“Tre Monaci” and “Quattri Busti”

Tre Monaci, Quattri Busti

“Tre Monaci” (“Three Monks”) and “Quattri Busti di Santi dentro mandorle” (“Four busts of saints in mandorlas”)

Sala/Room VI (Sala della Cancelleria)
Castello Sforzesco, Milan, Italy

The “Tre Monaci” and “Quattri Busti” are found in Castello Sforzesco’s Sala VI, a room showcasing sculptures representing Milanese civic life of the Early Meddle Ages.

The “Tre Monaci,” in the forefront here, are sculptures from the 13th century that illustrate changing influences in Milanese art in the realistic representation and attention to moulding of the monks. They were likely made for decorating the tavernacle of a church facade.

The “Quattri Busti,” mounted on the wall, are 14th-century busts of, from left, Saints Martyrius, Sisinnius, Simplicianus and Alexander. The rigidity of the figures, combined with their tactile realism, is within the tradition of the Campione masters (link in Italian), a group of sculptors and builders of religious buildings active in northern Italy in the 12th through 14th centuries.


Sanvito, Paolo and Simona Martinoli. “Campionesi.” Dizionario storico della Svizzera. 2003. Web. <http://www.hls-dhs-dss.ch/textes/i/I43961.php>

Additional information comes from the handouts I picked up in Castello Sforzesco, created by the Comune di Milano, and from the descriptive labels in the museum. The photo is my own. For more on Castello Sforzesco, see my main visit post.


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