In 1924 Pasquale Rizzoli (1871 - 1953) completed the monument commissioned by Ettore Trentini, located in the Carducci Area in Certosa, not far from the Gardi monument. The truly colossal work is in the shape of a pyramid whose apex coincides with the top of the central serpentine stele. Within a semi-spherical niche in the stele is the bronze bust of a young woman, whose grace and refinement are emphasised by soft drapery. The two lateral wings of the serpentine base house two other portraits in relief, also bronze.
But the observer’s attention is undoubtedly attracted by the decorative element at the centre of the monument: an imposing bronze statue portraying the allegory of the Angel gathering a flower from the now-broken tree of life. In this work, Liberty decorative elements fit in well with the central figure’s grandeur. According to Rizzoli, the design of monuments involved great commitment, in which the artist accepted the challenges and difficulties inherent in the creation of large works. Once again we marvel at the meticulous design of every sculptural detail, and the references to Adolfo De Carolis’ pictorial language become clear. In 1911 the City of Bologna had in fact commissioned this artist from the Marches to fresco the walls and ceiling of the Podestà Hall in Palazzo Re Enzo. His highly plastic and imposing figures influenced local artists, reawakening their interest in portraying excessively large figures and allegories, almost in the Michelangelo style. Therefore, this artist must be credited with a further development in Rizzoli’s creative language. The preference the Bolognese sculptor had always shown for a realistic portrayal of man – although at times mediated by Liberty sinuosity or the excess mentioned above – was to make his artistic fortune, but as times changed it would mark his irreparable artistic isolation, as evidenced by his own assertions: “These young artists portray women’s legs like stove pipes!” Precisely for this reason, it is crucial to reiterate Pasquale Rizzoli’s leading role in the artistic landscape of Bologna in the first half of the 20th century, between verism and symbolism.
Giuliana Lo Faro