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Polittico di San Martino

Arte & Culto

Treviglio, Bergamo, Italy

Polittico di San Martino
  • Indoor

  • Art and Worship


Treviglio, Bergamo, Italy

Lighting designer

Studio Switch


Pound Shaper, Pound track, Pound Focus, Pound BS, INK System, Joshua


Andrea Martiradonna



Polittico di San Martino

The lighting project for the 'Polittico di San Martino' Polyptych of San Martino, a late Gothic masterpiece from Lombardy created by Bernardo Zenale and Bernardino Butinone between 1485 and 1505, located in the Basilica of San Martino in Treviglio (BG), was carefully designed by Studio Switch and lit thanks to solutions provided by Linea Light Group.

Hi-res images


The advanced technical solutions provided by Linea Light Group effectively addressed the requirements outlined by Studio Switch. The lighting system dedicated to the Sala del Polittico features two lines of projectors. 



The ‘first line’ is integrated and discreetly concealed within a base structure (bollard) to illuminate the lower half of the work, while the ‘second line’ illuminates the upper half, powered by a single track housed on the central chain of the 6.6 metre high room. 

The bollard - originally positioned as a ‘security system’ for the work - also proved to be an ideal housing for the light fixtures placed inside the cover casing, 3 Pound Shapers and 6 Pound projectors with diffuse filter. 

Paolo De Bellis and Stefano Bragonzi, co-founders of Studio Switch, comment on the problems they had to face: ‘The project encountered several challenges, stemming from the architectural constraints and the predominant shades of gold in the work of art, which had to be enhanced while maintaining the balance with the various colours. Given the size of the Polyptych, being able to adapt to the reduced distance between the possible position of the projectors and the object to be illuminated was perhaps the greatest difficulty.  Dealing with these constraints by identifying the most suitable luminaires proved complex. The solution was to choose luminaires that would help the storytelling, with the use of a mix of contoured and diffuse lighting’.

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The solutions housed inside the structure, however, did not have sufficient power to illuminate the entire work - from bottom to top - so for the illumination of the upper part of the boards it was decided to create a ‘second line’ and to work on a tie-rod placed at a height of 6.5 metres: the solutions, 7 Pound Shaper profilers and 4 Pound projectors equipped with a diffused filter, were in fact arranged on a three-phase track fixed on the tie-rod and the DALI-controlled bodies work at an ‘anomalous’ angle of incidence: the result, a mix of profiled and diffused light.

Ten Pound Shaper profilers, seven positioned above and three below, and ten Pound diffused optics projectors, four above and six below, illuminate the Polyptych, each with an adjustable beam angle to control light distribution and comply with regulatory standards. The selected warm white light source with a colour temperature of 3000 K and a colour rendering index of 98 ensures optimal colour reproduction, with a colour tolerance of 2 SdCM.

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Constraints and solutions 

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Obligatory positions and difficulties on the reduction of offensive volumes. Preponderant gold crushed the ‘pastel’ colours of the work.


Choice of a lighting fixture to aid storytelling and use of a light mix of contoured and diffuse lighting.
The aim is to dialogue with the audio/video guidance system through the DALI management system.

The 'Sala del Polittico' (Polyptych Hall) is ideally divided in two by a central arched structure; although single, the two distinct environments are clearly perceived, also thanks to the lighting solutions adopted. On one side, the actual Polyptych; on the other, an area in front of it that - with the audio/video system inactive - welcomes visitors with Pound projectors with diffused light aimed at restoring a welcoming ambient effect, combined with the lighting of the 'Polittico' Polyptych dimmed to 10%. When the actual visit begins, the aforementioned audio/video system provides an engaging and exciting experience, allowing for a dynamic enjoyment of the work. The different cycles of switching on, switching off and managing the light, controlled in DALI, together with the projections and the engaging narrative, metaphorically capture the scene: during the visit, in fact, the lights in the area in front of the Polyptych are switched off.

Profiled projection

‘Let's say that the approach to this project was to have as much flexibility as possible,’ say the lighting designers of Studio Switch. ‘The demands were many: we needed a light that would accentuate the narrative of this Polyptych and its grandeur. The work is actually divided into several panels that had to be narrated one by one, through light. In addition, we also had to show the entire architecture of the Polyptych in its splendour. So if we had only used a profiled light, we would have excluded the parts of architectural decoration, because in its own small way the Polyptych is an architecture.’

Videoilluminazionepolittico Confasciluce

Diffuse projection

‘If instead we had only used more diffuse lights, we would not have fulfilled the request to have the profiling of each individual board. The mix of both types of projectors then led us to dialogue with the audio/video guide system and provide the flexibility that the client was looking for. The result was to have two overlapping light layers: a very light layer with a softer light that illuminates the whole Polyptych, and then an overlapping layer that allows us to admire the details on each individual panel within the Polyptych’.

Videoilluminazionepolittico Diffusa

The lighting design work carried out by Studio Switch also involved other important areas that make up the entire exhibition space of ‘La Porta del Cielo’: a true museum itinerary that includes, in addition to the Basilica of San Martino in its entire majesty and the already mentioned Polyptych Room, also the Confratelli Room and the Sagrestia Aquilonare.

Leaving the Sala del Polittico, a corridor with a beamed vault beautifully illuminated by the subtle Ink System stretched profile leads us to the surprising and unexpected Sagrestia Aquilonare, while along the staircase leading to the Sala dei Confratelli above, we find the Pound_BS base projectors. The latter Hall is used as a museum proper with precious statues and sculptural groups in wood or terracotta. In the corners of the Hall, Joshua floor lamps with adjustable indirect light contribute to the general lighting of the area, while the punctual light on the works is provided by Pound Focus projectors with variable optics, installed on customised tracks to better adapt to the irregular ceiling trusses. The aiming angles chosen for the light beams deliberately emphasise only one side of the works, while the other ‘lives’ in indirect light, for a deliberately different three-dimensional illumination depending on whether one is entering or leaving the Hall.
The underlying Sagrestia Aquilonare - containing ancient and valuable bishop's robes that can be freely admired - also sees the use of Pound Focus projectors arranged in a regular staggered pattern (a line of three projectors every two beams): the central projector is always zenithal on the walkway, while the two side projectors illuminate the elaborate wardrobes, emphasising their splendid wooden inlays. 

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I prodotti utilizzati

Pound Shaper

Pound Shaper







Pound Focus

Pound Focus
NEW2624 3

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