The Renaissance in Ticino
28 April 2023
The church of Santa Maria degli Angioli in Lugano was built between 1499 and 1515 as the church of the monastery of the Franciscan Order. The Passion or Crocifissione by Bernardino Luini (1480-1532) is a masterpiece of the Swiss-Italian Renaissance.
He completed the fresco in 1529. Luini also painted the Last Supper in the refectory of the monastery. This fresco is also in the church today. Around 1504 Luini also painted the Passion in the Santa Maria delle Grazie church in Bellinzona. These frescoes are the best-preserved Renaissance art treasures in Switzerland.
Bernardino Luini (1480-1532)
The Santa Maria degli Angioli
In 1513, the Confederation came into possession of Lugano. Two years later, in 1515, the Confederation suffered its great defeat at Marignano against the French King Francis I (1494-1547). Only a few years earlier, the Confederates seemed invincible in their struggle against the Habsburgs, the Dukes of Burgundy and Savoy, the most powerful monarchs in Europe then.
However, the Confederation remained in possession of Ticino and some territories in Lombardy, including Chiavenna, Bormio and Veltlina (until 1797). These Italian contacts also influenced the culture on the other side of the Alps.
The monastery was dissolved in 1848 and absorbed mainly into other buildings. Some drawings from the 18th and 19th centuries, which can be seen as documentation in the church, give an impression of the size of the monastery.
Source and pictures: Santa Maria degli Angioli