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Malvezzi Monument

Approx. 1808


The painted monument of the Bolognese nobleman Camillo Malvezzi, who died in 1808, was commissioned to the decorator Pietro Fancelli by his son Pietro. Fancelli imagines the inside of a sepulchral cell which is accessed by a flight of steps that directly faces the cloister. The wall at the back is composed of hexagonal-shaped stones; at the top centre lies a circular oculus. In the pendentives and in the overlying lunette appear fake reliefs painted with laurel wreaths and trophies of guns, alluding to the military profession of the deceased, who was a knight of Malta and commander in chief of the papal militias. The arch of access and the one that marks the back wall are underlined on both walls by male and female herms. At the centre of the cell is a strigil sarcophagus with a tympanum lid. On the left a female figure in military garments leans with her left arm on the sarcophagus while holding a laurel wreath in her right hand; at her feet lies the globe, surmounted by the cross. At the bottom right, in the shade, on the steps, sits Felsina, the symbol of Bologna. She appears to be moving her right hand to her cheek while her left hand is leaning against the shield decorated with the blazon of the city. At her feet are placed a sword, a flag and an inverted torch, a sign of life that “is fading out”.

Antonella Mampieri

Translation from the italian language thanks to the 2017/18 students of the Galvani high school in Bologna, supervised by the teacher Annamaria Marconi.