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MAUSOLEUM OF RAMON FOLCH DE CARDONA. CHURCH OF BELLPUIG (L'URGELL)

MAUSOLEUM OF RAMON FOLCH DE CARDONA. CHURCH OF BELLPUIG (L’URGELL)

The museum in the region

One of the finest examples of the Catalan Renaissance. It is the mausoleum of Ramon Folch de Cardona-Anglesola, dating from the 16th century, made from white Carrara marble sculpted in Naples by the sculptor Giovanni Merliano da Nola.

Ramon Folch de Cardona was a noted admiral under the command of Ferdinand the Catholic during the campaigns in North Africa and Italy, and was appointed viceroy of Sicily and Naples. On his death, his wife Elisabet de Requesens commissioned the Italian sculptor Giovanni da Nola to create a lavish mausoleum for the remains of the Bellpuig-born soldier and naval officer.

His tomb is located on one side of the parish church of Sant Nicolau and is regarded as one of the finest Renaissance works of Catalonia for the quality of its figurative and ornamental sculptural elements and the composition.

It was sculpted between 1522 and 1530 with the structure of an arc de triomphe by which the artist symbolises human victory over death through fame in life.  The conquest of the Islamic city of Mers-el Kébir, by far the most important episode in Folch’s biography, forms the base of the monument, below the sarcophagus and reclining statue of the Duke; above it, is the representation of the glory he achieved and the good governance and religiousness of the figure. The top section depicts the battle against Venice, the last great conflict in which he fought.

The mausoleum was to be transported in parts to the convent of Sant Bartomeu, where the body of Folch de Cardona-Anglesola was initially laid to rest. The convent was abandoned after its disentailment, which led to the tomb being transferred to the parish church in 1841.

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