The Duomo of Milan, majestic and captivating, is one of Italy’s most iconic buildings. Its facade, covered with an intricate mosaic of statues, spires, and Gothic arches, is a real architectural masterpiece. In 1998, the renowned photographer Thomas Struth immortalized its grandeur in an image that still fascinates and captivates viewers, inviting them to explore its details ever deeper.

Struth’s photograph evidences his refined technique and artistic sensitivity. The colors are natural and vivid, the composition is impeccable, centered on the cathedral facade, and showcasing its details with extreme clarity. Vertical and horizontal lines blend harmoniously, creating a visual balance that captures the viewer’s gaze. The chosen perspective adds depth to the image, making the observer feel immersed in the heart of Piazza Duomo in Milan.

Struth’s photographic style is well-defined and emanates an anthropocentric view of reality. The artist has skillfully captured the unique atmosphere of Milan, encompassing in a single frame the timeless grandeur of one of the city’s symbols, along with the liveliness of its inhabitants and tourists who populate these spaces every day. This photograph goes beyond mere representation of the subject and invites the viewer to reflect on the history and culture that surround it. The Duomo of Milan stands as a silent witness to centuries of history, epochal events, and everyday life moments, and Struth’s image captures its essence.

Duomo di Milano (facciata) has the ability, characteristic of Struth’s style, to change the viewer’s passive attitude: every detail – the intricate sculptures, the interplay of light and shadows on the stone, the human crowd visiting the cathedral or simply resting on its steps – creates an illusion for the viewer, who become a participant in this scene.
Thus, a parallelism that connects the people looking at the cathedral with those looking at the photograph is formed; a sort of game of perspectives, of identification, blending subject and object, viewer and artwork.


Thomas Struth
Duomo di Milano (facciata), 1998
Chromogenic print on paper, 135,5 x 160,7 cm
© Thomas Struth – Città metropolitana di Milano / Museo di Fotografia Contemporanea, Milano-Cinisello Balsamo
The artwork is part of the group exhibition “L’Italia è un desiderio. Fotografie, paesaggi e visioni 1842 – 2022. Le Collezioni Alinari e Mufoco”.
Scuderie del Quirinale, via XXIV Maggio 16, Roma
From July 1st to September 3rd
Curated by Matteo Balduzzi (Mufoco) and Rita Scartoni (Fondazione Alinari)