Nicodemus (figure from a Compianto - Mourning the Dead Christ)

Giovanni Angelo Del Maino

Sforzesco Castle

Sforzesco Castle
Milan, Italy

This wooden statue,
like the statue depicting Magdalene, was part of a Compianto (Mourning the Dead Christ) a polychrome sculptural group
typical of sacred art from the 14th century, showing Christ taken from the
Cross surrounded by seven figures).
The entire work, which also included the figures of
the Virgin, of St. John, of Mary Magdalene, of Nicodemus and of Joseph of
Arimathea, was sculpted by Lombard sculptor Giovanni Angelo del Maino.
It is thought that the composition remained whole until the 1920s-1930s and was
then broken up for various private collections. In
this depiction of Nicodemus, who traditionally was said to have extracted the
nails from Christ's feet, the detailed workmanship is striking: we can
distinguish the veins on his face standing out below the hairline, depicted
with impressive realism, while the torsion of his bust adds drama to the entire
figure. According to a fairly widespread tradition, the statue had a
polychrome finish, which intensified its impact.


  • Title: Nicodemus (figure from a Compianto - Mourning the Dead Christ)
  • Creator: Giovanni Angelo del Maino
  • Date Created: 1520 aprox
  • Location: Museo dei Mobili e delle Sculture lignee, Castello Sforzesco, Milan, Italy
  • Location Created: Italy
  • Physical Dimensions: 147 x 65 x 45 cm
  • Provenance: Purchased at an antiques market, 1994
  • Type: Wooden sculpture
  • Rights: Comune di Milano - Civiche Raccolte Artistiche, Castello Sforzesco, Milano
  • External Link: https://museodeimobili.milanocastello.it/
  • Medium: Carved wood with traces of polychromy
  • Original title: Nicodemo (figura da un Compianto)
  • Artist Nationality: Italian
  • Artist Death Place: Northern Italy
  • Artist Death Date: Documented until 1535
  • Artist Birth Place: Northern Italy
  • Artist Birth Date: Documented from 1496

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