Polska Akademia Umieje̜tności <Krakau> / Komisja Historii Sztuki [Editor]; Polska Akademia Nauk <Warschau> / Oddział <Krakau> / Komisja Teorii i Historii Sztuki [Editor]
Folia Historiae Artium — NS: 15.2017

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20. Tomb monument of Gian Giacomo de’ Medici in Milan Cathe-
dral, by Pompeo Leoni, 1560-1564. Photo: M. Kurzej

21. The Trivulzio Chapel in San Nazaro in Brolio in Milan, interior.
Photo: M. Kurzej

particularly extensive and had especially sophisticated
forms124 - a fact that had been noted and criticised by
Erasmus of Rotterdam (1466-1536) as early as at the be-
ginning of the sixteenth century.125 Borromeo acted vigo-
rously against such monuments at the first synod of the
Milan Church province in 1565, introducing in its decrees
a directive which stated that, ‘the insolence of tomb mo-
numents, characteristic of our times cannot be accep-
ted, since the putrid cadavers enclosed in them take up
elevated and ornate positions in the church, like relics of
the saints, around which are suspended elements of ar-
moury, banners, trophies and other symbols of victory,
resulting in the churches looking not like temples of the
Lord but rather like military camps. Therefore, by con-
demning this conspicuous propensity to decorating [the
resting places of] the bodies of the dead, and caring for
the proper appearance of the churches, we order that the
monuments - both such that are placed high up and tho-

124 See, e.g., J. Poeschke, Michelangelo and His World. Sculpture of
the Italian Renaissance, trans, by R. Stockam, New York, 1996,
pp. 49-52.
125 G. Soavizzi, Arte e architettura sacra, pp. 254-355 (as in note 3);
M. Tafuri, ‘Vos enim estis templum Dei vivi. Anxieties and Ar-
chitecture from Venice to the Court of Marguerite de Navarre’, in
idem, Venice and the Renaissance, trans, by J. Levine, Cambridge,
1995, p. 76.

se that are attached to the walls or lean on them in the
most prominent places, regardless of whether they are
made of marble or bronze, or whether they contain bo-
dies or not [...] - be removed, along with all their deco-
rations and accompanying items, within three months,
and the bones and ashes be put down from the high and
be interred, so that the tomb does not project [above the
floor]’.126 Further, the Archbishop of Milan stated in his

126 ‘non est ferenda nostri temporis insolentia sepulcrorum, in qui-
bus putida cadavera, tanquam sacrorum corporum reliquiae,
excelso et ornato loco in ecclesiis collocantur, circumque arma,
vexilla, trophea et alia victoriae signa et monumenta suspendun-
tur, ut iam non divina templa sed castra bellica esse videatur. Am-
bitiosam igitur hanc in mortuorum corporibus decorandis arro-
gantiam détestantes et ecclesiarum decori consulentes, eiusmo-
di sepulcra excelso loco posita et ea quae parietibus inclusa, vel
adiuncta etiam in una parietum parte eminent, nisi marmorea
aut aerea sint, sive illis corpora contegantur, sive inania [...] om-
nis generis ornatum et apparatum ad tres menses amoveri, ac tol-
li omnino iubemus, ossaque ac cineris in sacro loco altius in ter-
ram desodi, ita conditos, ut sepulcrum e solo non emineat’, Acta
Concilii Provincialis Mediolanensis Г, in Acta Ecclesiae Mediolan-
sis, p. 36 (as in note 109). See also K.B. Hiesinger, ‘The Frego-
so Monument. A Study of Sixteenth-Century Tomb Monuments
and Catholic Reform’, The Burlington Magazine, 118,1976, no. 878,
p. 284; H. Colvin, Architecture and the After-Life, New Haven,
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