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The Inconsolable at the Camposanto in Pisa

Lorenzo Bartolini,The Inconsolable. Pisa, Camposanto Monumentale
Lorenzo Bartolini,The Inconsolable. Pisa, Camposanto Monumentale

Among the funerary monuments of illustrious Pisans that can be visited in the Camposanto Monumentale of the Tuscan city, especially striking is the representation of a woman sitting on a low stair, her knees pulled to her chest, hands folded over her lap and an expression of infinite sadness. This is the Inconsolable, the perfect Neoclassical expression of grief.
The woman portrayed in the sculpture is Elena Mastiani Brunacci, wife of the deceased Giovan Francesco Mastiani. Elena commissioned the work from Lorenzo Bartolini in 1840, in memory of her husband.
Giovan Francesco Mastiani was one of the richest and most powerful men among the Tuscan families. In particular, during the Napoleonic period he held the post of Subprefect of the Pisan environs and later, for the support he demonstrated during the French occupation, he was decorated by Napoleon with the highly prestigious title of Count of the Empire and in 1812 named Knight of the imperial order de la Réunion and of the same rank as a French citizen. In 1809 Giovan Francesco Mastiani Brunacci accompanied the Grand Duchess Élisa Baciocchi to Paris on the occasion of Napoleon’s marriage to Marie Louise of Austria.
In Pisa, the residence of the Mastiani Brunacci was one of the most important palazzos on Corso Italia. Here the countess Elena enlivened on of the most vivacious salons in the city, counting among her guests Pauline Bonaparte and Élisa Baciocchi.
In a nineteenth–century notarial act written the day after the death of countess Elena, we can read a minute description of the property and its luxurious furnishings. Among the precious objects on the list are two marble busts portraying Napoleon and the Grand Duchess Élisa, sculpted by Lorenzo Bartolini.
Behind the palazzo, Elena had a romantic garden created “where the most beautiful plants form a lovely spectacle”.

Lorenzo Bartolini, Funerary monument to Giovan Francesco Mastiani
Camposanto Monumentale
Piazza del Duomo

The Camposanto is open according to the following schedule
November to December 9 AM to 4 PM
March to October 9 AM to 5:30 PM
April to September 8 AM to 7:30 PM