Virgil sitting at the desk

Maestro Campionese1100

Mantova Museo Urbano Diffuso

Mantova Museo Urbano Diffuso

This magnificent, high-quality statue clearly shows Virgil in his chair, illustrating the tradition that not only was he an exceptionally gifted poet, but he also had a talent for universal teaching. There is intense debate among scholars as to the origin and sculptor of this depiction. The possibility that it was sculpted in the Middle Ages has now been discredited. What we do know is that the craftsman was from the Campione d'Italia area, which does not help to identify a distinct style, as the sculptures from that region - situated between Como and the Canton of Ticino - did not have one artistic style in common. Other scholars have pointed to the links with the particular Romanesque styles from Modena, Bologna and Parma. The most accepted explanation attributes the work to the years immediately after 1180. It would appear that from the 14th century onwards, the sculpture had been housed at the Palazzo della Ragione, whence in 1853 it was removed and brought to the Accademia Virgiliana, and then ultimately to the Ducal Palace in 1915.


  • Title: Virgil sitting at the desk
  • Creator: Maestro Campionese
  • Date Created: 1100

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