Bergamo’s beautiful upper town, the Città Alta (pictured above), is a magical place well worth visiting. Use this website to help you plan your trip to Bergamo in Northern Italy and find your way to some of the other lovely towns and villages in Lombardia that are perhaps less well known to tourists.


Remembering artist Giovanni Paolo Cavagna

Prolific painter left a rich legacy of religious works in Bergamo

Frescoes by Giovanni Paolo Cavagna  illuminate the dome of Santa Maria Maggiore
Frescoes by Giovanni Paolo Cavagna 
illuminate the dome of Santa Maria Maggiore
Late Renaissance painter Giovanni Paolo Cavagna, who became famous for his religious works of art, died 396 years ago today in his native city of Bergamo.

Cavagna was mainly active in Bergamo and Brescia, for most of his career, although he is believed to have spent some time training in Venice in the studio of Titian.

The artist was born in Borgo San Leonardo in the Città Bassa in about 1550. The painter Cristoforo Baschenis Il Vecchio is believed to have taken him as an apprentice from the age of 12. Cavagna is also thought to have spent time as a pupil of the famous Bergamo portrait painter Giovanni Battista Moroni.

Cavagna’s work can still be seen in many churches in Bergamo and villages in the surrounding area. In the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in the Città Alta there are paintings by him of the Assumption of the Virgin, the Nativity, and Esther and Ahasuerus.

The Church of Santa Spirito in the  Città Bassa has works by Cavagna
The Church of Santa Spirito in the
 Città Bassa has works by Cavagna
In the Church of Santa Spirito in the Città Bassa, there are his paintings of Santa Lucia and the Crucifixion with Saints. He painted a Coronation of the Virgin for the Church of San Giovanni Battista in the province of Casnigo, which is to the north east of Bergamo, and some of his paintings can also be seen in the sanctuary of the Madonna del Castello in Almenno San Salvatore, a province to the north west of Bergamo.

The artist also completed a painting of the Crucifixion for the Church of Santa Lucia in Venice.

Cavagna’s son, Francesco, who became known as Cavagnuola, and his daughter, Caterina, also became painters.

After his death in Bergamo in 1627, Cavagna was buried in the Church of Santa Maria Immacolata delle Grazie in the Città Bassa, but after the reorganization of the lower town in the 19th century, the church was rebuilt and Cavagna’s tomb had to be moved, and it is now uncertain what happened to it.

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