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Matuszewic Taddeus Monument



All the guidebooks to the Certosa, starting with Zecchi in 1825, indicate the creator of the monument to Taddeo Matuszewic (Tadeusz Matuszewicz, 1765 - 1819) to be the sculptor Sandro (or Alessandro) Litovischi (or Litowski), who is completely unknown in the art world. During the restoration carried out between 2009 and 2010, his signature appeared on the base of the angel: "L(e)andro Biglioschi inv e sco in Roma à 1822". This makes it possible to attribute the paternity of the work to the sculptor of Polish origin who worked in Rome between 1810 and 1830. Active in Canova's workshop, he was awarded the title of 'Virtuoso del Pantheon' in 1821. He collaborated with the master from Possagno on some of the busts that are now in the Capitoline Museums in Rome. It is very likely that his origins were the main reason why he was called upon to sculpt a monument dedicated to an important personality of Polish origin. The restoration has made it possible to highlight the artist's extreme finesse of execution, particularly evident in the delicate figure of the angel who rests his left hand on three crowns (oak, olive and laurel) on the sarcophagus, while his right hand holds a crown of thorns together with the female figure of the mourner, seated at his side. Matuszewic's presence in Bologna is explained in Natale Salvardi's Collezione scelta: "for reasons of health he came down to Italy and fell seriously ill here, abandoning his life to the sadness of his family".

Below are two excerpts from 19th century guidebooks to the Certosa. From the Collezione dei Monumenti Sepolcrali del Cimitero di Bologna, published by Giovanni Zecchi between 1825 and 1827. "Monument to Tadeo Matuszewic Polish Knight of the White Eagle, who was an illustrious orator at the Constitutional Congress of 1788, where he gave an example of great loyalty to his country in its extreme misfortunes. Subsequently, he was highly praised as Superintendent of Finance and Senator when Poland was already beginning to rise again. He was a lover of truth and justice, who devoted his idle moments to poetry. He came to Italy for the sake of his health to breathe in a more temperate climate, and died there at the age of 55, to the great sorrow of his children and friends, on 31st October 1819. The invention and execution of the monument is by Sandro Litovischi". From the Collezione scelta dei Monumenti published by Natale Salvardi in 1825, we reproduce the following passage: "...The marble relief monument erected to the memory of the illustrious figure is an excellent work carried out in Rome by the Polish sculptor Sandro Litovischi; and the inscription below also comes from there".

Leandro Biglioschi, Monument to Taddeo Matuszevic, 1822. Certosa di Bologna, Third Cloister, arch 40