By Costanza Beltrami

Documents of 26 February 1351 reveal that the tomb of Giacomo II da Carrara, now in the Church of the Eremitani in Padua, was carved by andriolo de’ Santi, a sculptor-architect first documented on 7 November 1342 in Vicenza. Giacomo II was Lord of Padua from 1345 to 1350. His beautifully-sculpted tomb is embellished by a verse epitaph by the famous Italian poet Petrarch.

Although the place and date of adriolo’s birth and death are unknown, surviving contracts and other fourteenth-century documents enabled historians to reconstruct his career in some detail. Between 1342 and 1345, the Andriolo was the master mason, i.e. the highest-paid stone-cutter, lead designer and manager of the works, of the Franciscan Church of San Lorenzo in Vicenza. The church’s innovative western portal can be attributed to him. It is the first example of the use of a devotional image, showing the Virgin and Child with St Francis, St Lawrence and the Donor Pietro da Marano, on a church portal in the Veneto.

In addition to the portal and the tomb, Andriolo and his workshop also remodeled the chapel of San Giacomo Maggiore (now San Felice) in the Basilica of St Anthony in Padua. The work was commissioned by a lay patron, Bonifacio Lupi (d ?1390), aided by the proto-humanist Lombardo della Seta. According to surviving documents, the sculpture on the chapel’s entrance wall and the tombs inside it were all to be carved by the master’s hand. Unfortunately, Andriolo died before the completion of the chapel, which was completed by his son Giovanni (d 7 Aug 1392), who received a final payment on 20 March 1376.

Reference: Louise M. Bourdua and Wolfgang Wolters. “Santi, Andriolo de’.” Grove Art Online. Oxford University Press,

Tomb of Giacomo II da Carrara, originally in the church of S. Agostino, now in the Eremitani, Padua.

Chapel of San Felice, Now San Giorgio Maggiore, Basilica of St Anthony, Padua.

Virgin and Child with St Francis, St Lawrence and the Donor Pietro da Marano, portal of the Church of San Lorenzo, Vicenza.

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