Un caso emblematico (e dimenticato) della scultura trecentesca europea: il monumento del re Dinis di Portogallo (1279-1325)

Author: Giulia Rossi Vairo

An emblematic (and forgotten) case of 14th century European sculpture: the sepulchre of King Dinis of Portugal (1279-1325)

This paper focuses on the funerary monument of Dinis, King of Portugal from 1279 to 1325, currently preserved in the Gospel Chapel in the Church of S. Dinis at Odivelas, little town located about 10 km from Lisbon.
The sarcophagus of the sovereign, masterwork of the Portuguese funerary sculpture of the first half of the 14th century, was realized between 1318 and 1324, when the King was still alive contributing personally to the definition of its erudite iconographic programme. The monumental tomb was conceived to be placed in the center of the church of the Cistercian nunnery of S. Dinis and S. Bernardo, founded by the monarch in 1295 and risen in royal pantheon in 1318.
The funerary monument has never been object of particular interest for the art historians, circumstance that could be explained, among other reasons, with the difficulty of access to the artwork and its poor state of preservation. Nevertheless, it must be considered as an unicum within the Portuguese artistic production and perhaps even in Europe, in the light of the originality of its iconography and of the analysis of its decorative programme proposed in this paper.