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Un Bergognone dimenticato. Gli affreschi dal coro delle monache del monastero di Sant’Erasmo di Milano

 

Roberta Delmoro

 

Before the complex of Sant’Erasmo in Milan was demolished, the Perego Counts had a fresco detached from the chancel wall in the nuns’ choir. Since 1907, it has been housed in the chapel of Villa Perego in Cremnago (Como). The fresco – a monumental work by Ambrogio da Fossano known as Bergognone – is of the highest quality, in spite of its poor condition due to detachment and relocation on canvas. It was first ascribed to Bergognone by Luca Beltrami (1892) but was soon neglected by scholars as it was relocated in a private dwelling in Brianza. This essay analyses the fresco in great detail. Firstly, it presents, in colour and for the first time, the whole artwork that occupies the left wall of Villa Perego oratory. Secondly, it shows several elements of the cycle, so far barely known to scholarship. Lastly, it suggests that the fresco could have been painted around the same time as Leonardo’s Last Supper in the refectory of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan.