Tomb Rivara

Tomb Rivara

Sculptor G. B. Villa 1896

The monument represents the deceased lying on the sarcophagus, as his brother, his sister-in-law and his nephew hold a wake over him, as reported by a journalist of that time. The sculptor wished to represent every single detail of their clothes with the greatest exactness and accuracy, also by outlining carefully the different types of fabric: the shot silk of the woman’s skirt, the gauziness of the boy’s reefer blouse, the thickness of the overcoat on which he has knelt down to pray. The sculptor has used the same accuracy to represent both the physical traits and the states of mind. Despite his adherence to the stylistic rules of the bourgeois Realism, in this monument appears no more the traditional indoor lamentation-setting; in fact, both up and in the centre of this monument, appears the Virgin, who, in her role of comforter of the afflicted, stands up from her throne to bless the bystanders: it’s a scene which represents both an everyday and earthly dimension and a supernatural and imaginary dimension; both these two dimensions are joined by the analytical and descriptive style which is typical also of this upper part of the monument which is filled with extraordinary refinement concerning the details of the architectural ornamentation in a Neo-Renaissance style. This ornamentation is very similar to the one of the basilica of the Holy Immaculata which is in the Via Assarotti and has been an important site in which lots of Genoese sculptors have been working in the 19th century, including also Giovanni Battista Villa.


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