BONINO DA CAMPIONE
(active 1350-1390 in Lombardy)

Monument to Bernabo Visconti

1363-85
Marble, height 600 cm
Castello Sforzesco, Milan

This is the equestrian tomb of Bernabo Visconti, lord of Milan. It formerly stood behind the high altar of the now demolished S. Giovanni in Conca in Milan. The group is of marble, and the rider figure was at one stage covered in silver and had golden spurs and shield. These trappings and attachments, familiar from northern monuments, are now lost. It is not known how the monument of Bernabo was allowed to occupy a position usually reserved for the chief relics.

Bernabo Visconti (died 1385), the iron-fisted despot of Milan, who married Regina della Scala of Verona, forged both a political and aesthetic alliance between the two cities. He commissioned the monument (which remained unfinished) from Bonino. The horse and intensely fierce rider dates from 1363, while the sarcophagus dates from Visconti's death.