Amongst the many Renaissance treasures to be seen in the church of Santa Anna dei Lombardi is an extraordinary group of life-size figures by Guido Mazzoni. They compose a Compianto or Lamentation over the body of Christ, sculpted in terracotta with enormous realism and drama. Six such tableaux are attributed to Mazzoni, a native of Modena; this is his last, created between 1492 and 1497. Later he was to enjoy great success at the court of Charles VIII of France and in this group we can see why.
Sources have identified Mazzoni’s Joseph as Alfonso II of Naples, and Nicodemus as Ferdinand I of Naples. Interesting facts. But what matters is the beauty of the group and the palpable emotional charge that seems to run between them.
Photos in order are:
Joseph of Arimathea…
Mary Magdalene, Mary of Salome (mother of James and John)…
Mary of Cleopas, St. John the Evangelist, Nicodemus and Christ.
Behind Christ’s head appears his grieving mother Mary.