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Mantova Collezioni Antiche

Composite capitals from Sant’Andrea

The capitals come from the basilica of Sant’Andrea, where they were placed on the shafts of the pilasters supporting the arch in the centre of the façade.

In the course of restoration between 1828 and 1833, they were dismantled and replaced by the marble copies still visible today. Large S-shaped laced volutes contain, in the centre, a tuft of acanthus sprouting from a smooth leaf arranged between the volutes. On the edges there are leafy masks surmounted by an elaborate headdress composed of curved acanthus leaves and palmettes. In the architectural landscape of the time, this capital is unique.

The possibility that the capitals are to be related to forms painted in the architectural frame of the Bridal Chamber suggests an exchange of ideas between Alberti and Mantegna, concerning both the façade of the basilica and the Chamber itself. They represent the only remaining evidence of the decorative apparatus before the restoration of the façade in the third decade of the 19th century.

Dove vedere quest’operaWhere to see this work of art
Tempio Leon Battista Alberti

Other works of art of the Tempio

Announcing Angel, St Paul, Evangelist, St Peter, Holy Virgin

Gonzaga coats of arms

Marble fireplace frieze