DONATELLO
(b. ca. 1386, Firenze, d. 1466, Firenze)

Funeral Monument to the Anti-pope John XXIII (detail)

1422-28
Gilded pietra serena
Baptistry, Florence

The reclining statue of the anti-pope John XXIII, Cardinal Baldassarre Cossa, who died in Florence in 1419, is realistically rendered in the facial details and the deep folds of the garments; it lies under the high baldachin of Donatello (who, together with Michelozzo, was responsible for the architectural conceptualizations of the whole monument). If the realism had become accentuated, the sense of motion had grown, and the relationship between figure and space had become even more apparent, this rapport now became increasingly detailed and reached its full flowering in the reliefs, where through the rilievo schiacciato Donatello was able to give free rein to his skill in picture-making.

The head of the deceased man is leaning to one side is modelled extraordinarily vividly; his body is the only part of the funeral monument to have been carried out in gilded bronze