The Painting Collection and Artworks

The artistic heritage of ASP Golgi-Redaelli consists of over one hundred paintings, sculptures and pieces of art that were mainly commissioned over the centuries by the Luoghi Pii Elemosinieri, or almoners’ charity houses, and other associations that from the eighteenth century onwards succeeded them, namely the Amministrazione e la Direzione dei Luoghi Pii Elemosinieri, the Congregazione di Carità, and Eca (the administration and management of almoners’ charity houses, the congregation of charity and the city council welfare board).

The core of this artistic heritage is the painting collection, made up of portraits of the benefactors, both oil on canvas paintings and marble busts, which were carried out as a sign of gratitude according to Lombard tradition by artists working in Milan between the seventeenth and twentieth century. The main artists were Agostino Santagostino, Giuseppe Sogni, Carlo Picozzi, Mauro Conconi, Giuseppe Bertini, Eleuterio Pagliano, Amero Cagnoni, Giuseppe Barbaglia, Emilio Magistretti, Riccardo Galli, Giuseppe Amisani and Umberto Lilloni; and among the sculptors were Pasquale Miglioretti, Giosuè Argenti and Donato Barcaglia.

To these portrayals of the most generous benefactors can be added sacred art paintings and sculptures, such as the oratory altarpiece of the Luogo Pio delle Quattro Marie (Four Marys charity house) by Ercole Procaccini the Younger (1650), and other artworks such as John the Baptist by Giuseppe Vermiglio (1620-1625), which have mainly come from old sanctuaries and are most likely to have been handed down by way of inheritance. The two masterpieces of the collection, the Gothic stone sculpture of the Madonna and Child, attributed to Master of Sculptures of Viboldone, and the wooden Renaissance Nativity attributed to Master of Tognano, have temporarily been entrusted to Sforzesco Castle, Milan.

The Madonna and Child, which had been part of one of Milan’s City Gates, most probably Porta Comasina, was preserved in the oratory of San Rocco in Riozzo in the Cerro al Lambro district. The Nativity instead is from the oratory of San Giuseppe in Trognano, in the Bascapè district. These two small churches are still connected today to the manor houses of farms belonging to the Organisation, and to this day some farms still preserve relevant historical-artistic traces. The Saint Lawrence oratory in Cantalupo (San Giuliano Milanese), for example, features frescoes by Giovanni Battista Sassi (ca. 1749), who also painted the altarpiece depicting the Madonna and Child adored by St Lawrence and St Charles, which at one time hung above the church’s altar but has since been relocated to Palazzo Archinto in Via Olmetto.

A small group of fine funerary sculptures dedicated by the Congregazione di Carità (congregation of charity) to its main benefactors is also part of the artistic heritage owned by the Organisation. Located in Milan at the Cimitero Monumentale (Monumentale Cemetery), they bear the signature of sculptors Pietro Fumeo, Giosuè Argenti, Donato Barcaglia, Emilio Magoni and Alessandro Laforet.