BRAMANTE, Donato
(b. 1444, Fermignano, d. 1514, Roma)

Interior view toward choir

1485
Fresco, height of arch 10,6 m
Santa Maria presso San Satiro, Milan

Bramante started as a painter of considerable creativity and first appears as an architect in Milan in 1485, when he undertook the rebuilding of Santa Maria presso San Satiro. In this interior view the choir seems to stretch for three bays beyond the crossing, under a barrel vault matching that of the nave, but the space that we see here does not exist. A street directly behind the plot prevented Bramante from building a choir, so he was forced, in a triumph of Renaissance art of deceit, to create this illusion. The effect is the result of carefully calculated decoration on a flat wall; the actual depth is only about a meter.