MICHELOZZO DI BARTOLOMEO
(b. 1396, Firenze, d. 1472, Firenze)

Funeral Monument of Cardinal Rainaldo Brancacci (detail)

c. 1427
Marble
Sant'Angelo a Nilo, Naples

The Brancaccio tomb in Sant'Angelo a Nilo is an example of the floor-standing baldacchino type, based on Angevin tombs as well as Roman examples, reinterpreted in an early Renaissance architectural vocabulary usually attributed to Michelozzo. The sarcophagus, surmounted by a canopy supported by composite columns, is carried by marble caryatids - a favourite motif in Neapolitan tombs - which are probably the work of Michelozzo. Their identities are still uncertain, being either Christian Virtues or Classical Fates, although they appear to derive from Roman reliefs of religious processions but with an added movement that appears to capture an instant in the funeral ceremony. The simplification of the angular figures recalls both classical prototypes, especially their idealized heads, and the work of other 14th-century artists such as Giovanni Pisano.




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