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  • Gaudenzio Ferrari and the



The heritage left by Gaudenzio is proved by the activity of his apprentices: for example Fermo Stella (active in Piedmont and Lombardy, 1510-1562), born in Caravaggio (BG), to whom are ascribed the fine fresco Head of a Woman Saint (c. 1520-1525) and the table Pietà (c. 1540-1550) realised for the church of Voj, near Fobello in Val Mastallone.

From the ancient chapel of the Flagellation in the Sacro Monte come three pieces of a fresco by Bernardino Lanino from Vercelli (1509/1513-1582/1583), dated between 1543 and 1548, and the wooden statue Christ at the Column credited to the Milan sculptor Giovanni Battista da Corbetta (active in Lombardy 1537-1583).

Lanino also painted the fresco Pentecost and the grotesque, both from the chapel of the Sacro Monte with the name‘super parietem’.
The table Burial of Christ, dated 1556 and credited to an unknown local artist, shows the persistence of the heritage left by Gaudenzio even in the second half of the XVI Century.
A second core of wooden sculptures is related to the activity of anonymous artists active in Eastern Piedmont: from Saint John the Evangelist, to the Madonna of the Rose, still linked to an archaic style, up to the Crucifix coming from Alagna.

The popular translation of the courtesy figurative language is represented by the frescoes of Giovanni De Campo’s shop, due to half of the Fifteenth century and coming from the small Varallese church of San Pietro Martire, and from the later cycle with Stories of Saint Mark’s Life , work of the fresco novarese Daniele De Bosis (active in the late Fifteenth century – early Sixteenth century) and his workshop.

‘Foreigner’ is the Portrait of Charles de Amboise (1504), governor of Milan, by the painter Bernard de’ Conti of the Leonard school, (about 1465 - 1523), a kind of diplomatic ‘icon’ linked to the project of political control of the Sacro Monte by the French government of Milan, so as to imagine that may have been sent to Varallo the year before the trip made by dAmboise in 1505. It is faced with theEx voto Varedo (1508), so called by the name of his donor, one of the many votive tablets that came to the Sacred Mount in ancient times.

To an artistic context not in the Valsesian area, very cultured and closed to the court of the Marchesato of Casale Monferrato, belongs finally the Polytico Scarognino (1485-86), a splendid example of Renaissance painting from the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie of Varallo, whose author should be identified with Francesco Spanzotti, brother of the most famous Giovanni Martino.