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

Tombstone of Bishop Giovanni Pecci

c. 1426
Bronze, 247 x 88 cm
Duomo, Siena

In the works that followed the statues in the Baptistry of Siena - the Tombstone of Bishop Giovanni Pecci in the Cathedral of Siena, signed and dated 1426, the Assumption of the Virgin carved in Pisa in 1427 for the Brancacci tomb in Sant'Angelo a Nilo (Naples), the Christ Giving the Keys to St Peter of the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Pazzi Madonna of the Berlin Museum - Donatello returned to the flattened relief, pushing its expressive possibilities to the utmost limits.

According to the inscription, Giovanni Pecci, the bishop of Grossetto, died on 1 March 1426. The commission to design the bronze tombstone was presumably given to Donatello immediately afterwards. The perspective of the arrangement is such that the dead man does not appear to be resting for eternity, but to be lying on a stretcher whose lower handles are still visible.