The Quadroni of St. Charles are two cycles of paintings depicting the life and miracles of St. Charles Borromeo, the first Saint of the Counter-Reformation. These very large paintings (quadroni), approximately five by six metres each, are displayed each November in the Milan Cathedral in honor of St. Charles' name day on November 4. They were also exhibited continuously from November 4, 1999 to November 4, 2000 in honor of the Catholic Jubilee celebrations.
The first cycle was begun in 1602, 26 years after Charles' death, and is the larger of the two. It is known as I fatti della vita del beato Carlo ("The Facts of the Life of Blessed Charles"). It consists of 28 paintings depicting his life, concentrating upon his tenure as Archbishop of Milan. Work on this cycle continued into the late 18th century. The first twenty large paintings, all tempera on canvas, were painted by Il Cerano (4 paintings), Giovanni Mauro della Rovere (Il Fiammenghino) (3), Il Duchino (7), Procaccini (1), Carlo Buzzi (2), Domenico Pellegrini (1), and Morazzone.
The second cycle, I miracoli di San Carlo ("The Miracles of St. Charles"), consists of 24 paintings of Charles' miraculous works and healings. These paintings are smaller than the first set, measuring about 2.4 by 4.4 metres. They were all painted between December 1609 and November 1, 1610, when St. Charles was canonized. These paintings were displayed together with the first cycle for the first time on November 4, 1610 in the Milan Cathedral; the paintings of his miracles could not be displayed until he had been declared a Saint.
Gallery of Selected Works
Miracle of suor Angela A. De Seni by Carlo Buzzi
Miracle of Marina Ferraro by il Duchino
Miracle of Giovanna Marone by il Cerano
Miracle of young Giovanni Tirone by Procaccini
Miracle of Marco Spagnolo by Giorgio Bonola
Miracle of Anna Miskowiki Branika by Paolo Camillo Landriani, known as il Duchino
Carlo Borromeo enters Milan by Filippo Abbiati
- Media related to Quadroni of St. Charles at Wikimedia Commons
- Ernesto Brivio. Vita e miracoli di S. Carlo Borromeo (in Italian)