Un ciclo carolingio a Milano. Nuove ipotesi sulle pitture murali in San Satiro

Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] A Carolingian cycle in Milan. New hypotheses on the murals in San Satiro

Manuela Beretta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


[Autom. eng. transl.] Set in the complex urban-architectural stratification of the historic center, the church of San Satiro remains the only monumental evidence of the Carolingian era in the Milan area: in fact, it preserves an original architectural structure and a pictorial cycle largely coeval with the foundation, which took place at the behest of Ansperto da Biassono (archbishop of Milan from 868 to 881) within the so-called Ansperti insula. Despite the lack of structure and the critical state of conservation of the paintings, it is possible to attempt a reconstruction of the original program, which has to date never been proposed with sufficient organicity, according to a reading that identifies 'couples' of figures placed at the four corners of the building. This interpretative key opens up new hypotheses identifying the characters represented and highlights the presence of some iconographic subjects such as the flowered cross - which is strongly connected to the funerary painting of the 9th century -, or the decoration with vegetal racemes of the vaults - which refers to comparisons with Carolingian cycles from beyond the Alps, some already known to the critics and others unpublished like that of the westwerk of Corvey. All the collected data, of a compositional, iconographic, technical and stylistic nature, are related to Ansperto's episcopal but also private and family commissioning policy, and to the artistic-cultural reality of Milan at the end of the 9th century: what it allows to reinvigorate the hypothesis, not shared by all the critics, of a unitary and Carolingian cycle. The objective of the contribution is not however to define and solve the problems of the Milanese pictorial cycle, but to set them for the first time in a critical perspective, to return the decorative yard in its complexity and stratification, necessarily also through compromises provided by the hypothesis, in order to open new interpretative paths, to provide wider grounds for comparisons, to finally include the commission of San Satiro in a Milanese, European context.
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] A Carolingian cycle in Milan. New hypotheses on the murals in San Satiro
Original languageItalian
Pages (from-to)N/A-N/A
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


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