(b. ca. 1386, Firenze, d. 1466, Firenze)
Nanto stone, 139 x 188 cm
Basilica di Sant'Antonio, Padua
The group called the Altare del Santo composed altogether of twenty-nine pieces of sculpture, all bronze except the Entombment, which was carved from Nanto stone.
The Nanto stone (or Vicenza stone) has always been one of the most used stone in Veneto Villas and Garden; one of the greatest exponent of the use of Vicenza stone has been the famous architect Andrea Palladio. This material is extracted from mines near Vicenza so as not to spoil the hilly scenery of the landscape. Being a sedimentary stone, it is characterized by the presence of fossils, shells and spots of oxides which are not to be considered as lessening its value or beauty but as something which makes evident its naturalness. The Nanto stone, like all sedimentary stone, is suitable for sculptures and benefits from a natural hardening process with time.
The Entombment was on the rear wall of the High Altar. There is a considerable commotion amongst the figures who are in the process of laying the corpse onto a sarcophagus. In the background, behind the four men in the foreground holding the body, are several women in a state of ecstatic hysteria. With countless overlappings, the confusion of bodies and gestures fills almost the entire surface of the relief.