HISTORICAL FIGURES AND QUOTES
Johann Christian BACH
(Leipzig, September 5th, 1735 - London, January 1st, 1782)
Eleventh son of Johann Sebastian Bach. He is considered one of the greatest composers of his time. He is sometimes referred to as "the London Bach" or "the English Bach", due to his time spent living in the British capital, where he came to be known as John Bach. He is noted for influencing the concerto style of Mozart.
After completing his studies, in 1754 he went to Milan, where in 1760 he became second organist of the cathedral and wrote two Masses, a Requiem and other works. His stay at Villa Litta dates back around those years as the music teacher for the Litta family and lived under the Count Agostino Litta’s wing.
He left Milan for London in 1762, where he lived until his death in 1782.
STENDHAL, Marie Henri Beyle
(Grenoble 1783-Parigi 1842)
ROME, NAPLES and FLORENCE, in 1817
Parigi 1817 (consulted edition: Bari, Laterza, 1974), p. 15
"Leinate, un giardino pieno di elementi architettonici, di proprietà del Duca Litta, mi è piaciuto … Conviene guardarsi bene dal passeggiare soli a Leinate; il giardino è pieno di getti d'acqua fatti apposta per inzuppare gli spettatori.
Posando il piede sul primo gradino di una certa scala, sei getti d'acqua mi sono schizzati tra le gambe".
"I loved Lainate, a garden full of architectural elements, property of the Duke Litta.... be careful while walking alone around Lainate: the garden is full of water spirts made to wet the visitors. Standing on the first step of a particular stair, six water spirts wet me between my legs."
(Milan, June 15, 1775 - Milan, Jan. 5, 1821)
Son of Giuseppe Porta and Violante Gottieri. He was born in Milan under Austrian domination and is considered Milan’s greatest poet.
Carlo Porta’s greatest poetic season begins in 1812 with the “Desgrazzi de Giovannin Bongee”. From this work onward and until the end of his life the poet will produce with great consistency and quality.
He died in his hometown January 5th, 1821.
(Zakynthos, February 6th, 1778 - London, September 10th, 1827)
Italian poet and writer, one of the leading literary figures of the pre-Romanticism and Neoclassicism.
Foscolo was one of the most important exponents of Italian literature at the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Like many intellectuals of his time, he felt drawn by the beautiful pictures of Hellas, symbol of harmony and virtue, in which his rationalism and his titanic romantic mold dissolve into images of serene neoclassical composure. He returned in 1813 for a short time to live in Italy and in the Lombard-Venetian area and left early for a new voluntary exile and died in poverty a few years later in London.
It is said that during his stay at Villa Borromeo Visconti Litta, he surprised his lover, Antonietta Fagnani Arese, in the arms of another man and punished her with "scudisciate sulle gentil terga" – whippings on her behind, as we know from the novel “Cento Anni” (One Hundred Years) of Giuseppe Rovani.
Cesare CANTU '
(Brivio, 1804 - Milan 1895) historian, scholar and Italian politician
HISTORY OF MILAN AND ITS PROVINCE
Milan, 1857, vol. 1, p. 616
"Per amena stradicciula, dopo due miglia, lasciando a destra Passirana presso il Lura, giungi a Lainate, situato fra il Lura e il Buzzente, e il cui territorio è attraversato dal cavo Diotti. Questo paese trae fama dalla principesca villa, cominciata dagli Arese, sul principiare del 1600 a disegno di Francesco Brambilla, proseguita dai Visconti, poi dai loro eredi duchi Litta. Il palazzo, non compiuto, è ornato di pregevoli quadri, fra cui un S. Paolo di Daniele Crespi. Vastissimo è il giardino, diviso in quattro grandi scomparti: il primo, destinate alle stufe ed ai parterri, e al centro un bacino ornato di otto statue, e di altrettanti gruppi di puttini che gettano acqua.
Delle stufe, quella degli ananas fu da alcuni anni costrutta con tutte le diligenze che richieggono così fatti edificj. Nel secondo, offre graziosa ombra un boschetto, donde si passa al frutteto, in mezzo a cui è un gruppo colossale di tritoni, che versano acqua nel sottoposto bacino, e sorreggono un Nettuno. Segue nel terzo un ricinto, consacrato alle feste villerecce, ové un Adone di Marcantonio Prestinari. Indi per una selvetta s'entra nel palazzo delle fontane, luogo fabbricato rettangolare, dimezzato da una rotonda, su cui s'innalza un maestoso terrazzo con due bracci sporgenti. Prestigioso è l'aspetto di questo palazzo, massime quando se ne veda zampillar l'acqua da ogni parte e in lunghi scrosci, o in minutissima pioggia. Statue di bronzo, di marmo, di plastica fra le quali ce n'è di colossali, bassorilievi, busti, puttini, ne fregiano le due fronti e le ale, ove in ampie sale, incrostate di mosaico, sono raccolte anticaglie, produzioni naturale e scolture.
Ultime vengono le grotte, molteplici andirivieni tappezzati di tufo, che apprestano amabile frescura, e presentano effetti singolari d'ombre e di luci."
In this quotation the author describes the palace as it was in 1800. He begins with the history of the Villa, designed by Francesco Brambilla. It was inherited by the Visconti Family and then by the Litta Family. At the time the author was writing in the Villa there was a painting of Daniele Crespi (The conversion of Saint Paul). Afterwards he focuses on the gardens, that were divided into four sections: in the first there were the greenhouses used to recover pineapples, in the middle of this section there was a fountain with high statues and groups of little angels (he was describing Galatea's Fountain). In the second section there is a small wood, from where you reach a grove that has another fountain decorated with tritons and Neptune in its middle. In the third section there is a fence and in there you can find a statue of Adone made by Marcantonio Prestinari. Always going through the wood you can reach the Water Palace; it has a rectangular shape, and it is splitted in half by a round space. The author says that the water comes out from everywhere. There are statues in bronze and marble, bas-reliefs, little angels and busts that decorate the two facades. Inside, the rooms are covered by mosaics and there are also spaces decorated with sandstone that look like grottoes that created particular light effects.