Storia dell’arte  | Aprile – Agosto 1973
Arturo Carlo Quintavalle
La Cattedrale di Cremona, Cluny, la scuola di Lanfranco e Wiligelmo
The Cathedral of Cremona has not yet had an architectural restoration and a precise cultura’ arrangement in the context of the sculpture of Northern Italy. The date of foundation, 1107, and the earthquake of 1117 claiming it greatly are the chronological terms of the monument which has had to be studied. Till now and also in Puerari’s latest volume, the chief hypotheses vere two: the first based on the complete or partial reconstruction of the building after the earthquake, the second based on the succession of three monuments from the XIth to the XIIth century, one of the three antecedent to the time of Lanfranco (the architect of the cathedral of Modena), the second of the time of Lanfranco, the last rebuilt after the earthquake of 1117. An attempt was made to conduct an archeological analysis of the building in the schemes added to the text. The cathedral of Cremona previous to the actual one, that is that of the XIth century, has not been archeologically confirmed and therefore the only building that we can restore is that of 1107-1117, probably just finished around 1115, and the modifications of its architetrure which followed after 1129. The primitive building was a flat basilica, with three naves, and a particular type of alternante of supports with columns formed by four hemicolumns or by four parastades. The transversal arches buttressed by correspondent arches which cross the women’s gallery connected on strong supports. This, opened immediately above the smaller naves, was practical and had a floor supported by beams which were found all racked. In its primitive aspect the wornen’s gallery faced onto the nave through quadriforas and pentaforas of which only a few are preserved in the area of the presbitery and towards the front. The apse zone was originally more similar to the correspondent area of Modena; it was covered by a second wall as shown by the stair between two layers of wall in the larger apse where the internal part of the wall has the signs of ladders; also the rectification of the wall corresponding to the connection of the main apse to hide the stairs (before external) is a later work between the beginning and the end of the XIIIth century, as they show also the heads of the columns of the gallery. The front of the cathedral was double level and about it one can lay various hypotheses of reconstruction because of the many transformations suffered afterwards; here there are some individuai original elements preserved in the inferior and in the upper section. The Cremonese building is therefore tied not only architecturally, to a period of the culture in northern Italy very different from the Lombard tradition; for instance in sculpture we find complexe Iinks and relations. The main door has been here recomposed with his doorposts, the architrave and the archivolt; the same can be said of the two minor doors through which we find connections with the so called Master of the branch of Nonantola and through other pieces which can be connected with the Master of San Gemignano (the main author of the door of Princes in the Modena Cathedral). But, above all, we are interested in the connections to the tradition of the Burgundian art, and in particular to the sculptors of the school of Cluny III beginning there with the capitals of the deambulatory and ending with the gable in the façade. Here the analysis discusses some of the problems of the activity in Modena of the Burgundian sculptors and the cultural origins of Wiligelmo. The connections with Cluny which we can verify for Wiligelmo are evident for the Master of the Metope and the other called Master of the Truth and the Fraud always in Modena, possibly both of Burgundian origin. The chronology of the work of these sculptors within he 1115 is confirmed and the group of Cremonese works some of which are also in connection with Burgundy, helps the statement. But the cultural and political meaning of these connections with Burgundy cannot be denied. Fírst of all Cremona and Modena are in the area of influence of Matilde of Canossa, and are to be seen as eponymous monuments, along with some others, from the San Benedetto al Polirone to Nonantola, of a true architectural and plastic school tied to a precise ideology. We cannot forget that the Reformed culture, Cluny, are the key of the papal policy in the north of Italy in alternative to the Empire and Matilde obviously is, the main actor of this politics, At her death in 1115 the larger part of these monuments were concluded and the foliowing artistic generations, that of Nicolò for instance, appear very different. Finally also the distinction between Lanfranco and Wiligelmo culture and Lombard culture can be seen in a different light: ancient tradition and Cluniac Reformed culture.