The most famous monument in Verona is the statue of Juliet in the courtyard of the House of Juliet, which attracts the attention of all tourists who come to Verona. The bronze Juliet was created by the Verona sculptor Nereo Costantini (1905-1969) and this is one of his last works, which has become a symbol of the city.
The statue of Juliet is one of the many works of the sculptor Costantini, who in his work repeatedly turned to the themes of Veronese culture and history, glorified in his works the inhabitants of the city, its traditions and legends.
For the first time, Nereo Costantini turned to Shakespeare’s work in 1964
He received an order to create a commemorative medal for the anniversary of Shakespeare (1564-1616). A few years later, the sculptor, on his own initiative, created a statue of the famous Verona heroine from plaster for free. It was cast in bronze at the expense of the Lions Club di Verona, and the cost at that time was about five million lire.
The statue of Juliet was ready by 1968, and for the first time before the opening of the Museum of Juliet’s House it was located in the Forti Palace (at that time there was the Gallery of Modern Art).
The plaster model of this statue is kept at the Academy of Fine Arts named after A. Cignaroli in Verona, and has recently been used again to create a replica in bronze of the “new” statue of Juliet. Now it is she who we see in the Courtyard of Juliet’s House, more durable, bronze thickness up to 1 cm.The previous statue was installed inside the House-Museum after restoration (the right breast could not withstand the abundance of tourists’ desires for eternal love, and over time, two holes formed on it).
Many wondered why Nereo Costantini portrayed Juliet just like that?
The prototype for this statue was a real woman named Luisa Bragozzi, a good acquaintance and wife of a friend of Eugene Morando di Custozza. Her bronze portrait was created by Nereo Costantini in the early 60s. Eugene Morando was not only a friend, he was also an amateur student of Costantini, it was he who introduced him to the Lyons Club of Verona in 1967, which sponsored the bronze casting of our famous Juliet.
A copy of the statue was donated in 1973 to England, the home of Shakespeare’s Lyons Club of Stratford, as well as to Munich, the twin city of Verona.