Tomb Erba

Sculptor S. Saccomanno 1883

The grave is shaped as a stern Neo-Gothic chapel: inside, upon the coffin, lies a female figure, with her eyes closed and some poppy seeds in her hands, which are a pagan symbol with a funeral meaning because of their narcotic properties. The garment, stretching along her arm, leaves one shoulder undressed, thus giving the sleeper a touch of sensuality that did not fail to arouse some controversy among the contemporaries. The deceased’s portrait is up, in a shield. This personification of the Eternal Sleep causes the image of death to take on a pre-Symbolist and essentially lay connotation, despite the presence of a high cross in the background. Thanks to the fact that this sculpture has been very successful (some images of this sculpture have been spread even in the United States in the following years), this melancholic and attractive figure has been replicated several times in the cemetery of Staglieno.  


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