Bodoano Memorial, 1872
Restoration has begun September, 2017 on this work by the great sculptor G.B. Villa.
Luigi Bodoano memorialThese smaller memorials are often overlooked as visitors focus on the large monuments, but they were sculpted and carved with great attention to detail and story telling. Here we have the delicate memorial to sea captain Luigi Bodoano.
Detail of the Bodoano memorialDetail of the superb ornamental carving of Luigi Bodoano’s sextant and compass. The gleaming white marble and delicate forms are hidden under thick layers of dirt.
Luigi Bodoano portrait medallionProper cleaning will bring forth the fascinating story told by Giovanni Battista Villa’s 19th century white Carrara sculpture of sea captain Luigi Bodoano.
Pediment of the Bodoano memorialThe precise architectural carving of the pediment over the small Bodoano memorial relief sculpture.
Inscription of the Bodoano memorialThe fine hand carved inscription tells how Captain Bodoano’s widow, Maria Bado, and his sons and daughter miss him and hope to meet him in the afterlife.
Preliminary workPollution and dirt react with marble to form a black crust on the surface. This is a major cause of deterioration, and it has to be properly removed to ensure the long term survival of these works of art. Preliminary steps involve applying a poultice that softens and loosens the crust, preserving the sound marble underneath.
Often overlooked, there are many gems to be found set in the walls between the large gallery niches that house the major sculptural monuments. We are restoring three of these gems in 2017, the Bodoano and Maina memorials and the Falcone crypt.
Luigi Bodoano, a marine captain who passed away in 1872 at the age of 62 after a long illness, was memorialized in this 1882 sculpture by Giovanni Battista Villa. Inscribed below it says that his wife Maria, his two sons and his daughter placed the stone in hopes of some day meeting him again. Since Genoa is a port city, a sea captain was central to the economic and social vitality of the city. Villa specialized in portraits and religious work, and this prolific Genovese artist created at least forty-four memorial sculptures at Staglieno.
This and the Maina relief are set in the walls framing the monumental Debarbieri memorial. By restoring all three we will plan to restore this niche and return its original stunning effect.