Artist Spends Over 350 Hours Drawing Every Detail of the Duomo di Milano Door

Duomi di Milano Door Drawing by Fabio Goncalves

While we normally think of drawings as two-dimensional works of art, Fabio Gonçalves manages to fool the eye with his hyperrealistic style. The Brazil-based artist creates meticulous pencil drawings inspired by architecture, art history, and pop culture. His latest piece portrays the door of the Duomo di Milan in spectacular detail; a feat that took him over 350 hours to accomplish.

The image accurately replicates the original design made by Italian sculptor Ludovico Pogliaghi in 1906, which is centered around the theme of Joy and Sorrow of the Virgin Mary. While the actual door features numerous high-relief carvings, Gonçalves focused his drawing on a specific section, where Mary is holding Jesus and surrounded by angels. “I was inspired by the amount of history that each corner of this door carries, by the depth and refinement of the details and I wanted to reproduce this in my style,” Gonçalves tells My Modern Met. “I worked for more than 350 hours spread over 76 days. After all the support and messages I received from people interested in seeing more of my work in this style, I decided to focus on this style and I have a long list of ideas for the next reworks.”

Using a selection of drawing pencils, Gonçalves carefully rendered the sculptural qualities of Pogliaghi's original door. His masterful use of light and shadow mimics the real-life appearance of the high-relief carvings and makes it seem as though the illustration itself is three-dimensional, too. While it is hard to comprehend the innumerable decisions that went into finishing a drawing of this intricacy, some of the close-up photos give a better understanding of the level of work that was involved.

Follow Gonçalves on Instagram to keep up to date with his latest projects and purchase original drawings.

Brazilian artist Fabio Gonçalves creates hyperrealistic drawings of architecture.

Duomi di Milano Door Drawing by Fabio Goncalves

His latest work captures the Dumo di Milano door.

Duomi di Milano Door Drawing by Fabio Goncalves

Gonçalves spent over 350 hours rendering the building in meticulous detail.

Duomi di Milano Door Drawing by Fabio Goncalves

Watch this video for insight into his creative process:


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A post shared by Fabio Gonçalves (@fabiodesenhando)

Fabio Gonçalves: Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Fabio Gonçalves.

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. She wrote and illustrated an instructional art book about how to draw cartoons titled 'Cartooning Made Easy: Circle, Triangle, Square' that was published by Walter Foster in 2022.
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