The Madonnina of Milan Duomo

North Star and Point of Reference

Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano

She protects the city

The Madonnina statue of Milan Duomo was placed on top of the Main Spire in December 1774. She appeared like a star in the sky, leaving an indelible mark in the heart of the city and its citizens.

Copy of the statue of the Madonnina, detail (2014) by Nolana del Giudice FoundryVeneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano

A long gestation

This significant step was reached only after a long period of reflection: the statue was kept secret for almost one year inside the "Capitolone room", where Veneranda Fabbrica administrators used to meet.

View of the Main Spire and MadonninaVeneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano

Inside the Duomo Museum there are precious testimonies of the creative process that led to the definition of this important artwork.

Copy of the statue of the Madonnina (2014) by Nolana del Giudice FoundryVeneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano

The statue represents the Virgin Mary's Assumption into heaven and was commissioned to the sculptor Giuseppe Perego, who presented to the Veneranda Fabbrica commission three different models.

Bust of the Virgin Mary (1770) by Giuseppe AntignatiVeneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano

From the choosen proposal by Giuseppe Perego, the carver Giuseppe Antignati realized the woden model life-size faithfully representing the figure of the Virgin crowning the Temple.

Inside the Duomo Museum there's the original iron framework of the Madonnina, made by Giovan Battista Varino to support the gilded and embossed copper plates. It was replaced with a stainless steel one in 1967 during important restoration work on the statue.

Internal framework of the statue of the Assumption of Mary (1773) by Giovan Battista VarinoVeneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano

The iron framework and its amazing intertwining let us think about the Madonnina statue from a completely unconventional perspective.

View of the Main RooftopVeneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano

Placed at 108 meters high from the ground, 4.16 meters tall, the Madonnina is made up of 33 gilded and embossed copper plates - forged to the wooden model made by the goldsmith Giuseppe Bini - gilded by Anton Raphael Mengs and fixed on the frame.

View of the internal courtyard connecting Duomo Museum and the Church of San Gottardo in CorteVeneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano

1:1 scale copy of Milan Duomo's Madonnina statue

To mark the occasion of the 2015 Milan Expo, the Veneranda Fabbrica commissioned a copy of the Madonnina statue on 1: 1 scale, so as to allow all the whorshippers and visitors to approach and contemplate this sign of protection.

Copy of the statue of the Madonnina (2014) by Nolana del Giudice FoundryVeneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano

Commissioned to the Nolana Del Giudice Foundry of Naples and realized with the lost-wax casting technique, the scopy is made of gilded bronze an currently exhibited in the courtyard connecting the Church of San Gottardo to the Duomo Museum.

Copy of the statue of the Madonnina, detail (2014) by Nolana del Giudice FoundryVeneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano

It faithfully depicts the original artowork placed on top of the Duomo's Main Spire.

Read more on Milan Cathedral Remixed.

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