SOLARI, Cristoforo
(active 1489-1520 in Lombardy)

Effigies of Lodovico Sforza and Beatrice d'Este

c. 1497
Marble, length: 185 cm
Certosa, Pavia

Cristoforo Solari, called Il Gobbo (the hunchback), was descended from generations of Pavian sculptor/architects. He succeded Amadeo as architect of Milan Cathedral. In 1497, after the death of Beatrice d'Este in childbirth, her husband Lodovico Sforza commissioned Solari to carve her tomb for S. M. delle Grazie. There must have been a pendant for Lodovico, although no evidence exists for it.

Today, two effigies remain, largely completed before the flight of the nefarious Lodovico in 1499. In 1891 the two effigies were installed in the Certosa. They belong to an international type of royal tombs and their weightiness and verism approach the High Renaissance. Solari's forte is evident in the two faces, which parallel the portraits painted by Boltraffio and Leonardo.