Beau Monument, 1874

Angels Gallery
The wall memorial was commissioned by Carolina Mignani to commemorate her husband Cesare Beau, a rich merchant who died in 1871.
It is one of the first works in Certosa made by the sculptor Salvino Salvini (1824-1899) from Leghorn, along with the De Maria tomb situated in front of it. The structure consists of an upper part with the bust of the deceased, and a relief lower part which depicts the mourning relatives. His kneeling wife holds a wreath of flowers in her left hand, a tribute to her husband, while the right supports their son Augusto.

The meticulous rendering of the woman's dress reflects a verismo style, embellished with a fine veil that covers her shoulders. Even the child to her right is depicted with extreme care, omitting no detail of the jacket, pants and boots with buttons. The other elements of the scene are also very accurately rendered, like the candle holder supporting a smoking torch, symbol of communication between the worlds of the living and the dead.

The work is fully embedded in a cultural climate that changed profoundly after the brief period of the Jacobin government. The woman is no longer celebrated for her virtues, as in the many monuments dedicated to them in the 3rd Cloister, but falls into a subordinate role as a grieving widow, here in fact unable to bear the pain without the support of her young son, who suddenly became a man.
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