Tomb De Barbieri

Tomb De Barbieri

Sculptor G. Moreno 1887

The basis of the monument, which was made in 1887, is surmounted by the sarcophagus on which lies Domenico Debarbieri, like if he was on his deathbed. The neo-renaissance catafalque has been realized in a very refined way, as well as the pillows on which lies the head of the deceased. The young girl, who has been realistically described, is wearing fashionable clothes and is kneeling down near Domenico Debarbieri’s tomb, symbolizes the Prayer. On the opposite side the sculptor has placed a candelabrum that elegantly intertwines with an ingeniously-wrought marble wreath. Up, in the background, the angel of the death with a scythe appears on a cloud with a winged sandclock, a symbol of the passing of time and the frailty of the human life, which are two of the most frequent themes in Staglieno. In the sarcophagus’s tympanum there are some symbols which are referred to the deceased’s life and profession (a caduceus, i.e. a short staff entwined by two serpents carried by Mercury, the protector of merchants; a snake and a mirror, which are two symbols of the Prudence; a horn of plenty which refers to the richness and the plenty, and the anchor, which symbolizes both the navigation and the funeral). As many other personalities lying in the cemetery of Staglieno, Domenico Debarbieri is a real “self made man”, seeing that he has become rich after having started from scratch by having devoted his life to the production of wooden boxes which were used to transport pasta, especially to both Americas. This kind of biography seems to match the sculptor Moreno’s one who, after being born poor, he has become quite well-off, because he has pursued the funeral sculpture in Liguria and has worked for some stranger customers, especially from South America.


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