Milan holds extraordinary evidence of the innovative talent of two of the most important protagonists of the Renaissance, Leonardo and Bramante. These multi-faceted and ingenious artists, while never having directly collaborated, worked here side by side, so much so that today their masterpieces can be admired interwoven in a single fascinating tour. It unfolds among scenes of secular life and scenes of religious life and includes pictural works and architectural monuments, with ideas at time bold other tradition.
Leonardo da Vinci arrived for the first time in Milan in 1482, preceded by a letter in which he offers his services in the military and civil arts to Ludovico Sforza, called “il Moro”, just been named Duke of Milan and was anxious to legitimize his power through a cultural policy of promoting grandiose civil project. Leonardo spent twenty years in Milan, engaged in a feverish activity that includes theoretical studies (documented in writings and drawings), urban and architectural plans, preparations for court parties and paintings. The Portrait of a Musician and the famous fresco of the Last Supper are held in the city, a project that, together with that for the equestrian statue of Francesco Sforza, absorbed much of its time in the Lombard capital.
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The other personality that deeply influenced the Milanese culture of the time was the urbato Donato di Pascuccio, called Bramante, who arrived in Milan in the same years as Leonardo. Here, fully master of the use of perspective, as can be seen in S. Maria near S. Satiro, he also works in the service of Ludovico il Moro, applying a polychrome, decorated and sumptuous architecture: an excellent example is in S. Maria delle Grazie, where the architect adopts the Lombard tradition in which it is harmoniously inserted through the collaboration with the local craftsmen. Interesting traces of the work of the two artists are also present in the surroundings of Milan, as far as the control of their patrons extended.