I Magistri di Claino con Osteno portarono l’arte nel mondo e resero le nostre valli celebri in tutta Europa.
At the fall of the Roman Empire, the mountaineers of our valleys and lakes were able to preserve the teachings of Romanesque art and joined “guilds” of craftsmen and artists which had become so important that they were already recognized by the barbarians. Between 600 and 700 A.D., the Lombardic kings also officially recognized these brotherhoods giving them the name of “Magistri Comacini and their colleagues”. The artists of Intelvi Valley and Lake Lugano distinguished themselves by using the name “Magistri Antelami”.
Most of the time, the Magistri of Claino con Osteno were in fact qualified: they were engineers, sculptors or stone cutters.
There are very precise and documented testimonies regarding entire families, telling how skills were handed down from father to son, ensuring that this real talent for art ,and the courage to face long and dangerous journeys, left testimonies of their genius all over Europe. In Italy, we can find their works pretty much everywhere, in cities like Rome, Milan and Venice, to mention a few. In Europe, they were active mainly in the north-eastern countries such as Russia, Poland, Slovenia, Lithuania and Germany.
Visiting our villages means going through the artistic history of these emigrants who celebrated their native land by decorating it with frescoes, sculptures and buildings, an indelible testimony of their great value.