VERROCCHIO, Andrea del
(b. 1435, Firenze, d. 1488, Venezia)

Tomb of Piero and Giovanni de' Medici

1469-72
Marble, porphyry, serpentine, bronze and pietra serena, height 540 cm
San Lorenzo, Florence

This is Verrocchio's first major sculpture, the tomb of Piero and Giovanni Medici, the sons of Cosimo, ordered by Lorenzo and Giuliano. Although related to earlier Florentine sepulchral monuments, it departs from the figurated tombs in white marble which had been popular during mid-century. It was made of the same materials as the pavement above Cosimo's tomb to stress the dinasty. Appropriately, it is double-sided - in an arch between the Old Sacristy and the former Chapel of Sacrament - and thus a significant step towards freestanding tomb. Its understated imagery and elegant decoration are representative of the late fifteenth-century art.