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Rodriguez Laso Monument

Approx. 1821


The marmoreal monument is dedicated to Simon Rodriguez Laso, who died in 1821. It was requested by his nephew and heir Francesco. The author of this sober but sophisticated sepulcher is Antonio Solà, artist of Spanish origin like the deceased and a very active man in the city of Rome, where he fulfilled high offices in the local academies and where he completed some prestigious commissions.

The artifact is composed by a double basement on which are collocated, on the top, the epigraph of the dedicated and, on the bottom, the epigraph of Laura Bevilacqua Ariosti. On these there is the allegorical bas-relief, surmounted by a decorated band with a front representation of Rodriquez Laso in the middle. All the elements represented are, as usual, not casual. The allegories, the emblems of cardinals and the clothes of the deceased refer to his virtues and to his role in the cultural and religious world, not only in Bologna. Despite the overall model which looks rather plain and unimaginative, Solà shows his fine art in the execution of the three allegories, fine examples of classical culture and convincing interpretations of the Canoviano style. Both the deceased and the artist were at the head of Spanish communities in the cities where they were living, so it’s likely that they had some kind of relationship. The date of execution must be delayed by some years, both because of the artist’s commitments and for the time needed for transport from Rome.

Roberto Martorelli

Translation from the italian language thanks to the 2017/18 students Albertini, Bazzigotti, Bovina (3Q) of the Galvani high school in Bologna, supervised by the teacher Annamaria Marconi.