June 11, 2013

0674 ITALY (Lombardy) - Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie with "The Last Supper" by Leonardo da Vinci (UNESCO WHS)

Santa Maria delle Grazie (Holy Mary of Grace) is a church and Dominican convent in Milan, included in the UNESCO World Heritage sites list. The convent was completed in 1469, at the order of Duke of Milan Francesco I Sforza, but the church took more time. The next duke, Ludovico Sforza (known also as Ludovico il Moro), decided to have the church as the Sforza family burial place and rebuild the cloister and the apse (attributed to Donato Bramante) which were completed after 1490.The church contains the mural of The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, which is in the refectory of the convent and depicts the moment after Jesus tells his disciples that one of them will betray him.The Santa Maria delle Grazie is famous also thanks to its architectural history, which resulted in an intriguing combination of Gothic and Renaissance design.

In 1543, the Holy Crown chapel on the right of the nave (inside the oldest part of the church, built in Gothic style), received a painting by Titian, depicting the Christ receives the Crown of Thorns. Looted by French troops in 1797, it is now in the Louvre. This chapel is frescoed with Storie della Passione (Stories of the Passion) by Gaudenzio Ferrari. In the small cloister adjacent to the tribune near the door that leads to the sacristy is a fresco by Bramantino. The church also contained frescoes depicting the Resurrection and Passion by Bernardo Zenale.

On 15 August 1943 allied bombardments destroyed the main cloister. The church was damaged, but Bramante's dome escaped unscathed, as also the wall that holds the The Last Supper. The building was restored shortly after the war, in 1947, and due to preservation The Last Supper has now been safe for many centuries.

About the stamp, depicting Officina Profumo - Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella in Florence, I wrote here.

Santa Maria delle Grazie - Wikipedia

sender: Nico Peroz (direct swap)
sent from Milan (Lombardy / Italy), on 09.08.2012

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