Another man of taste, Mark Twain, visited the Duomo in 1867 and wrote ¨What a wonder it is! So grand, so solemn, so vast! And yet so delicate, so airy, so graceful! A very world of solid weight, and yet it seems ...a delusion of frostwork that might vanish with a breath!... The central one of its five great doors is bordered with a bas-relief of birds and fruits and beasts and insects, which have been so ingeniously carved out of the marble that they seem like living creatures-- and the figures are so numerous and the design so complex, that one might study it a week without exhausting its interest...everywhere that a niche or a perch can be found about the enormous building, from summit to base, there is a marble statue, and every statue is a study in itself...Away above, on the lofty roof, rank on rank of carved and fretted spires spring high in the air, and through their rich tracery one sees the sky beyond. ... (Up on) the roof...springing from its broad marble flagstones, were the long files of spires, looking very tall close at hand, but diminishing in the distance...We could see, now, that the statue on the top of each was the size of a large man, though they all looked like dolls from the street... They say that the Cathedral of Milan is second only to St. Peter's at Rome. I cannot understand how it can be second to anything made by human hands.¨ I guess he liked it too. So yesterday afternoon I spent the grand sum of 2 euros and got entry to the Duomo Museum and the inside of the Duomo. The Museum holds many thousands of the original models and sculptures that were entered for approval by Italian artists since the 16th century. Later it was interesting to see some of the finished pieces of work on the inside of the church where they had been placed 400 years previously. I had to queue for 10 minutes and have my bag and pockets searched by army and police to get inside the Cathedral, but it was worth it. Even though it was dark in places and the pillars and other surfaces had been subject to the wear and tear of the centuries, it was still magnificent. Spent almost an hour admiring the wonder of it all. Back in the real world, across the road was a smallish Modern Art Museum. It was free entry for the last 2 hours from 5.30. I fronted up to the ticket office at 5.31 and spent an enjoyable hour and a half with good art, and some not so good art. ( I like modern art, but only if it is colourful and life affirming or if it expresses emotional energy in a powerful and sometimes quirky way) Home at 7.30 to make an omelet and reflect on a good day at the office...
wooden architect&acute;s model of Cathedral
miniature submitted for approval
model of chapel design
always a few of these hanging around
happy martyr ?
16th century frieze panel (original)
16th century-God creating Eve from Adam..
Eve and serpent (original)
someone smiting a lion
possibly Saint Peter&acute;s crucifixion..
original bust for the Madonnini
we got em in all shapes and sizes..
looking across width of Duomo at entry
looking down one of five naves
the central nave with altar and window
closer look at altar
one of many chapels
under rose window
Saint Bartholomew wearing his skin..
Madoninna which also sits atop the highest spire
across the road is a
Museum of Modern Art
with a Mondrian
a ???? but famous..
and a good collection of Milanese artists
from the 20th century
I love this one
The panelbeater&acute;s daughters - I kid you not..
quirky ...he&acute;s turning in his grave..
A celebrity guest...