Sul primo impianto della chiesa abbaziale di Chiaravalle Milanese

Author: Luigi Carlo Schiavi

About the First Architectural System of the Abbey Church of Chiaravalle Milanese

The research on the Abbey of Chiaravalle di Fiastra in Marche’s district – published in 1978 by Antonio Cadei – is a prime essay in the Italian historiography pertaining to the subject of Cistercian architecture studies.
It was a quintessential archeological analysis of the monument, defining both the building sequence and the chronology of the fabbrica; but above all it confirmed Angiola Maria Romanini’s intuitions concerning the diffusion of a «Bernardian» architectural system in the earliest Italian foundations of Clairvaux.
Since then, there was no continuity in the studies dedicated to this topic, and the Lombard abbeys have been especially disregarded for a long time. Some years ago, the University of Pavia inaugurated an analysis of Cerreto Lodigiano, soon followed by Chiaravalle Milanese – the first and foremost of Bernard’s Italian foundation, only investigated in the past in relation to the important 14th century frescoes of the crossing tower.
According to the studies set out hereafter, Chiaravalle presents the unmistakable evidences of an earlier project (1135-1150) consistent with the Burgundian Cistercian models of the same period, as well as a close correlation – pertaining to the building site – with the filiation of Cerreto Lodigiano that grew up concurrently for at least one decade.