Given by the Trustees of the Crystal Palace in 1938
Tomb of Cardinal Ascanio Sforza
Andrea Sansovino (about 1467/70-1529)
On the left wall of the choir in the church of S. Maria del Popolo, Rome, Italy
Signed ANDREAS SANSOVINVS FACIEBAT. Pope Julius II (1503-13) erected this tomb to the memory of his erstwhile adversary Ascanio Sforza (d. 28 May 1505), the son of Francesca Sforza and brother of Ludovico il Moro, the Duke of Milan (1452-1508). In the corresponding position on the right wall of the choir, the Pope commissioned from Andrea Sansovino a closely similar tomb for his nephew, Cardinal Girolamo Basso della Rovere (d. 1507). The project for the tomb of Ascanio Sforza was first mentioned in a papal brief of 12 June, 1505, less than three weeks after his death. Both the Sforza and Basso monuments must have been completed by 3 June, 1509, when they were praised by Francesco Albertini. Because of their close resemblance, it has been suggested that Julius II projected the two monuments together from before the death of his nephew in 1507, as part of the re-modelling of the choir of S. Maria del Popolo undertaken by Bramante (1443/4-1514) at this time.