nave and a slightly protruding transept and a wide chancel is associated with the type of layout in Counter-Reformation, while the entire decorative apparatus features symbols aimed at enhancing the Marian cult, responding to the need for popular devotion as well as the institutional one of the post Tridentine Church (relating to an ecumenical council held by the Roman Catholic Church in Trentino, Italy, from 1545 to 1563, as a response to calls for reform and the spread of Protestantism.)

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