Tomb of the cardinal of Portugal, San Miniato, Florence
- (1460-1466)Created by Antonio Rossellino as the final resting place for Cardinal Prince James, cousin to the king of Portugal, who died in Florence of tuberculosis at the age of 25. In his honor, a chapel was built in the Church of San Miniato where the tomb acts as the centerpiece. Antonio here followed the prescription for wall tombs established by his brother Bernardo when rendering the Tomb of Leonardo Bruni (c. 1445) in the Church of Santa Croce, Florence. An effigy of the cardinal lies on a bier above the sarcophagus. Surmounting the tomb are the Virgin and Child who smile tenderly at the cardinal as they ready to receive him in heaven. Antonio's design is more dynamic than his brother's. Gone are the restrictive architectural details of the Bruni tomb, which allows the free movement of the soaring angels above the cardinal. Two more angels stand at either side of the sarcophagus and gaze at him with kindness, as if to suggest that the man's suffering has ended and he will now reap his just rewards in heaven. The chapel's décor includes a ceiling in glazed terracotta by Luca della Robbia and an altarpiece by the Pollaiuolo brothers. The works of these masters, created in brilliant colors, provide a stark visual contrast to the light marble surfaces of Antonio's tomb.See also Sweet style.
Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. Lilian H. Zirpolo. 2008.
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