The so-called “Lodoìga” was a sculpture probably meant to be part of the facade of Loggia Palace in Brescia.
The project designed by Jacopo Sansovino designed in consist of a balustrade enriched with two overlapping series of statues as crowning element of the facade.
The statues at the far northern and southern sides of the highest series should have represented Saints Faustino and Giovita, the city patrons, while the two statues at the centre were supposed to be the symbol of Justice and Fidelity.
Some researchers claim that the Allegory of Faith or Lodoìga was originally one of the statues to be part of the crowning decoration of the city Palace, having their same height, proportions and type of pedestal.
The author of the sculpture is uncertain: at least four artists were involved in the contracts for the implementation of the statues for the crowning of the Palace, but the virtue of Fidelity, which was not included in the contract, was eventually placed on the top. The same artist likely sculpted both virtues (Faith and Fidelity) but Faith, for an unknown reason, was never placed in situ and was moved at the foot of the Palace next to the first column on the left of the facade, where it stood for centuries.
Next to the statue was the stone of announcements, where town criers and speakers used to stand to address their speeches to the crowd.
People could have their say through the Lodoìga, which became a talking statue as the more famous talking statues of Rome, such as Pasquino: hanging anonymous messages to it, people could criticize their politicians’ actions.
Its use of talking statue intensified during Napoleonic time, at the end of the 18th Century: at that time the clash of ideas and thoughts started to be more and more intense and harsh, but Lodoìga was always on the people’s side spreading their messages of protest.
The name of the statue, “Lodovica” o “Lodoìga” in the Brescia dialect, was probably given after the poet Lodovica Fè d'Ostiani (1736-1814), who was famous for her easy verse circulating in aristocracy salons.
Due to restoration work of the square, on the 21st March 1874 the statue was taken to Martinengo Avogadro Palace, which at that time was a prison and seat of the trial court, in Corsetto Sant’Agata. That was just the first of the many times in which the statue was transferred: in 1887 it was moved in the yard of the Museum of Christian Age; in 1998 when the Museum of the city in Saint Giulia opened, it was placed in the first eastern yard of the ex monastery; then after a while, the statue was taken to the monastery of Saint Claire, seat of the university (Università degli Studi) of Brescia.
On the 14th November 2011 the last transfer of the statue was announced and it was taken back to its original location under the porch of Loggia Palace where it still is.
Listen to the Lodoiga, download SPICapp! Speaking statues in the city www.spicapp.it
ALLEGORY OF FAITH (?)
also known as LA LODOÌGA
Piazza della Loggia
Porch of Loggia Palace