Muses and (Crazy) Tombs

Hey everyone! This week I would like to discuss some tombs that I found on an art page about famous artists, and how some of these tombs were a little crazy in design and how others were placed close to artists’ muses/loves.

One example of a crazy tomb, in my opinion, is the tomb of Antonio Canova in Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, Venice. He died in October 13th, 1822.

Antonio Canova in Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, Venice

This tomb was placed in the church for Canova by a group of his students, and the monument was based on a tomb design that Canova had created for Titian; since the tomb may have been for Titian, that may be why this tomb was placed in this church; Titian’s famous Assumption is in this church. Finally, what I think is the strangest part of his tomb is that only Canova’s heart is placed in here.

I actually saw this tomb in the church when I visited Venice, and the tomb itself took up so much of the church. I found it odd that it was in a triangle, and that it took up a large portion of the church. In general, I also found it a little strange that tombs were in churches with people in them, when in America, tombs are more often in cemeteries. When I first read that only Canova’s heart is in this tomb, it made me extremely uncomfortable, although the design of the tomb is impressive.

Another example that I found was the tomb of Auguste Rodin. He had died on November 17th, 1917, and his body was placed in the Musee Rodin, France.

Auguste Rodin, Musee Rodin, France

I believe soon after Rodin created his famous Thinker, he newly wed wife (of two weeks) had died. She was buried in the backyard of his chateau. Wanting to be close to her, Rodin created a small version of the Thinker in the backyard of his chateau; he was buried here. Today the chateau is a museum.

Another example of a tomb is of Sandro Botticelli; Botticelli died on May 17th, 1510, and he was buried in San Salvatore in Ognissanti, Florence.

Sandro Botticelli's tomb, San Salvatore in Ognissanti, Florence. 

Scholars have discovered that his muse was a women named Simonetta Vespucci; before Botticelli had died, he requested that he buried near her, and he was. He was buried near her. I think this was a cute way for Botticelli to be near Vespucci, since she was inspirational to so many of his masterpieces.

Lastly, the final tomb I want to talk about is Michelangelo’s. He died in February 18th, 1564, and he was buried in the Basilica of Santa Croce, Florence.

Michelangelo's tomb, Basilica of Santa Croce, Florence.

When Michelangelo died, Cosimo I brought his body back to Florence from Rome (since he was exiled from Florence), and Cosimo I had commissioned Giorgio Vasari to create a tomb for Michelangelo. What’s unqiue about this tomb is that Vasari seems to have included references to Michelangelo’s previous artwork, which includes the overly musculared bodies and the statued figures before the tomb (similar to the Medici tombs of Guiliano and Lorenzo that he created in San Lorenzo). Lastly, in the church, Michelangelo is buried near Galileo.

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