BREGNO, Antonio
(active 1425-1457 in Venice)

Monument of Francesco Foscari

after 1466
Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, Venice

The Foscari monument is a wall tomb surmounted by a gable with Christ blessing on the pinnacle, flanked by the figures of the Annunciation. Two pages stand on high half-columns and hold back the awning to display the recumbent figure of the Doge on his sarcophagus surrounded by personifications of virtues. The figure style of the tomb shows the influence of contemporary painting, particularly of the Paduan work of Andrea Mantegna, and of Andrea del Castagno, who worked in Venice in the 1450s.

Antonio Bregno's figure-style is a medley of Lombard elements, of mannerism derived from Bartolomeo Bon, and of features taken over from Florentine sculptors in Venice, notably Pietro di Niccolò Lamberti's Tommaso Mocenigo Monument of a quarter of a century before. The curtains that frame the effigy are held up by two Lombard warriors, the sarcophagus is carved with Bon-like reliefs of Virtues, and two pairs of Florentine putti are seated beneath the the bier.

In one respect, however, the monument looks forward to the future, in that the traditional elements are framed by classical pilasters, which introduce for the first time in Venice the Florentine conception of the tomb as a self-consistent architecural whole.