ZUFFI family tomb

Funeral chapel (1929) architect A.Melis – De Villa, sculptor U. Baglioni

Date of construction: 1929
Designer: architect Armando Melis De Villa (1889-1961)
Sculptor: Umberto Baglioni (1893 -1965)
Painter: Teonesto Deabate (1898 -1981)
Location: cimitero Monumentale di Torino, VII Ampliazione, Campo della Gloria n. 15
Typology: chapel with underground chamber
Materials: travertine marble, verzino of Frabosa marble, green Roja marble, iron

“The tomb was built in 1929 on a project by architect Armando Melis-De Villa. It is a chapel with niches in travertine marble and Frabosa verzino marble with an underground chamber. The rationalist building elevates on a stepped basement. It has a body in the form of an apse with a semicircular structure and a parallelepiped volume with a prevalent height development which forms the backdrop of the chapel itself. Two sarcophagi with acroteria are placed at the top of the aedicule. The external façade is punctuated by four pilasters. In the tympanum there is a bronze bas-relief depicting the <Deposition of Christ>, by the sculptor Umberto Baglioni. The supporting structure is in brick and the inner sole that divides the upper chamber from the lower one is in reinforced concrete. The chapel, externally, is completely covered in travertine marble, with the exception of the portions between the pilasters that are covered in Frabosa's marble. The half-spherical brick dome roof, covered in copper, is supported by a tympanum decorated with four Latin crosses.
Currently the interior of the funerary chapel is entirely plastered, but in 1930, the presence of a mural painting made by the painter Teonesto Deabate was documented.
The architect also designed the altar in marble of Frabosa and green Roja marble and the furnishings of the chapel: the crucifix on the altar, two wrought-iron chandeliers, and a prie-dieu. He also designed the gate to the chapel access door and the two openings on the back wall of the aedicule: one placed in the upper part in the form of a lunette, and one in the rectangular shape in the lower part. The window located at the bottom guarantees the illumination of the underground chamber.
The gate of the access door, which depicts two angels, is made of square iron with a size of 12 millimeters. It consists of a double opening iron frame equipped with double multicolored glass. The windows are protected by gratings with L and T-bars, measuring 25 mm, with welded and filed joints. The upper window has two openable doors with vasistas, with two hinges applied at the bottom, and a device that allows you to open and close them from the inside with just one chain. Externally the joints are coated in mastic.
The lower window is fully openable, and is supported by hinges fixed to the horizontal crosspiece with side compasses, which allow to fix the head to an obtuse angle on the upper part.
The marble of Frabosa comes from the historic quarries of the Fratelli Catella company, which took care of the processing of all the stone materials that make up the aedicule. It is a material of great value that was also used inside the Chapel of the Holy Shroud.” Dr. Carlotta Melis

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