Project Description

The Chapel of the Holy Family

The chapel was restructured by the architect Egidio Mazzucchelli,1901-1903, and frescoed in Neo-Gothic style by the painter Osvaldo Bignami in the first decade of the 20th. century.

In the recesses along the base of the gilded wooden altar, Bignami painted the figures of Apostles: Thomas, James the Elder, Judas Thaddeus, Paul, Peter, Andrew, Bartholomew and Philip. The tabernacle is a Gothic architectural structure with an apical cross. The triptych above it has a Gothic frame characterized by decorated pilasters and flanked by spiral columns, connected by pointed polylobate arches while the tympanums are adorned with spires and apical angels. The central panel of the triptych, painted by Bignami, portrays the Holy Family around Joseph’s worktable; Jesus, as a young boy, is seated at it with a small cross in His Hand. St. Anne can be seen in the panel on the right and St. Joachim in the one on the left.

The four gores of the vault show the four Evangelists with their symbols, seated on Gothic thrones with angels holding scrolls.

In the two big vesica piscis (ovals) on the walls, surrounded by angels and placed within a drapery, Bignami depicted the Annunciation on the left and the Visitation on the right.

The archway into the chapel is also frescoed: the vault shows Simon and Latro (?), the column to the right, St. John the Baptist and the one to the left, Zachariah and Mary of Salome.

The group of frescoes by Bignami constitutes one of the most significant pictorial examples of Neo-Gothic style in Lombardy.

The two elegant console tables situated in the corners of the chapel closest to the altar reflect Neo-Gothic style but also re-call Art Nouveau and were designed by the architect, Mazzucchelli.

Consonant with style of the chapel is the marble balustrade, composed of two panels and central quatrefoil opening.