When the troops left, the paint was in terrible conditions. Almost impossible to recognize, covered under several layers of dust and dirt.
It was a very hard job to bring it back to its original state. Several restorations weren’t enough though to secure its survival.
During second world War, Milan was theater of battles and the city suffered several aerial bombing. One of which hit the church, destroying part of it, but leaving untouched the opera from Leonardo.
Today is finally receiving proper care and protection and it can be visited only reserving a spot in advance and for a limited period of time, and only in small groups.
The work is presumed to have been started around 1495–96 and was commissioned as part of a plan of renovations to the church and its convent buildings by Leonardo’s patron Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan
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