SOLARI, Guiniforte
(b. 1429, Milano, d. 1481, Milano)

Small cloister

Certosa, Pavia

The vast Certosa (Carthusian monastery) at Pavia was, aside from the Cathedral of Milan itself, the major architectural undertaking of the Visconti and Sforza dukes. The church, where the dukes planned to be buried, was begun in 1396 under Gian Galeazzo Visconti; to assert their legitimacy, the Sforza continued this grand project. Eventually the Gothic architect Giovanni Solari was made head of the project; his son Guiniforte was associated with him in 1459. From the exterior the church is a picturesque agglomeration of superimposed arcades of stone, set in the brick walls so often used in Lombard architecture. While the effect of the whole is Gothic, the details of capitals and arches conform to the new Renaissance style.