(b. 1475, Caprese, d. 1564, Roma)

Tomb of St Dominic (detail)

San Domenico, Bologna

In 1469 Niccolò dell' Arca received the commission to complete and modernize the marble Arca of St Dominic. The contract specified that the decorated sarcophagus lid was to include figures of God the Father, angels, the Four Evangelists, a Pietà with adoring angels, a Resurrection relief and figures of SS Petronius, Dominic, Francis, Florian, Vitale, Agricola, Thomas Aquinas and Vincent Ferrer, and two angels with candelabra.

The lid was installed in 1473, but Niccolò never completed the terms of the contract, although he probably continued to work on the shrine until his death. In 1494 Michelangelo was commissioned to sculpt a few remaining figures, including St Proculus, which Niccolò may have already begun, St Petronius, and an angel with candelabra.

The picture shows the lower part of the tomb with Michelangelo's angel in the foreground.