The Scaliger Tombs in Verona, Cangrande and Dante
The Scaliger Tombs (or Arche scaligere) in Verona are a funerary complex built by the Della Scala family, who ruled over the city between the 13th and the 14th century. While impressive as a whole, they include one monument that stands out for its magnificence: the one for Cangrande (1291-1329), the most important and famous member of this aristocratic dynasty.
Cangrande is portrayed on the top of his monument, in what has been described as the most beautiful equestrian statue in history (currently a copy, the original being kept at the Castelvecchio Museo).
His figure is perhaps most famous thanks to Dante Alighieri – his guest between 1312 and 1318, during his exile from Florence – who mentioned him in his “Paradise” (and indeed apparently dedicated the whole book to his patron,
the magnificent and victorious lord of Verona):
So recognized shall his magnificence / Become hereafter, that his enemies / Will not have power to keep mute tongues about it.
In other words, according to the greatest of Italian poets, Cangrande’s fame was so great that not even his enemies could avoid acknowledging it.
The tombs for Mastino II (1308-1351) and Cansignorio della Scala (1340-1375) are also masterpieces of 14th-century Gothic art.
Have a look at these beautiful monuments, near the church of Santa Maria Antica.