Name for the workers as sculptors, stone-cutters and architects coming from the area of Campione, of Lugano and more in general from the Lombard lakes, who worked in various Italian regions and in Switzerland between the second half of the twelfth and the end of the fourteenth century
ISIDORO BIANCHI (Campione d'Italia 1581-1662)
Famous painter above for his activity of fresco painter, he practised in all the Lombardy and in various prestigious residences of Savoy in Piedmont. He was strongly influenced by the collaboration of the Morazzone, but also by the painting of Zuccai. He was well-known also as stucco-worker, arranger of commemorative sets and as an architect-engineer. In 1605 he is documented in Prague, the following year in Viggiù, then you do not know anything about him until 1617 when he is at work in Turin . His best work is the Sanctuary of Santa Maria dei Ghirli in Campione. He is well-known mainly as a painter of big frescoes: religious ones in Lombardy (Como, San Fedele; Milan, Saint Ambrose, Monza, Cathedral, Campione, Santa Maria dei Ghirli), historical ones at the construction sites of Savoy, where he comes after the Morazzone and works with his own sons Francesco and Pompeo. He is active in the season of Vittorio Amedeo I and during the Regency of Cristina of France, he is appointed court painter and knight of the order of Saints Maurizio and Lazzaro (1634).
ANSELMO from CAMPIONE (1160 - beginning of the thirteenth century)
He was probably trained in Arles and he worked in the factory of Modena cathedral, which was the first activity centre of the Masters of Campione. The transept (about 1160), the so-called quay (1170) of the church and the outlines which decorate the entry arch to the crypt are ascribed to him.
ARRIGO I from CAMPIONE (about 1220 - 1270)
Anselmo's nephew, he worked as architect and sculptor in the construction site of Modena cathedral.
BONINO from CAMPIONE, active between 1350 and 1397
At the beginnings he probably worked in the retinue of Giovanni from Campione. He created the funeral monument of Folchino de'Schizzi (1357) and St. Omobono's tomb in Cremona Cathedral (lost at present), the equestrian statue of Bernabo' Visconti, ended in 1363 (now it is in Milan, at the Ancient Art Museum of the Castello Sforzesco), and the ark of Cansignorio of the Scala (1375) in Verona. According to some style comparisons various other works are ascribed to him, the tomb of the bishop Balduino Lambertini (1349) in the old cathedral of Brescia and the mausoleum of Stefano and Valentina Visconti at St.Eustorgio in Milan (1359).
GIACOMO from CAMPIONE
He was active for the factory at the Cathedral of Milan from 1387 to 1391, he made the pointed portal of the northern sacristy (1390); in 1396 he took part in the laying of the foundation stone of the Chartreuse of Pavia.
UGO from CAMPIONE (1308-1353)
He created some Virtues of Bergamo baptistery and the figures which decorate the jambs of the northern portal of the nearby Santa Maria Maggiore (1351), carried out with his son Giovanni.Ugo is also the author of the sepulchre of the cardinal Guglielmo de Longis at Santa Maria Maggiore in Bergamo (1313) and of Guiscardo Lanzi's tomb (at present lost). His son Giovanni, active from 1348 to 1360, worked mainly in Bergamo; in the baptistery he created some reliefs concerning the histories of the Passion, characterized by an incisive modelling; at Santa Maria Maggiore he made at first the equestrian statue of St. Alessandro for the northern porch (1354), then the southern porch (1360). In 1348 he worked at the parish of Bellano.
MARCO FRISONE from CAMPIONE
Active sculptor, architect and engineer in 1387-90 - he worked for Milan Cathedral, as Lorenzo degli Spazi (mentioned 1391-1402), who was besides at the head of the construction site of Como Cathedral from 1396 to 1402. In chronological order Marco has been the first architect of Milan Cathedral you have ever known.
He appears as master and engineer in 1387 and at that time he prevailed Simone from Orsenigo and he became the main performer of the drawing.
You have argued for a long time over the person who had given the drawing of the cathedral; someone asserts Simone from Orsenigo, but the most probable opinion advanced by most historians ascribes it to Marco from Campione.
It is odd that you do not know any of his works, besides the Cathedral, but it is not established that the drawing of the big bridge on the Ticino in Pavia was his, and it is not established that he was architect at Crema Cathedral towards the half of the fourteenth century.
He died July 10th 1390, near the Ave Maria of the morning and his body was buried in the church of St.Tecla, where it was forbidden to bury the corpses except for distinguished families.
(THE MASTERS OF CAMPIONE -Prof. Salvatore Boffa- Milan 1898)
MATTEO from CAMPIONE 13 -1396
It is one of the most famous artists, even the best among the Masters of Campione. He was not a permanent engineer at Milan Cathedral, he was extraordinarily called in order to take part in a meeting January the 6th 1390, the day of Frisone's death. The head of the factory of the Cathedral wrote to Matteo, engineer in Monza, inviting him to succeed his dead compatriot: but he preferred to devote himself to a humbler but not less nice work in the cathedral of Monza.
He has been called in Monza since the half of the fourteenth century, and here he had conceived the façade of the ancient St. Giovanni Temple, which is without denial one of the wonderful jewels of the Italian architecture in the fourteenth century. He has worked for 25 years in the cathedral of Monza, whose works began at the expense and by order of Matteo Magno Visconti.
He composed and sculpted the marble baptistery, famous for its perfection and elegance, unfortunately, because of the religious dissents, the time and the uproars in that holy temple spoilt it in order not to leave even the traces.
The pulpit, a prestigious work of art which can compete with similar works carried out at that time in Tuscany, held out, but it has been turned into a gallery for singers, thanks to Matteo it gets bigger and it exceeds every other architect of that time, when the eye rests and the mind reflects on the wonderful façade of San Giovanni. It is a really great work, where in a pretty and funny harmony, theGothic style tempers with the Arabian and the Byzantine one, without confusion, without incongruities, but with simplicity and naturalness. Certainly Matteo contributed to the rebuilding of all the cathedral of Monza, otherwise the title of great master given to him by the contemporaries should be inexplicable. Calvi asserts that Matteo is the author of the monument to Bernabò Visconti, erected in the Church of San Giovanni Conca, which now is at the Archeological Museum of Brera and that by other historians should be probably attributed to Bonino.
Matteo died in Monza May 24th 1396 and wanted to be buried in the church, to whose artistic beauty he had dedicated the spark of his genius. In the place where there was his tomb, that now has disappeared, you still read the following epitaph: "Here lies the great manufacturer, devoted master Matteo from Campione, who built the Façade, the Pulpit and the Baptistery of this well-deserved Church". The tradition indicated and the people looked always at the portray of Matteo in a stiff and thoughtful figure, sculpted in the marble, which is on the point of the arch of the big mullioned window.
Any documents have denied this tradition, which would be ratified by the habit of that time that the artists would rest in some figures or statues of their works.