DESIDERIO DA SETTIGNANO
(b. ca. 1428, Settignano, d. 1464, Firenze)

Tabernacle

c. 1461
Marble, 447 x 140 cm
San Lorenzo, Florence

The tabernacle in the centre of Desiderio's Altar of the Sacrament in San Lorenzo is the outstanding decorative achievement of the fifteenth century. It forms part of a complex which include two statuettes of candle-bearing angels, a lunette with two angels and a standing figure of the Christ Child, and an antependium relief of the Lamentation over the Dead Christ. The cornice is supported by fluted columns, whose roundity is suggested by slight deformation at the sides.

It is possible that not all the elements of the tabernacle were installed simultaneously. The tabernacle's original location and configuration are unknown: it has been moved at least three times since its initial installation and its present arrangement is unlikely to be as it was originally.




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