Sunday, May 15, 2016

Caterina Campodonico

Caterina Campodonico, the peanuts pedlar, by Lorenzo Orengo, Monumental Cemetery of Staglieno, Genoa
Caterina Campodonico, the peanuts pedlar, by Lorenzo Orengo, 1881
Porticato Superiore (Upper Arcade)
Cimitero monumentale di Staglieno, (Monumental Cemetery of Staglieno)
Genoa, April 2016

“On the left side, at the base of the inner staircase leading to the Upper Arcade (Porticato Superiore), we find one of the most famous monuments: the tomb of Caterina Campodonico, nicknamed ‘the peanuts pedlar’. As is evident from the representation, but also stated in the epitaph in Genoese dialect, recited in the first person, this is a woman of the people who used the money she earned by selling peanuts and doughnuts to have her own funerary monument built, while she was still alive, by one of the sculptors favoured by the bourgeoisie, Lorenzo Orengo (1881). This monument fits perfectly within the context of the period and represents it, with its realism, in the best possible way: in the same way as the rich bourgeois are portrayed with the symbols of the work that led to their success and social advancement (anchors, caduceus, gears, books ...), also the street vendor has herself portrayed with her goods. Note the care with which Orengo sculpted the typical dress of the woman, with fringes and lace, her hair and her gnarled and old hands, holding the doughnuts and strings of peanuts.”

1 comment:

Changes in the wind said...

This is beautiful! Love all the details.