Giovanni Stefano Montalto per gli Isimbardi: un ciclo di affreschi dimenticato a Pieve del Cairo
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Giovanni Stefano Montalto and the Isimbardi: a forgotten fresco cycle in Pieve del Cairo
The article analyzes a lesser known fresco cycle located in the piano nobile hall of Palazzo Isimbardi in Pieve del Cairo. The series represents the ancestors and the deeds of the most illustrious members of this noble family from Pavia. The decoration was made before 1666, when Galeazzo Gualdo Priorato mentioned the hall in his Relatione della città e Stato di Milano, and the most likely client is Pietro Isimbardi, a prominent figure in Milan at that time. The frescoes are here attributed to the painter Giovanni Stefano Danedi from Treviso and his workshop. Through the second half of the 17th Century, the artist decorated many suburban villas belonging to the Milan aristocracy, and yet this is the only cycle of historical subject so far attributed to him. The glorification of family deeds seems to be a typical subject matter of coeval pictorial decorations in Lombardy, particularly in the hall of Palazzo Visconti in Brignano Gera d’Adda and in the ‘Fasti Borromeo’ at the Rocca of Angera.
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