MICHELE DA FIRENZE
(active c. 1404-1443)

Tomb of Francesco Roselli

c. 1430
Terracotta
San Francesco, Arezzo

Michele da Firenze specialized in terracotta - though he is documented also as a stone carver, only his works in terracotta survive. The elaborate, originally polychrome tomb in San Francesco, Arezzo was made for the jurist Francesco Roselli. The effigy of the deceased is on top of the sarcophagus, set inside a niche with polylobed arches. On the front of the sarcophagus, there are medallions with portraits of jurists, members of the family. In the background is a scene of the Crucifixion.

The use of terracotta instead of marble to make a tomb is rather unusual. A possible explanation could be that clay was seen in Antiquity as a virtuous medium.