Casa degli Omenoni: View of the street corner facade showing the entry to the right and six herms
The name Omenoni may also derive from telamon. The actual sculptor was Antonio Abbondio.
Between 1565 and 1567 Leone undertook the reconstruction of the house given to him in 1549 by Charles V. Now known as the Casa degli Omenoni ('House of the Big Men' in Milanese dialect), it is one of Milan's most distinctive architectural landmarks. Its unusual façade includes a frieze relief showing two lions attacking a satyr, two half-length caryatids flanking the central portal and six herms (double life-size barbarian prisoners, which gave the house its nickname). Imposing figures of this kind had never been seen before on the façade of a house or palazzo. According to Vasari, Leone dedicated his home to Marcus Aurelius, then considered the most virtuous of the ancient emperors. Thus the prisoners, each identified by an inscription as a tribe conquered by the emperor, together with a plaster cast of the Capitoline equestrian portrait of Marcus Aurelius in the centre of the courtyard, were part of a programme in which Leone presented himself to the public not as an artist but as a gentleman in the social milieu of the Habsburg empire. He had also been knighted by Charles V.