The fresco was found in 1929 at the bottom of the bell tower, on the wall of a destroyed chapel. In 1952 it was removed and transferred on canvas, to be placed on the wall where today is. Of this artwork, deeply deteriorated, it is visible the lower part where, among the three crucifixed men, in fragmented state is a complex composition with figures on multiple grounds, who invade the geometrical-patterned frame sides with the wings of some angels. Two episodes emerge: the Virgin fainted and the soldiers dividing Jesus' clothes. Above, the figure of Christ stands out in a terse shape, that the conservation state does not undervalue.
The last restoration, curated by Anna Lucchini, let some details emerge after the cleaning and the stucco work. It is again visible the figure seated below the crucifix, perhaps a prophet, the recovery of the character in the centre of the scene depicting the cut of the clothing and, on the left, a crowned figure, probably David or Solomon. On the right, it appeares again the detail of a cogged wheel, thanks to which we can identify St. Catherine from Alexandria, next to Caterina di Savoia-Vaud, wife of Azzone Visconti, whose profile - today clearly visible - is symmetrically placed on the left of the fresco.
The master of San Gottardo, who worked in the chapel around 1340, uses a language aware of the Tuscan visual culture of the time. The author demonstrates to have learned Giotto's lesson, called by Azzone Visconti, founder of San Gottardo, to work in the "corte vecchia" (today, Palazzo Reale), between 1335 and 1336.
Church of S. Gottardo in Corte
(Via Francesco Pecorari, 2 – Milano)
Thursday - Tuesday: 10.00 am – 6.00 pm. Last ticket at 5.00 pm. Last admission 5.10 pm
One-price ticket: € 2,00