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

Lamentation over the Dead Christ

before 1456
Bronze, 34 x 42 cm
Victoria and Albert Museum, London

A comparison between the rendering of the drapery in the Lamentation over the Dead Christ of the London Victoria and Albert Museum, and that of the Chellini Madonna, would suggest that this bronze - whose chronology is disputed by scholars - belongs to the same period.

This group is clearly only a fragment. It is unclear what the original purpose of the small, very dramatic relief was. The fact that the background of the relief is missing has given rise to the suggestion that this was a trial piece for the briefly planned bronze portals for the cathedral in Siena. Unfortunately, these were never carried out.