Project Description

Presbytery

The presbytery was restructured in approx. 1660 according to the design of Francesco Richini and Giuseppe Buzzi and still holds various artworks.

The Imposing Lectern of the Chancel
This Late-Renaissance style artwork, with notable artistic value, was carved in walnut in 1586 by the master woodcarvers, Giovanni Pietro and Battista Appiano. The Carmelite crest of three stars is carved in each of the three sides of the base.

The Chancel
The woodcarvers Anselmo de’ Conti and Giovanni Pietro Appiano were commissioned to carve the Late-Renaissance style work in 1579 which they completed in 1585. Its simple, sober and elegant structure has seats resting on lion’s paw terminal volutes and double volute arm rests. In 1662, when the choir area was extended, most of the choir stalls were re-made.

The Main Altar
The older, wooden, Baroque style altar was replaced in 1839 with a new, monumental and strictly Neo-Classical marble altar, designed in approx. 1808 by Giuseppe Levati. The rectangular base with a similarly rectangular altar table, is decorated, raceme style. The rectangular base with a similarly rectangular altar table, is decorated, raceme style. The solemn, round ciborium has six corinthian columns with the entablature, decorated with cherubs’ heads, resting on top, surmounted by the dome. The statue of the Redeemer on top of the dome was sculpted by the Ticinese artist, Grazioso Rusca (1757-1829) while the two statues of angels at prayer were the work of the Neo-Classical sculptor, Gaetano Monti (1776-1847), during the first half of the 19th. century.

The tabernacle, still on the main altar, the only surviving part of the previous Baroque altar, was carved by Giovanni Pietro Appiano in 1585; it is very precious due to the exquisite designs engraved and embossed in silver as well as the gemstones and lapis lazuli which decorate it. The Adoration of the Shepherds is portrayed on the door, a work dating to the 17th. century while the ovals on the side show the Annunciation.

The Wooden “Cantoria” of the Organ
The imposing wooden Gothic style architectural structure housing the organ dates to the first half of the 19th. century. The fifteen small statues placed in trefoil niches at the base and the four statues, placed on the side pilasters of the elevated part of the structure, are original plaster models of 19th. century statues to be placed on the spires of the Duomo; they were made by leading late Neo-Classical and early Romantic style sculptors and were given, upon request, to Carmine church.

The Great Side Paintings
Two extremely big Baroque style paintings can be seen on the side walls in front of the altar.

On the left-hand side, the painting by Federico Bianchi, created between 1683 and 1685 is Honorius III instituting the Carmelite Order. The Pope in concistorum, is explaining the vision of Our Lady he had had that night to the cardinals whilst holding the Bull of Institution of the Carmelite Order (1226). The background shows the funeral of two clerics who had vilified the Carmelites.

On the right-hand side, there is a painting dating to the same period by Filippo Abbiati: The Council of Ephesus. St. Cyril of Alexandria is speaking to the Fathers of the Council whilst Mary appears in the Council Chamber and an angel is holding a scroll with the words “Mary, Mother of God”. The painting fully expresses Late Baroque pictorial language, eloquent and scenographic, which characterises the spectacular impetus of the scene.

The Present-Day Altar
The altar was made of chased and embossed silvered and gilded metal by local craftsmen in the second half of the 1900s. Rectangular in shape, there are three divisions marked by fluted corinthian columns; the panel on the right shows a pelican with her young, the one on the left, a chalice, and in the central one, a noteworthy representation of the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci.

Other Liturgical Items
Two winged, gilded wood putti, baldachin supports of the altar, refined local workmanship, end of 19th. century.

Two chased, embossed metal chandeliers, made by local craftsmen, dating to the first half of the 19th. century: the three lamps, with the biggest in the centre, are linked to a bracket decorated with two cornucopias and other vegetal motifs.


A walnut dresser, carved in two orders and finely handcrafted; its style indicates Lombard cabinet making of the 17th. century.


A pew made of carved walnut, Neo-Classical style Milanese workmanship dating to the beginning of 1800:the back has two orders, the upper, evenly divided by four fluted pilasters terminating with half busts of the four Doctors of the Western Church-Ambrose, Gregory the Great, Augustine and Jerome. The upper part of the back has a delicate, palmette frame.


Two carved walnut cases for the holy oils, probably made after 1660, at the time of the refurbishment of the choir area.


The altar rails of the presbytery, with classical, austere lines, dating to the Neo-Gothic refurbishment of the church, directed by the architect, Felice Pizzagalli (1836).