Via Valpetrosa 5, 20123 Milano


The essay is focused on the riconsideration of the buildings constructed at the end of the XVth century in the block developed around the Santo Sepolcro’s church in Milan by wealthy merchants mainly rooted in the ancient parish of San Sebastiano. Specially attention is given at the so-called “Casa dei Grifi” in via Valpetrosa 5, renovated «ad antiquum» around 1496 by Andrea Ghisolfi, as certifying a document on the supply of construction materials. In this small palace still survives the original Renaissance court with three porticoed sides decorated all around by eight stone medallions carved with Caesars heads, that combines traditional forms in private milanese architectural of the late XVth century and bramantesque elements. The restoration of the house can be placed in general renewal of the capital of the Duchy promoted by Ludovico il Moro with the “Decretum in favorem volentium laute hedificare” (1493). The same is for the so-called “Palazzo Castani” in Piazza San Sepolcro 9, constructed before 1495 by Gabriele Venzago called della Fontana, a rich merchant who promoted also the restoration of a fountain in Sant’Eustorgio monastery (1481) and the erection of the Santa Maria della Rosa church (1479-1493). The building is one of the milanese architectures closest to the Bramante's inventions: the elegant architectural solutions employed in the mansion, both in the sober portal and in the courtyard, anticipate the ones adopted in the classic architecture of the early sixteenth century.