It was years ago that we visited the Convent of San Mauizio. As I am writing some short articles of Milan that I have recently been to, I do not wish to miss out this beautiful monastery. And the most impressive paintings to me are those of Noah's Ark, from animals lining up to get in the ark to the heavy rain on the ark and it on the water flooding the world.
The monastery has a nick name as the Sistine Chapel of Milan. If you step inside the church you will understand why. The church is full of magnificent frescoes, painted by the best artists of the Lombard School in the 16th century, including Bernardino Luini (a student of Leonardo di Vinci) and his sons, Paolo Lomazzo, Ottavio Semino, Callisto Piazza and Simone Peterzano (the master of Caravaggio).
Now, let's have a look of the gorgeous frescoes. First, the renowned 'Adorazione dei Magi' (Adoration of the Magi) by Antonio Campi above the main altar. The bump of a horse is presented. The painting looks cute.
A few depict the scenes of Jesus baptism and his death. It triggers sorrows within hearts.
Saint Rocco is the one showing the open sore on his leg. He was borne around 1340 A.D. in Montpellier, France. At birth, he had a red cross-shaped birthmark on the left side of his chest. As a young, he already showed great devotion to God. His parents died when he was young. Soon after, he distributed his wealth among the poor. He made a pilgrimage to Rome. At time, Italy was stricken with black death. San Rocco cured many of the dreaded disease by praying for them and making the sign of the cross. Unfortunately, he also contracted the plague and was banished from the city. Miraculously, a dog brought him bread. The dog's nobleman owner found him and cured him.
Saint Agatha. She was from a rich noble family. Already as age of fifteen she dedicated her virginity to God. As she rejected the amorous advances of Quintianus, she was persecuted and put to a prison. There she suffered horrible torture and here breasts cut off with pincers. After confrontations with Quintianus, she was sentenced to be burnt at the stake. However, an earthquake saved her from death. She remained in a prison and died there. The saint on the left is Saint Catherine with her wheel.
My favourite is Noah's Ark by Aurelio Luini. Pairs of animals going into the ark and many birds flying towards it. It is a series of paintings composing the story. Very lovely presentation!
You may wonder why this church is extraordinary beautiful as it is not the cathedral or a big church but a monastery. It is because the main patrons, Bentivoglio and Sforza families related by marriage, were linked to the Benedictine nuns Monasterio Maggiore. Alessandro Bentivolgio and his wife Ippolita Sforza and his daughter Alessandra allocated a substantial amount of money for the church embellishments. This is the marriage of money and great artists, in another word or perspective. Patrons were normally featured in the paintings and seen many generations after.
To see the beautiful interior, click here for the Nave with a 360 view and the nun part here.