(b. ca. 1435, Carona, d. 1515, Venezia)

Monument of Pietro Mocenigo

Istrian stone and marble
Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Venice

The interior façade of the Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo is taken up by the mausoleum of the Mocenigo family. The monument to the doge Pietro Mocenigo (died 1476), a masterpiece by Pietro Lombardo, was finished in 1481. The tomb backed against a wall became the norm for the ambitious monument in this period in Italy. Each region adapted the structure to suit artistic temperaments and fashions. Pietro Lombardo made skilful use of borrowings from past experiments. The great tombs he executed were composed in a dynamic and grandiose fashion. Three atlantes support the sarcophagus of the Doge Pietro Mocenigo, whose standing figure is framed in the centre of the arcade. Erected behind the façade of San Zanipolo (i.e. Giovanni e Paolo), this monument was a counterpart to the tomb of the Doge Andrea Vendramin, the work of Pietro Lombardo and his son Tullio, a veritable triumphal arch punctuated by columns.

The monument commemorates the doge above all as a great captain of the Venetian armed forces. From top to bottom are: the Redeemer between two angels; a low-relief representing The three Maries at the Sepulchre. Framed by a magnificent arch is the burial urn supported on the shoulders of the three warriors representing the three ages of man and, above it, the doge, standing upright, majestic and full of energy, with a suit of armour beneath his general's cloak. At his sides are figures of two geniuses with the general's baton and a shield blazoned with the arms of the Mocenigos.

On the front of the urn, two low-reliefs record his principal undertakings as commander at sea against the Turks: on the left, The entry into Scutari; on the right: The delivery of the keys of Famagusta to Caterina Cornaro. At the sides in six niches are: warriors dressed in Roman style forming a guard of honour. On the basement are trophies and two of the Trials of Hercules.