St. Maria delle Grazie Church and Leonardo's Last Supper
History of St.Maria delle Grazie Church and her beauties.
St.Maria delle Grazie Square - Milan
7/12 - 15/19
How to reach
MM1 (subway red line) Cadorna or Conciliazione stat. + 10 minutes by feet.
MM2 (subway green line line) Cadorna station + 10 minutes by feet
Tram: 20 - 24
Bus ATM: 181
The Church and Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, the home of Leonardo's Last Supper, is one of the most beautiful churches in Italy and a reference point point of the Milanese architecture, tied up to the name of Leonardo da Vinci and Donato Bramante.
In the ancient Dominican convent refectory is possible to admire the famous "The Last Supper" known also as "The Cenacle" of the Leonardo, initiated in 1495 and finished in 1498.
The 1999 restauration has confirmed all the dramatic expressive strength of this extraordinary masterpiece of the Christian art.
The addition of the part absidale or gallery is owed to Donato Bramante.
In 1463 the duke of Milan Francesco I Sforza decided to build, on Guiniforte’s Solari project, a Dominican convent and a church on the place where a small chapel devoted to St. Maria delle Grazie was found.
The convent was completed in 1469 while the church was finished in 1482. They followed some changes wanted by “Ludovico il Moro” that decided to change the great cloister and the apse of the church. The construction was definitely finished around 1490. The Moro decided to do of Graces a sepolture place of Sforza and in 1497 his wife Beatrice d’ Este was buried in che church.
From 1553 to 1778 the convent became center of the inquisition court and subsequently, after the Napoleonic destructions it became a barracks.
The night of August 15 th 1943, the American Anglo bombardiers struck the church and the convent. The refectory was completely destroyed. Only few walls, among which that of the Cenacle was standing. Despite the terrible devastations, thanks to the Milaneses spirit of initiative, the church is been able to return to the ancient splendor returning the precious art works that have kept.
In the first chapel, the principal attraction is represented by two precious sarcophaguses of Francis Olgiati, of the '500.
To the left that of the Della Torre family with rich of Cazzaniga’s decorations..
One of the most beautiful chapels is the fourth, painted by frescos of the Gaudenzio Ferrari (1542 ), great sixteenth-century painter. Once here was preserved "The Crowning of Thorns" of Tiziano, today iin the Louvre Museum.
Also in the fifth chapel a real masterpiece: a parade of angels in plaster.
The sixth chapel is decorated with Fiammenghinis’ frescos.
In the seventh there are nice Semini’s frescos.
Very beautiful are the benches of the' 500, with inlays of various wood types.
To see is the bramantesca gallery: the extreme grace of the presbytery with his archway. Here is possible to admire one of most beautiful wooden choirs at inlay of the Renaissance.
In the beautiful litte cloister adjacent to the gallery, on the door that conducts to the sacristy, is possible to admire a Bramantino’s fresco.