Luigi Vanvitelli and a newly discovered drawing for the Sanctuary of the Crucifix in Como
ANDREA BONAVITA - FRANCESCO REPISHTI
The times of Luigi Vanvitelli and his pupil Antonio Rinaldi’s presence in Milan have long been known: between April and June of 1745 they were guests of Giovanni Giorgio Pio Pallavicino Trivulzio, delegate of the Fabbrica del Duomo. The floor plan of the Annunciata in Como (now known as ‘Sanctuary of the Crucifix’), designed by Vanvitelli and sent from Rome, is also in our knowledge. Such information is now enriched by the discovery of an unpublished longitudinal section in the Canonica fund at Archivio del Moderno in Mendrisio; the drawing clarifies several details of the project for Como, such as the roofing system and the chosen solution for the display of the Crucifix which, though spatially and visually connected with the high altar, was supposed to be separated from it and set against the choir wall.
The outcome of the affair in Como was the same as that of the Milan projects, and yet the influence of Vanvitelli’s ideas is still visible in some later propositions, such as Carlo Giuseppe Merlo’s mind-boggling project and the one by Antonio Nolfi, which was eventually approved in 1761.