ZACCAGNI, Bernardino
(b. ca. 1460, Rivalta, d. 1530, Parma)

View of the dome and the apses

Madonna della Steccata, Parma

The building was designed by Bernardino Zaccagni. It's no coincidence that Leonardo-style touches can be found in it. Indeed, we know of studies that Leonardo did for circular-plan buildings; these were illustrated in several sketches that are very similar in appearance to the church of Madonna della Steccata. It is well known that Leonardo stayed in Parma in 1514. The relationship is also known between Leonardo and Giuliano de'Medici, who was at that time Governor of Parma. It is possible (although not documented) that Medici commissioned Leonardo to provide a draft plan of the new church.

The design of the building can be linked also to Bramante. It is thought that the Steccata repeats an early design that the artist made for St. Peter's in Rome. Even if that is not the case, many believe that he had some influence on the process of building this church.