Palazzo Archinto

The palazzo of the Archinto family is on Via Olmetto, near Porta Ticinese, one of the oldest parts of Milan. Its origins can be traced back to the fifteenth century. After first belonging to the Visconti and Stampa families, the palazzo passed on to the Archinto, when Camilla Stampa and Filippo Archinto moved in after their marriage, in 1674. Filippo enlarged the palazzo, and his son Carlo commissioned the frescoes by Tiepolo and Vittorio Maria Bigari that decorated eight of the main rooms on the palazzo’s principal floor, or piano nobile. The palazzo belonged to the Archinto for more than a century, until 1825, when it was sold. In 1853, it was purchased by the Luoghi Pii Elemosinieri, a charitable institution (now called the Azienda di Servizi alla Persona Golgi-Redaelli) that still owns it. Between 1955 and 1967, the interior of the palazzo was rebuilt, following the general lines of its previous architectural form. The art collection assembled by the Archinto family and displayed in the palazzo was dispersed in sales in 1862–63, after the death of Carlo’s great-grandson Giuseppe Archinto who had left the family finances in a ruinous state.
  • Photograph of the facade of Palazzo Archinto

    Vincenzo Aragozzini (act. early to mid-20th century)
    Facade of Palazzo Archinto, 1934
    11 3/8 × 9 1/8 in. (289 × 232 mm)
    Azienda di Servizi alla Persona Golgi-Redaelli, Milan
    su autorizzazione dell'Azienda di Servizi alla Persona Golgi-Redaelli di Milano

     

    For the most part, the exterior of Palazzo Archinto appears today as it did in the seventeenth-century. The somber architecture, with the main portal on Via Olmetto, is typical of the design of seventeenth-century Milanese palazzos.

  • Photograph of an interior courtyard.

    Unknown photographer
    First courtyard of Palazzo Archinto, ca. 1920
    5 × 11 5/8 in. (126 × 294 mm)
    Azienda di Servizi alla Persona Golgi-Redaelli, Milan
    su autorizzazione dell'Azienda di Servizi alla Persona Golgi-Redaelli di Milano

     
  • Photograph of an interior courtyard.

    Vincenzo Aragozzini (act. early to mid-20th century)
    First courtyard of Palazzo Archinto, 1934
    9 1/8 × 11 3/8 in. (232 × 288 mm)
    Azienda di Servizi alla Persona Golgi-Redaelli, Milan
    su autorizzazione dell'Azienda di Servizi alla Persona Golgi-Redaelli di Milano

     

    Palazzo Archinto has two large consecutive internal courtyards, around which its rooms are arranged. The main staircase, which leads to the piano nobile, is located to the side of this first courtyard.

  • Photograph of a courtyard, as seen from a second story.

    Vincenzo Aragozzini (act. early to mid-20th century)
    View of the courtyards of Palazzo Archinto, 1934
    9 1/8 × 11 3/8 in. (231 × 288 mm)
    Azienda di Servizi alla Persona Golgi-Redaelli, Milan
    su autorizzazione dell'Azienda di Servizi alla Persona Golgi-Redaelli di Milano

     

    The second courtyard leads to the internal garden. A series of courtyards culminating in a garden was a common feature of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Milanese palazzos. The balcony over the second courtyard's arcade connected the family's rooms to the library.

  • A print depicting two allegorical female figures, one seated and one standing, adjacent a monument to Saint Mark.

    Francesco Zucchi (1672–1750) after Giambattista Tiepolo (1696–1770)
    Allegory of Peace and Justice Paying Homage to the Lion of St. Mark
    From Ludovico Antonio Muratori, Rerum Italicarum Scriptores (Milan, 1723–51), frontispiece for vol. 12
    Columbia University Libraries, Columbia University in the City of New York

     

    Muratori's Rerum Italicarum Scriptores is a twenty-five volume compilation of Italian historical sources, most of which date to the Middle Ages.  Among those from whom the Società Palatina secured  financial support for the project was the Republic of Venice, which through the agency of its ambassador in Milan, Giacomo Busenello, sponsored volume 12, on Venetian history. Tiepolo designed the frontispiece, in which allegorical figures of Justice (with a sword and weight scale) and Peace (with a laurel branch) flank the lion of St. Mark, symbol of Venice. Other volumes of the Rerum Italicarum Scriptores were supported by the republics of Genoa and Lucca.

  • Photograph of a damaged building.

    Unknown photographer
    Palazzo Archinto after bombing in August 1943, 1948
    6 7/8 × 9 1/4 in. (175 × 235 mm)
    Azienda di Servizi alla Persona Golgi-Redaelli, Milan
    su autorizzazione dell'Azienda di Servizi alla Persona Golgi-Redaelli di Milano

     

    After the bombing in August 1943, Palazzo Archinto remained abandoned and in ruins for a number of years. It was rebuilt between 1955 and 1967. Though the interiors of the palazzo were devastated by the bombing, photographs taken in the 1940s show that the overall architectural structure remained intact.

  • Photograph of a damaged building and tower.

    Unknown photographer
    Palazzo Archinto after bombing in August 1943, 1948
    9 1/4 × 6 7/8 in. (235 × 174 mm)
    Azienda di Servizi alla Persona Golgi-Redaelli, Milan
    su autorizzazione dell'Azienda di Servizi alla Persona Golgi-Redaelli di Milano

     
  • Photograph of the interior of a damaged building.

    Antonio Paoletti (1881–1946)
    Palazzo Archinto after bombing in August 1943; interior spaces, 1945
    9 1/4 × 6 7/8 in. (235 × 175 mm)
    Azienda di Servizi alla Persona Golgi-Redaelli, Milan
    su autorizzazione dell'Azienda di Servizi alla Persona Golgi-Redaelli di Milano

     
  • Photograph of the interior of a damaged building.

    Antonio Paoletti (1881–1946)
    Palazzo Archinto after bombing in August 1943; interior spaces, 1945
    9 1/4 × 6 7/8 in. (235 × 175 mm)
    Azienda di Servizi alla Persona Golgi-Redaelli, Milan
    su autorizzazione dell'Azienda di Servizi alla Persona Golgi-Redaelli di Milano

     
  • Photograph of the exterior of a damaged building.

    Unknown photographer
    Palazzo Archinto after bombing in August 1943, 1948
    6 3/4 × 9 1/4 in. (173 × 235 mm)
    Azienda di Servizi alla Persona Golgi-Redaelli, Milan
    su autorizzazione dell'Azienda di Servizi alla Persona Golgi-Redaelli di Milano