SORMANI, Leonardo
(active 1551, d. 1589, Roma)

Tomb of Nicholas IV

1573
Marble
Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome

In 1573 Cardinal Felice Peretti (later Pope Sixtus V), a Franciscan, ordered Domenico Fontana to design a new tomb for the remains of Nicholas IV, the first Franciscan pope in the thirteenth century, and commissioned Leonardo Sormani to provide the sculpture of the seated pope and allegorical figures of Religion and Justice.

The effect of the tomb is of a decorously correct, if chilly, classicism - a foretaste of Sormani's imperial stylistic associations in Sixtus's later projects.