Sacristies of the Basilica di San Martino

Sacristies of the Basilica di San Martino

Description

The architect who designed Milan’s Duomo, Gerolamo Quadrio, also did the three sacristies of San Martino Basilica. All the rooms feature incredible mastery and expressive power: entering the first one straight from the church’s entry, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a vortex of frescoes and stuccos, dating back to the XVIII Century, as well as a copious and redundant decoration, marquetry and sculptures by the Fantonis and the Canianas, two renowned artist families of that time.

The ornamental patterns represent many themes, ranging from episodes of the Gospel to the New and the Old Testament, along with cherubs, masques, and vegetal decorations such as leaves, fruits and twisted branches, idyllic landscapes. A visit you won’t regret!


The plaque at the entrance of the second sacristy says:«SACRA DECENT SACROS, SACRIS PENETRALIA PANDO SACRUM NON SACER HAUT TENTET INIRE LOCUM» (“Sacred places suit sacred people. I disclose this sacred place to the sacred ones. He who is not sacred shall not dare to enter the sacred place”).

In fact, the room was designed only for the priests: anyway, the sentence looks like a general exhortation to purify oneself from sin before entering a place that is so beautiful it almost seems divine. Are you ready?


The plan of the sacristies resembles an upside-down “L”: the first sacristy is located on the short side, the second one is on the intersection between the two segments and the third one takes up the long side, linked to the Sacred Art Museum.

The three sacristies’ ornaments and decorations have been completed over fifteen years, but the three rooms feature very different styles: in fact, they testify to the alternation of two artistic and historical periods, the baroque embellishment and the rococo secularity. 

The first sacristy is rectangular: you will immediately notice the three recesses separating the walls and housing six big build-in armoires, finely decorated by the Fantonis.

On the other hand, the complex marquetry of the prie-dieus marks out the second sacristy, along with the tallboys used to store the priests’ vestments.

Finally, the third sacristy hosts no less than forty high-backed benches: can you count them all?

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The architect who designed Milan’s Duomo, Gerolamo Quadrio, also did the three sacristies of San Martino Basilica. All the rooms feature incredible mastery and expressive power: entering the first one straight from the church’s entry, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a vortex of frescoes and stuccos, dating back to the XVIII Century, as well as a copious and redundant decoration, marquetry and sculptures by the Fantonis and the Canianas, two renowned artist families of that time.

The ornamental patterns represent many themes, ranging from episodes of the Gospel to the New and the Old Testament, along with cherubs, masques, and vegetal decorations such as leaves, fruits and twisted branches, idyllic landscapes. A visit you won’t regret!


The plaque at the entrance of the second sacristy says:«SACRA DECENT SACROS, SACRIS PENETRALIA PANDO SACRUM NON SACER HAUT TENTET INIRE LOCUM» (“Sacred places suit sacred people. I disclose this sacred place to the sacred ones. He who is not sacred shall not dare to enter the sacred place”).

In fact, the room was designed only for the priests: anyway, the sentence looks like a general exhortation to purify oneself from sin before entering a place that is so beautiful it almost seems divine. Are you ready?


The plan of the sacristies resembles an upside-down “L”: the first sacristy is located on the short side, the second one is on the intersection between the two segments and the third one takes up the long side, linked to the Sacred Art Museum.

The three sacristies’ ornaments and decorations have been completed over fifteen years, but the three rooms feature very different styles: in fact, they testify to the alternation of two artistic and historical periods, the baroque embellishment and the rococo secularity. 

The first sacristy is rectangular: you will immediately notice the three recesses separating the walls and housing six big build-in armoires, finely decorated by the Fantonis.

On the other hand, the complex marquetry of the prie-dieus marks out the second sacristy, along with the tallboys used to store the priests’ vestments.

Finally, the third sacristy hosts no less than forty high-backed benches: can you count them all?

Not to be missed in this area

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