The cemetery of Borgo San Dalmazzo preserves the monumental tomb of the Engineer Sebastiano Grandis created by Leonardo Bistolfi. The sepulchral monument is called “The beauty of death” and was desired by Grandis’ widow Antonina Imberti in 1895. Considered one of the Art Nouveau masterpieces, the monument consists of a marble high relief depicting the deceased lying in the tomb, under a lowered arch. On the left there is a figure of a woman among the flowers, the “Beauty”, whose face stands out in the chiaroscuro of the arch; this female figure is wrapped in drapery that goes down to the base of the monument and is captured in the act of inhaling the scents of flowers in her hand. At the top left a frieze depicts workers at work with a drilling machine and recalls the Frejus Tunnel by Grandis. From a vintage photograph, it was possible to see how the work was still surrounded by a frame composed of ivy, removed with works on the post-war walls.
Bistolfi was born on 15 March 1859 in Casale Monferrato; he first attended the Brera Academy, then moved to the Albertina Academy in Turin in 1880, where he had Odoardo Tabacchi as a teacher. Of romantic inspiration, he was the author of monuments and portraits. In 1902 he founded, with friends, the magazine “L’Arte Decorativa Moderna” and in 1905 he exhibited at the Venice Biennale. He was Senator of the Kingdom of Italy and died in 1933.