Arca di Tomb of Bernabò Visconti

Bonino da Campione

Sforzesco Castle

Sforzesco Castle
Milan, Italy

The tomb of Bernabò Visconti, lord of Milan from 1354 to 1385,
is a spectacular funeral monument.
Its original location was the chancel of San Giovanni in Conca, Milan,
an ancient church near the mansion of the Bernabò family and used by them as private
chapel and family mausoleum. Today only a few remains of the crypt survive in
the present Piazza Missori. The
tomb arrived at Castello Sforzesco in 1898. It is made entirely of marble and
the base consists of twelve columns and pillars. The burial chamber, richly decorated with
reliefs on an eschatological theme, supports the equestrian statue of Bernabò
with beside him the personifications of Justice and Strength. The whole is extremely coherent and is
remarkable for the naturalistic rendering of details, such as the ornamentation
of the armour and the finishing of the horse, better visible following recent
restoration. The animal's muzzle, in particular, is sculpted with astonishing
precision and represents an amazing case of classically-inspired realism,
without equal in Italian statuary of the fourteenth century. Originally, it was
entirely covered in gold and silver paintwork with geometric and floral motifs,
giving the monument a sumptuous, stately appearance; only a few traces of this
remain today, brought to light by restoration.


  • Title: Arca di Tomb of Bernabò Visconti
  • Creator: Bonino da Campione and collaborators
  • Date Created: 1360 approx.- 1385/1386 approx.
  • Location: Museo di Arte Antica, Castello Sforzesco, Milan
  • Physical Dimensions: 586,5 x 157,5 x 271,5 cm
  • Type: Funeral monument
  • Rights: Comune di Milano - Civiche Raccolte Artistiche, Castello Sforzesco, Milano
  • External Link: https://arteantica.milanocastello.it/
  • Medium: Marble with traces of gilding and polychromy
  • Art Genre: Sacred art
  • Art Movement: Campione art
  • Art Form: Sculpture
  • Original title: Arca di Bernabò Visconti
  • Artist Nationality: Italian

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