Joy of Museums

Museums, Art Galleries & Historical Sites

The Tomb of Bernabò Visconti

The Tomb of Bernabò Visconti - Joy of Museums

The Tomb of Bernabò Visconti is an equestrian marble tomb that originally stood behind the high altar of the now demolished Saint Giovanni in Conca in Milan. The rider was initially covered in silver and had golden spurs and shield. These metal embellishments and attachments are now lost. Barnabò Visconti (1323 – 1385) was an Italian soldier and statesman, who was Lord of Milan. Bernabò. He was a despot and his taxes enraged the Milanese and he was deposed by his nephew Gian Galeazzo Visconti in 1385. Imprisoned in the castle of Trezzo, he was poisoned within the year.

Barnabò commissioned the monument and the horse and rider dates from 1363, while the sarcophagus dates from Visconti’s death. Bonino da Campione sculpted the equestrian statue around 1363. The equestrian statue was repurposed with changes and additions to become Bernabò’s funerary monument.

Directly under the horse and rider sits the Four Evangelists with Saint Gregory the Great and Saint Jerome. On the back side of the monument, a scene shows the coronation of the Virgin surrounded by four angels, Saint Ambrose and Saint Augustine. The longer side panels depict more complex scenes, including the crucifixion of Christ and Christ as the Man of Sorrows.

Essential Facts:


“The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.” Leonardo da Vinci



Photo Credit 1) By Joyofmuseums (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons;