a school of art (architecture, stone carving, and painting) in Northern Italy. Lombard architecture developed from the eighth to tenth centuries. The establishment of Christianity as the Lombards’ official religion fostered the rise of an independent school of architecture that played a decisive role in the development of the Romanesque style in Italy.
Lombard church architecture is characterized by a three-aisle basilica with a nonprojecting transept, a crypt (as a result of which the floor of the altar area is higher than the nave), and a freestanding campanile rectangular in plan. Romanesque churches of the Lombard school are marked by the strict rhythmic division of the interior, emphasized by the structurally graphic system of vaulted ceilings, and such structural decorations of the external walls as pilasters, arched friezes, and dwarf galleries. Examples of Lombard churches are Sant’ Ambrogio in Milan (constructed mainly in the 11th and 12th centuries) and San Zeno Maggiore in Verona (12th century).
The art of stone carving flourished in the 12th century, when two-dimensional ornament, permeated by the traditions of the animal style, was abandoned in favor of compositions with greater three-dimensionality that included numerous genre and allegorical motifs conceived in a secular spirit (the work of masters Nicolaus and Benedetto Antelami). In Lombardy, Gothic architecture acquired a distinctive, emphatically static interpretation and Often became purely decorative (Certosa di Pavia, from 1396; Milan Cathedral, begun in 1386). The Renaissance buildings of the Lombard school (architects Filarete, G. Siolari, G. A. Amadeo) were richly decorated; innovative solutions in the handling of interior space were introduced, particularly by Bramante in his early work in Milan.
Lombard trecento and early quattrocento painting, which developed within the framework of the late, or international, Gothic style, is noted for a delicate elegance of form and direct, poetic observations of the real world (particularly noteworthy are the miniature paintings in medical books and herbals, as well as the animal drawings of Giovannino de’ Grassi). Pisanello played an important role in the development of Lombard quattrocento painting.
In the second half of the 15th century, Florentine art and the work of Mantegna particularly influenced Lombard painting. The works of masters of this period were marked by plastic clarity of composition, a softer palette, and an increased interest in chiaroscuro modeling (V. Foppa, II Bergognone, Bramantino, Bramante). During the High Renaissance the impact of Leonardo da Vinci was paramount, with his Milanese pupils creating works permeated by contemplative and sentimental moods (G. A. Boltraffio, B. Luini, Ambrogio de Preda, F. Melzi). In the second quarter of the 16th century, the traditions of the Lombard quattrocento combined with Venetian and northern influences, resulting in the rise of the separate Brescian school. During the 16th century and the baroque period, the inner unity of the Lombard school was lost.
REFERENCESL’arte lombarda. Milan. (Published annually since 1955.)
Kingsley Porter, A. Lombard Architecture, vols. 1-2. New Haven, 1917.
Arslan, E., Architetti e scultori del quattrocento. Como, 1959. (Arte e artisti dei laghi lombardi, I.)
Toesca, P. La pittura e la miniatura nella Lombardia. Turin, 1966.
M. N. SOKOLOV