(active 1471-1504 in Central Italy)

Monument of Maria Pereira and Beatrice Camponeschi (detail)

San Bernardino, Aquila

The Abruzzese sculptor Silvestro dell'Aquila was the most significant sculptor of Acquila at the time. His most important work is the Monument of Maria Pereira and Beatrice Camponeschi. This tomb exemplifies maternal despair. According to the inscription, Maria Pereira, a wealthy widowed noblewoman, commissioned the monument herself around 1490, after the death of her fifteen-month-old daughter, Beatrice. Beatrice is shown lying under what was to become the sarcophagus of her mother.

The carving style and certain details are indebted to Desiderio's Marsuppini monument but the artistic origins of Silvestro are obscure. The double effigy with the poignant representation of the child placed like an after-thought beneath her mother bathtube sarcophagus, as though in a truckle bed, is unique. Its beautiful carving and lyrical forms render the the transitoriness of life even sadder.