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Archive of Historic Drawings

The story of most of the drawings related to the Duomo is unique: the majority of them have been lost over time, even though the regulations of the Fabbrica required deputies to properly conserve all material, drawings, and models that from time to time were produced. As a result, the great number of projects related to the Duomo, mostly before the 19th century and executed by famous architects and artists over the centuries, are conserved elsewhere. However, the Archive is still home to important documents like proposals by Vanvitelli, Leopoldo Pollak, Felice Soave, and others.

The group of approximately 1,300 drawings, previously held in various offices and storage, has been united in recent years in order to keep them under the best conditions for conservation. They include an important number of projects presented at the end of the 1800s by internationally recognised artists for the competition to design the Duomo’s facade. In addition to architectural drawings, there are also sketches of windows, doors, and statues as proposed by various artists.

The pre-19th century architectural drawings conserved at the Fabbrica, together with those held at other archives or national and international institutions, have been inventoried and studied by the Politecnico di Milano for the Disegni Duomo Milano project. The project will be presented by the Veneranda Fabbrica in June 2016.