Front of the Sarcophagus of Pietro da Suzzara

1327

Red Verona marble, 74 x 195 x 7.5cm

Inv. 7209

Museo Lapidario Estense, Modena

This splendid slab decorated in high relief is all that remains of an elaborate sarcophagus that up until eighteenth century was found in the cloister of the Chiesa di San Domenico in Reggio Emilia. In this relief Pietro da Suzzara, a tenured professor of Civil Law at the University of Reggio Emilia during the first half of the fourteenth century, is depicted lecturing four students who display a range of behaviour: some attentively take notes whilst others are distracted, looking around in what appears to be a display of ironic indifference. The scene is rendered with painstaking realism, forcefully asserting the secular character of this commemoration of a citizen who came to prominence because of his professional merits alone. It has come to light that the damaged inscription running along the bottom of the slab once proclaimed that Amedeo da Bergamo was the sculptor. The work arrived in the Lapidario Estense in 1861.