Pietro Andrea Mattioli’s tombstone is located in the south nave of the Cathedral of Trento, called Basilica di San Vigilio. The tombstone, as shown on its inscription, was erected in 1617 and was dedicated to Mattioli by his children, Maximilian and Ferdinand; it is believed to have been sculptured by architect and sculptor Mattia Carneri.
Given his reputation as a writer and botanist, he is depicted with pen and ink, and with one hand on the book of Dioscorides (the father of botany). Mattioli did not only translated the work of Dioscorides, but also completed it with the results of a series of research on plants still unknown at the time, transforming it into the “Discorsi a Dioscoride" (1544), that is a fundamental work on medicinal plants, a true point of reference for scientists and doctors for several centuries.
In the tympanum of the monument the coat of arms of Mattioli and his wife Gerolama, Countess of Varmo, can be observed.
The Latin couplets on the basement commemorate the glory of Mattioli: “HERBARVM VIRES NEC RECTIVS EDIDIT ALTER/ NEC MAGE TE CLARVS HAC SVPER ARTE EVIT/ SI MEMS VT CORPVS DEPINGI POSSET IMAGO/ VNA DIOSCORIDIS MATTHIOLIOVE FORET” (Nobody else correctly informed about the properties of the herbs as you did, nobody else excelled in this art. If the mind could be portrayed as the body, the image of Mattioli would be equal to that of Dioscorides ). “SAXA QVIDEM ABSVMIT TEMVS SED TEMPORE NVNQVAM/ INTERITVRA TVA EST GLORIA MATTHIOLE” (Time will consume the stone but never your glory, Mattioli, as your glory will never perish).
“SAXA QVIDEM ABSVMIT TEMVS SED TEMPORE NVNQVAM/ INTERITVRA TVA EST GLORIA MATTHIOLE”
“HERBARVM VIRES NEC RECTIVS EDIDIT ALTER/ NEC MAGE TE CLARVS HAC SVPER ARTE EVIT/ SI MEMS VT CORPVS DEPINGI POSSET IMAGO/ VNA DIOSCORIDIS MATTHIOLIOVE FORET”
- Photos and main text by Francesca D'Antoni ti.liamtoh|acsecnarf.inotnad#| and Fiorella Puttini ti.liamtoh|inittuperoif#| (December 2014)
- Locate the item on this Google Map
- Aldo Gorfer,Trento. Città del concilio. Ambiente,storia e arte di Trento e dintorni, ARCA, Trento 2003, pp. 100-101.