MICHELOZZO DI BARTOLOMEO
(b. 1396, Firenze, d. 1472, Firenze)
Funeral Monument of Cardinal Rainaldo Brancaccic. 1427
Marble, partly gilded and polychrome, 1160 x 460 cm
Sant'Angelo a Nilo, Naples
The tomb monument of Cardinal Brancacci (most likely related to Felice Brancacci, the commissioner of Masaccio's and Masolino's frescoes in the Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence) is the work of Donatello and Michelozzo, carved largely in a workshop Donatello set up in Pisa and then assembled in Naples. It is a mix of Florentine and Neapolitan elements, an exported style conforming to local traditions. The classical, fluted columns, paired pilasters, classicising caryatid figures carrying the tomb chest, and the schiacciato relief decorating the chest are characteristic Florentine art, but the shape of the tomb with its baldachin-like architectural frame and the angels standing behind the figure of the dead cardinal and pulling apart the draperies as if to reveal it are typical of Neapolitan tombs.
The work was presumably started in Rainaldo Brancacci's lifetime who died on 5 June 1427. It is not innovative to the same extent as the anti-pope monument in Florence, and it is likely that Michelozzo was mainly responsible for its design and construction. Only the relief of the Assumption of the Virgin can definitely attributed to Donatello.