Liz McFarlinArth 352 term paper8 December 2008                             Issues in Women’s Tomb Sculpture of the Quattro...
the incorporation of mythological figures and virtues, as well as the idea of humanism. This new type ofclassicism was fir...
Tomb sculptures for women were not exceptionally common in Italy before the Renaissance. Ifcommissioned, they were usually...
in elegant folds. James Beck has suggested that these differences are due to the opposite genders ofthe subjects7. Presuma...
more modest patrons and earlier in the century. Humanist ideals will influence commissions to becomemore elaborate, grand ...
were generally not granted the power to commission any works of art, especially those which could beviewed by the public. ...
Fra Sebastiano. Donna Villana had to make Sebastiano her mundualdus, or living heir, before fundscould be obtained for the...
of the basic tomb structure is explained by Charles Seymour, Jr.: “’Bourgeois’ patronage in so far as itcan be isolated at...
Ursini), not a man. Even with quite a few similarities between male and female tombs, there were stillmany differences.   ...
Likewise, Barbara Manfredi’s tomb offers a splendid example of architectural sculpture. Thefirst wife of Pino III Odelaffi...
activated nude male child”16. Such sculptural innovation was rarely found in female tomb sculpture.Yet, Ilaria’s tomb was ...
her lifetime, unlike the tomb of Isabetta, which was commissioned by her husband Lorenzo. DonnaLucretia’s effigy, although...
appearance” and was typical in the depiction of members of the upper class in Roman Antiquity21.Thus, it seems as though w...
marbles quarried in different parts of the country and surrounding nations. However, the difference instone availability d...
(Fig. 1) Tomb Slab of Sibilia Cetto and Baldo Bonafari. c 1421, Santa Maria della Neve, Padua.                            ...
(Fig. 2) Jacopo della Quercia, Tomb Slabs of Lorenzo and Isabetta Onesti Trenta. c 1416, San Frediano,Lucca.(Fig. 3) Crist...
(Fig. 4) Bernardo Rossellino, Monument of Leonardo Bruni. c 1445, San Croce, Florence.                                    ...
(Fig. 5) Desiderio da Settignano, Marsuppini Tomb. c 1455, San Croce, Florence.                                           ...
(Fig. 6) Bernardo Rossellino, Tomb of the beata Villana. c 1451, Santa Maria Novella, Florence.                           ...
(Fig. 7) Jacopo della Quercia, Monument of Ilaria del Carretto. Detail. c 1406-1408 (?), Duomo, Lucca.                    ...
(Fig. 8) Benedetto, Briosco, Effigy of Beatrice Rusca. c 1499, Sant’Angelo de’ Frari, Milan.                              ...
(Fig. 9) Tomb Effigy of Cecilia Ursini. c 1549-61. San Lorenzo Maggiore, Naples.                                          ...
(Fig. 10) Giovanni Antonio Amadeo, Tomb of Medea Colleoni. c 1470, Colleoni Chapel, Bergamo.                              ...
(Fig. 11) (top) Francesco di Simone Ferrucci, Tomb of Barbara Manfredi. c 1466, San Biagio,Forli.                 (bottom)...
(Fig. 12) Arnolfo di Cambio, The Tomb of Cardinal de Braye. Detail. c 1282, San Domenico, Orvieto.                        ...
(Fig. 13) Tomb Slab of Donna Lucretia. c 1484, San Silvestro, Rome.                                                       ...
(Fig. 14) Silvestro dell’Aquila, Monument of Maria Pereira Camponeschi. c 1490-1500, San Bernardino,Aquila.               ...
BibliographyBeck, James. Jacopo della Quercia. New York: Columbia UP, 1991.Bertram, Anthony. Florentine Sculpture. New Yor...
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Issues in Women's Tomb Sculpture of the Quattrocento

  1. 1. Liz McFarlinArth 352 term paper8 December 2008 Issues in Women’s Tomb Sculpture of the Quattrocento One of the most fascinating eras in art history is the Italian Renaissance. Born from a revival ofclassical art and literature, the extraordinary increase in the number of commissions of more humanisticand individualistic works, especially those of sculpture, provide great clues about the social workings offifteenth- and sixteenth-century Italy. According to Charles Seymour Jr., “statuary has a uniquelyimportant function in the historical life of a great urban civilization”1. Thus, an abundance of sculpturemakes the Italian Renaissance an interesting and important period to study and question. Tombsculptures of both men and women were commissioned during the Renaissance in order tocommemorate the lives of important individuals and well as provide ample opportunity for families andinstitutions to display their wealth and connections. This essay will discuss the issues surrounding women’s tomb sculpture of the early Renaissancewith the goal of proving that although some women were able to have magnificently carved tombs fortheir burial, gender inequality--along with other issues--during the Quattrocento still prevented tombsof women from being as prevalent, grandiose and detailed as those of men. The Quattrocento is known for a more extensive program of tomb commissions by both menand women due to the changing tastes and ideals of the time. The early Renaissance is characterized bya shift away from the International Gothic style. Instead, Quattrocento artists were drawn to moreclassical forms used by the ancient Greeks and Romans and “superimposed individual character and astark realism, creating forms of superhuman strength and greatness . . .”2 Such classical forms include1 Seymour, Charles. Sculpture in Italy: 1400 to 1500. Baltimore: Penguin, 1966, pp. 5.2 Godfrey, F. M. Italian Sculpture: 1250-1700. New York: Taplinger, 1967, pp. 2. 1
  2. 2. the incorporation of mythological figures and virtues, as well as the idea of humanism. This new type ofclassicism was first seen in sculpture. There are various reasons why the Renaissance started first with sculpture. In Leone BattistaAlberti’s treatises on painting, the famous architect and humanist promotes the new classicizing andhumanistic form of art. In his writings he mentions five leaders of this “artistic revival” and only one wasa painter, while the majority of those mentioned were either sculptors or architects.3 The main reasonbehind sculpture’s lead in the formation of the Renaissance is due to the associations and connotationsof the medium. Sculpture offers a realistic, individual and tangible depiction of a person, more so thancan be obtained in painting. One of the central ideas of humanism was to become closer to nature sothat we (human beings) can rival its imagery4. Since sculpture is the medium closest to depicting peopleas they are in nature, it seems fitting that it was the forerunner of the Italian Renaissance. Likewise,sculpture has the potential to be animated to reflect individual characteristics, such as the topographyof the face and curves of the body, more realistically and three-dimensionally than painting. Overall,sculpture was able to embody and convey the ideals of this new form of art more successfully thanpainting, thus forming the basis of the Renaissance in becoming a prevalently commissioned medium inthe Quattrocento. Among the various types of sculpture, the commissions for large-scale and marvelously grandtombs became commonplace during the Quattrocento. This fact is due to another important aspect ofhumanism—the commemoration of human achievement. Many of the tombs that I will discuss later inthis essay were of important political and ecclesiastic figures. In terms of female tombs, the figureswere either the wives or widows of important political figures or saint-like figures on the way topotential canonization. Celebrating the passing of such important figures was thus another result fromthe impact of humanism in the Italian Renaissance.3 Seymour, pp. 1.4 Seymour, pp. 2-4. 2
  3. 3. Tomb sculptures for women were not exceptionally common in Italy before the Renaissance. Ifcommissioned, they were usually shown as a companion piece to their husband’s tomb and not as anindividual tomb. It was even more unlikely to see a female tomb with a full effigy of the deceased. Thiscompanion tomb structure did continue into the early fifteenth-century, more commonly with couplesof lesser rank. For example, the double effigy tomb of Sibilia Cetto and Baldo Bonafari (Fig. 1) depicts amarried couple of modest rank. Sibilia Cetto obtained a modest fortune from her father and used thatto build a hospital, church and monastery near San Francesco, Padua. The commission for her and herhusband’s tomb was ordered by Sibilia herself and managed by her lawyer husband5. The maleintermediary was essential, as discussed later in the essay. The tomb itself is a modest and moretraditional floor slab, containing two effigies in low relief. The figures rest side by side, lying straight.The effigies are simple and almost exactly resemble each other, apart from the differences in clothing.This tomb is sparse, reflecting the couple’s more humble funds and social status. Another instance of a companion tomb is that of Lorenzo and Isabetta Onesti Trenta by Jacopodella Quercia (Fig. 2). Lorenzo Trenta was a wealthy merchant from Lucca and ordered his and his wife’stomb slab from Jacopo della Quercia around 1411 for his family chapel in San Frediano. The tomb slabsare in the traditional floor structure and were originally placed in front of their chapel’s altar. Theeffigies are in low relief, yet higher than those of Sibilia Cetto and her husband. This tomb pairing isunique because the tombs are actually separate from each other and the heads are turned facing eachother. Few husband and wife Tuscan tombs have been documented with such an orientation6. Unlikethe figures of Sebilia Cetto and Baldo Bonafari, there are evident differences in the representations ofLorenzo and Isabetta Onesti. Both figures are shown with the traditional motifs of crossed hands, closedeyes and pillows that signify the sleep of death. Yet, the image of Lorenzo is much more linear than thecurved effigy of Isabetta. While Lorenzo’s clothing flows straight, Isabetta’s gown seems to flow and curl5 King, Catherine E. Renaissance Women Patrons. New York: Manchester UP, 1998, pp. 64.6 Beck, James. Jacopo della Quercia. New York: Columbia UP, 1991, pp. 97. 3
  4. 4. in elegant folds. James Beck has suggested that these differences are due to the opposite genders ofthe subjects7. Presumably, curved and organic forms relate closely to the curves of the female body aswell a woman’s ability to reproduce. Later in this essay, the topic of different visual modes betweenmale and female tombs is discussed more fully; nonetheless, the Trenta tomb slabs provide an earlyexample of these variances. Not all companion tombs were commissioned by middle-class to lower upper-class citizens asdemonstrated by Cristoforo Solari’s Effigies of Lodovico Sforza and Beatrice d’Este (Fig. 3). Although theTrentas were part of a wealthier class than Sebilia and her husband, they were not of a high politicalrank such as doge, lord or chancellor. Thus, the Trenta companion tombs are not as visually impressiveas those of Lodovico and his wife. Lodovico reigned as the Duke of Milan from 1494 to 1499 and wasmarried to Beatrice d’Este, who became an important patron of the arts during the Renaissance. Aspatrons, this couple was powerful, with access to large sums of money and connections. The tomb isagain in the form of a floor slab. This tradition seems to have only remained prevalent through the endof the century in the depiction of companion husband and wife tombs and not individual tombs.Although there have been exceptions, individual floor slabs were seemingly used primarily for women,not men. Nonetheless, Solari’s tomb is much more elaborate and in fairly high relief compared to thoseof Sebillia Cetto and the Trenta tombs. The figures lie next to each other and face forward. Their faces,most likely based on death masks, are highly individualistic and skillfully rendered. Unlike thedifferences in the Trenta slabs, the drapery of both Lodovico and Beatrice appear to be similarlyoriented in a linear fashion. Both figures also lie together on similar pillows and folds of cloth. Suchequality in depiction is surprising, especially with figures of such high rank, thus implying the importanceof Beatrice d’Este in society and rank. The issues of equality will be discussed more extensively infollowing parts of this essay. Overall, companion tomb slabs and floor slabs were generally used with7 Beck, pp. 96. 4
  5. 5. more modest patrons and earlier in the century. Humanist ideals will influence commissions to becomemore elaborate, grand and highly commemorative. Although the onset of humanism and revival of forms from classical antiquity brought many newchanges in aspects of tomb sculpture, there still remained many issues in the commissioning of femaletombs in the Quattrocento. The established gender roles in Italy during the fifteenth-century had agreat effect on the production of female tombs. Like most past societies, as well as many today, therewas great inequality between males and females. Men of the Quattrocento were part of the publicsphere; holding high ranking political and ecclesiastical positions, being able to go out and take part inthe daily activities of society, and interacting with whomever they pleased. Women, on the other hand,were associated with the private sphere. They were confined mainly to the home and were responsiblefor taking charge of domestic matters. Women were also seen as being subservient to their male-counterparts8. With such inequalities, it would seem impossible to even have had female tombscommissioned for family chapels. These chapels, although built for a specific family’s use, were still partof the public sphere, because the chapels usually were housed within a public church such as SantaMaria Novella in Florence. Thus, the public could view tombs of men and women freely, an obviouscontradiction to the idea of women as a part of the private sphere. Consequently, the women whosetombs were on public display have to represent a small and specific group of significant women whowere granted this privilege, even posthumously. With the strict gender guidelines of Italian society at this time, it might be surprising to knowthat there were woman patrons of female tomb sculpture and of art in general during the Quattrocento.There are many factors that had to have been present in order for women to commission tombs of men,and even more for them to commission tombs of other women or themselves. As previouslymentioned, women were seen as subservient and part of the private sector of society. Therefore, they8 King, Catherine E. Renaissance Women Patrons, pp.2-3. 5
  6. 6. were generally not granted the power to commission any works of art, especially those which could beviewed by the public. Yet, for men it was common for them to commission tombs for themselves, malefamily members and even their wives with full-sized effigies. However, on rare occasions, women ofextraordinary rank and class were able to commission tombs. These commissions were still usually fortheir husbands or other male relatives. It was not until the 1480s and later that women could even begranted works for their own tombs with full-sized figures9. Even after being allowed more easily tocommission tombs for themselves, tombs of women commissioned by women were never as elaborateor of as high quality as tombs such as those of Florentine chancellors, Leonardo Bruni (Fig. 4) and CarloMarsuppini (Fig. 5). And no female tomb could rival that of a pope. Also, women could not commissionfull-size, full-figured effigies of themselves, rather only for saintly women. On the occasion that a woman could patronize a tomb for herself or another woman, she had tofit a specific list of requirements. First, she had to be part of the upper class either through marriage orher family. Wives and widows of rulers had much greater access to money and connections thanmiddle- or lower-class women10. Thus, they possessed the proper social and financial status to enlistthe employment of a well-known artist. If a woman was not as well connected through marriage, thenher familial ties had to be prestigious for her to have the power to commission male or female tombs.Even with these criteria filled, a woman could still not commission a work without a male intermediary.This male figure acted as a guardian of the woman and needed to give approval and arrange theappropriate payments and meetings between the artist and commissioning family. A prime example isthe case of the commission for the Tomb of the Beata Villana by Bernardo Rossellino (Fig. 6). The tombwas commissioned by the beata’s niece, Donna Villana delle Botte. Although she was related to therevered beata, she could not commission her tomb until she enlisted the help of her aunt’s grandson,9 King, pp. 151.10 King, Catherine E. “Medieval and Renaissance Matrons, Italian-Style.” Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte, 55 Bd., H. 3(1992), pp. 376. 6
  7. 7. Fra Sebastiano. Donna Villana had to make Sebastiano her mundualdus, or living heir, before fundscould be obtained for the commission11. Without these male connections and the sainthood of heraunt, Donna Villana would not have been able to commission the full-length tomb and effigy of heraunt. This male participation again relates closely to a woman’s lack of involvement in the public sphereduring this period. No woman would have been allowed to have initiated such a transaction neithersolely on her own nor without such impressive familial relations. Contrastingly, men were not restricted in their commissioning of female tombs. They couldessentially commission any kind of tomb effigy, sarcophagus and architecture without restrictions. Theytoo, still had to be of high-rank and the upper class to be able to commission (and afford) grander works.Yet, overall they could commission much more elaborate and detailed tombs, of women or men, and ofrelatively less importance than a woman could. For example, Jacopo della Quercia’s Monument of Ilariadel Carretto (Fig. 7) is much more detailed and of an elevated quality than that of Benedetto Briosco’sEffigy of Beatrice Rusca (Fig. 8). Both tombs commemorate women of high rank—Ilaria, wife of tyrantruler of Lucca, Paolo Guinigi and Beatrice, widow of a Count and a beata sustained by the FranciscanOrder—yet, Ilaria’s tomb is much more magnificent and is a free-standing monument, while the tomb ofBeatrice is more modest and placed against a wall. Although Beatrice Rusca’s saintliness made her awoman of extreme importance, most likely more revered than Ilaria del Carretto, her tomb wascommissioned by her daughter not a male, and is thus much less impressive than Ilaria’s. This examplefurther illustrates the great difference between male and female patronage of tomb sculpture duringthe Quattrocento as well as the impact of gender inequality. The last sections of this essay focus on the art of female tomb sculpture in terms of visualcharacteristics and imagery compared with male tomb sculpture and offers examples of exceptionalfemale tombs. Overall, tombs of both men and women shared the same basic program. The repetition11 King, Renaissance Women Patrons, pp.221-223. 7
  8. 8. of the basic tomb structure is explained by Charles Seymour, Jr.: “’Bourgeois’ patronage in so far as itcan be isolated at this date seems to imply a collective market and a taste best satisfied by repetition . . .without much regard for quality of workmanship or originality of concept.”12 The basic structure of bothmale and female tombs thus repeats most of the same humanistic and classical elements that werepopular during the Italian Renaissance. Seymour claims that the only reason for differences in tombsculpture was based on economic differences between the commissioning bodies, for sculpture wasmuch more expensive than painting13. Tomb effigies of both genders generally displayed the deceasedfigure lying down in a restrained pose, with the hands crossed at the torso. Similarly, the pillow motif,signifying the peaceful slumber of death, supports the head of the figure in both male and femaletombs. Likewise, tombs of men and women often contained inscriptions that described the deceased,conditions of the commission, or artist information. A unique exception to these general similaritiesappears later in the sixteenth-century as the Tomb Effigy of Cecilia Ursini (Fig. 9). This tomb contains adouble effigy, that of Cecilia Ursini and her teenage son, with none of the typical sculptural elementsshared by both male and female tombs. Neither figure rests on its back; rather they are shown as lyingon their sides, propped up by their left shoulder. Although both figures do have their eyes closed, theydo not appear to be in a peaceful slumber and are without the common pillow motif. Instead, theeffigies seem to be alive and active. Other common characteristics are still present in the tomb, such asthe use of descriptive inscriptions and the full-male effigy and the semi-full female effigy. Yet, overallthe tomb of Cecilia and her son offer a more uncommon program for tomb sculpture, especially that ofwomen, that is explained by Catherin E. King as a common method “for the commemoration ofNeapolitan patrician couples from the fifteenth century onwards . . .”14 A tomb with this program wouldhave been rare during the Quattrocento, especially since it was commissioned by a woman (Cecilia12 Seymour, pp. 14.13 Seymour, pp. 14.14 King, Renaissance Women Patrons, pp. 152. 8
  9. 9. Ursini), not a man. Even with quite a few similarities between male and female tombs, there were stillmany differences. Male and female tombs differed mainly in architectural sculpture, visual characteristics, and sizeand type of effigy. The mixing of sculpture with architecture was a technique used mainly for maletombs, especially those of high ranking officials such as a chancellor, pope or cardinal. The tombs ofLeonardo Bruni (Fig. 4) and Carlo Marsuppini (Fig. 5) are excellent examples of the sculptors’ use ofpilasters and triumphal arch forms to create an elaborate shrine to the deceased individual. Suchelaborate and architecturally involved tombs for women were extraordinarily rare and were onlycommissioned by men for women of high importance and social standing. Two examples are the Tombof Medea Colleoni by Giovanni Antonio Amadeo (Fig. 10) and the Tomb of Barbara Manfredi byFrancesco di Simone Ferrucci (Fig. 11). Medea Colleoni was the daughter of famous condottiere,Bartolomeo Colleoni. In addition to having one of the highest political and military ranks, Colleoni andhis family were very wealthy, thus enabling the commission of such a magnificent tomb. Along withmany classicizing sculptural motifs, Medea’s tomb contains an impressive program of sculpturalarchitecture. Her tomb is housed within a small recession flanked by two grand pilasters carved in anorganic floral motif. The pilasters reach up to a cornice and entablature, topped with floral reliefsculpture. Beneath the cornice is a hint of the classical curtain motif that was revived in Arnolfo diCambio’s The Tomb of the Cardinal de Braye (Fig. 12). Cardinal Braye’s tomb was the first to re-introduce the classical device of drawing back a curtain as a method of displaying the deceased to theviewer in Italy15. Medea’s tomb is also set against a lozenge patterned wall of alternating black andwhite marble, which adds color contrast to the tomb and suggests spatial depth between thearchitectural elements.15 Bertram, Anthony. Florentine Sculpture. New York: E.P. Dutton and Co., 1969, pp. 13. 9
  10. 10. Likewise, Barbara Manfredi’s tomb offers a splendid example of architectural sculpture. Thefirst wife of Pino III Odelaffi, ruler of Bologna from 1467 to 1468, Barbara’s tomb most closely resemblesthose of Leonardo Bruni (Fig. 4) and Carlo Marsuppini (Fig. 5) in terms of architectural elements.Barbara’s sarcophagus and effigy are enclosed within two oversized pilasters topped with a triumphalarch and raised on a platform carved with various reliefs. Barbara’s tomb, like Medea’s, also containsthe curtain motif, except instead of an already drawn-back curtain, the curtain behind the effigy isdrawn closed with only one corner appearing to part slightly. These grand architectural schemes werequite rare in female tombs. The women for whom the tombs were commissioned had to have been of ahigh social status, as documents show they were. These two examples of architecturally splendidfemale tombs are still less impressive than those of some high ranking officials, such as cardinals andpopes, yet they are exceptional and demonstrate that female tombs could rival those of men.Nonetheless, inequality still existed since a woman could never have commissioned a work of such agrand nature, and most female tombs never reached this level of splendor. Along with differences in architectural qualities, male and female tombs differed in terms ofvisual characteristics such as detail, the presence and type of relief carvings and characteristics of thefigure. There were various factors that determined the visual characteristics used in female tombsculptures. As discussed in a previous section, patronage played a significant role in the commissioningof female tombs. Tombs ordered by men were much more elaborate, detailed and featured motifs usedmore commonly in male tombs, such as architectural elements and relief carvings. For example, thetombs of Ilaria del Carretto (Fig. 7) and Maria Pereira Camponeschi (Fig. 14) display the use of marvelousrelief sculpture. Both tombs contain delicately carved putti figures, which were more common in maletombs. The putti carved in Ilaria’s tomb were especially significant. According to James Beck, “Jacopo[della Quercia] was the first artist of the Quattrocento to render on a monumental scale the motif of the 10
  11. 11. activated nude male child”16. Such sculptural innovation was rarely found in female tomb sculpture.Yet, Ilaria’s tomb was commissioned early in the century, at a time when Jacopo della Quercia was stillinfluenced by the International Gothic style. Nevertheless, his tomb of Ilaria del Carretto did not have along-term impact on the development of female tomb sculpture in Tuscany or throughout the rest ofthe peninsula17. Thus, the case of Ilaria’s tomb is a wonderful oddity in the history of Quattrocentotomb sculpture. Another typically male tomb characteristic found in both Ilaria’s and Maria’s tombs aretheir free-standing nature. Free standing female tombs with full effigies were rare to begin with andwere usually only reserved for women of “exceptional spiritual distinction”18. Although their tombs arerare occurrences for female tombs, both Ilaria and Maria belonged to extremely important and wealthyfamilies. Ilaria was the second wife of Paolo Guinigi, lord of Lucca, and Maria was a member of theAragonese royal house. Only with such prestigious connections could these tombs be as elaboratelydecorated and free-standing as they appear. In general, female tombs lacked significant detail and relief sculpture. The visual characteristicsof the effigies of Isabetta Onesti Trenta (Fig. 2) and Donna Lucretia (Fig. 13) were much more common.Although the orientation of Isabetta’s effigy was uncommon, the level of detail in the effigy was muchmore commonplace for tombs of women. The figure is of moderate relief and dons a gown of flowingdrapery. The face, although damaged from foot traffic, appears idealized and quite simple compared tothe uncommon precision and beauty found in the face and hair of the Monument of Ilaria del Carretto(Fig. 7). Likewise, her tomb lacks significant amounts of decorative sculpture. The relief sculpture that ispresent relates to the ornamentation of the funerary pillow, not the expressive putti, curtain or virtuemotifs found on the majority of male tombs. Even more simplistic is the tomb slab of Donna Lucretia.Her tomb is especially simple and modest due to the fact that she patronized the work herself during16 Beck, pp. 66.17 Beck, pp. 148.18 King, Renaissance Women Patrons, pp. 154. 11
  12. 12. her lifetime, unlike the tomb of Isabetta, which was commissioned by her husband Lorenzo. DonnaLucretia’s effigy, although full-length, is of little or no relief at all. Her depiction is realistic, yet still verysimple—only faint outlines of the pillow and gown are visible. Donna Lucretia’s tomb does not containany elaborate details such as putti, religious figures or scenes. Other typical female tombs are those ofSibilia Cetto (Fig. 1) and Effigy of Beatrice Rusca (Fig. 8), discussed earlier in this essay. In contrast, maletombs typically contained many sculptural details such as putti or angel figures, personifications ofvirtues, religious scenes, such as the Madonna and Child, and various ornamental elements (see Figs. 4and 5). Another difference in visual characteristics between male and female tombs and even femaletombs with other tombs of women was in the facial depiction of the effigy. Male patrons tended torequest that the female effigy be idealized and pleasing to look at, even if a death mask was used as atopographical reference19. As seen in the Monument of Ilaria del Carretto (Fig. 7) as well as in the Tombof Medea Colleoni (Fig. 10), the faces of both effigies are passive and beautiful. Each woman’s face isattractive and bears no sign of the disfigurement of death; rather they display a youthful woman in apeaceful slumber. Such idealized attractiveness is absent from female tombs commissioned by women.Bernardo Rossellino’s Tomb of beata Villana (Fig. 6) and the Effigy of Beatrice Rusca (Fig. 5) featureeffigies of older-looking and unidealized women. Their faces are wrinkled with sunken eyes and semi-pursed lips. Another instance in which a woman commissioned a realistic tomb effigy, is the Tomb slabof Donna Lucretia (Fig. 13). Unlike the tombs of the beata Villana and Beatrice Rusca, Donna Lucretia’stomb was ordered by herself. As seen in the image, she clearly chose to emphasize “wrinkles and foldsof sagging flesh”20. Appearing unattractively realistic was a characteristic used most commonly by menin their own tombs or those of other men to represent the “disparagement of mere beauty and19 King, “Medieval and Renaissance Matrons, Italian-Style,” pp. 391.20 King, Renaissance Women Patrons, pp. 151. 12
  13. 13. appearance” and was typical in the depiction of members of the upper class in Roman Antiquity21.Thus, it seems as though women of the Quattrocento, although they experienced difficulties inpatronizing tombs on their own, chose to use a common masculine visual effect when commissioningtombs of themselves or other women. This realistic depiction appears to be powerful women’sattempts to close the gender gap to abolish some of the inequality they experienced during thefifteenth-century. On the other hand, men favored the idealization of women most likely due to theirand other peoples’ attraction to feminine beauty, or potentially to their desire to flaunt the beauty(whether fictional or not) of their deceased wives. Another factor that determined the visual characteristics of female tombs, as well as maletombs, was the location of the commissioning body. The location of the commissioning body impactedcertain sculptural elements of female tombs such as the type of effigy and stone used. The presence offull-sized and high-relief effigies depended not only on the rank and gender of the commissioning familyor institution (as previously discussed), but also on the governing body of the city in which the tomb iscommissioned. According to Catherine E. King, “commemoration with an effigy was a prestigious act,associated with the highest dignity and regarded as more or less decorous depending on the politicaltheory openly advocated in specific parts of Italy”22. Typically, governing bodies of powerful, dynasticfamilies were open to the idea of using effigies in tombs, as they themselves were typically the patronsof such grand tombs as those of Maria Pereira Camponeschi (Fig. 14) and Barbara Manfredi (Fig. 11).Dissimilarly, cities with more “communal” governments disapproved of tombs with effigies23. The availability of stone also affected female tomb sculpture by establishing a broad scope ofsculptural quality in the Quattrocento24. Different types of marble were quarried all over the Italianpeninsula. Apuan Alp marble had a different finish and required a different technique to carve it than21 King, “Medieval and Renaissance Matrons, Italian-Style,” pp. 391.22 King, Renaissance Women Patrons, pp. 113.23 King, Renaissance Women Patrons, pp. 113.24 Seymour, pp. 15. 13
  14. 14. marbles quarried in different parts of the country and surrounding nations. However, the difference instone availability did not have a major impact on the visual characteristic and motifs used in the tomb.Rather, it determined the color, finish and use of recycled stone in tomb sculpture. For example, theMonument of Ilaria del Carretto (Fig. 7) was carved from a brand new slab of marble and not recycledfrom old tombs like many tombs throughout Italy, because Lucca, the city in which in the tomb wasordered, contained some of the finest marble quarries and carvers in all of Italy,”25 thus giving themonument an impeccable shine. In summation, it becomes evident that gender inequalities were the main factor in determiningthe characteristics of female tomb sculpture. Male tombs were significantly more prevalent thanfemale tombs and were much more elaborate and impressive than most tombs of women. Women ofthe Quattrocento could not even commission tombs for female relatives or of themselves withouthaving the proper monetary and social credentials. Even with prestigious ties, most women had to use amale heir or guardian (mundualdus) as an intermediary to enter the public sphere of men. Althoughthere are a few extraordinary examples of female tombs that rival those of lower-ranked ecclesiasticaland political figures, these could only be commissioned by men of the upper-class. Unfortunately, itseems that even in death, men and women of the Quattrocento remained unequal.25 Beck, pp. 148. 14
  15. 15. (Fig. 1) Tomb Slab of Sibilia Cetto and Baldo Bonafari. c 1421, Santa Maria della Neve, Padua. 15
  16. 16. (Fig. 2) Jacopo della Quercia, Tomb Slabs of Lorenzo and Isabetta Onesti Trenta. c 1416, San Frediano,Lucca.(Fig. 3) Cristoforo Solari, Tomb of Lodovico Sforza and Beatrice d’Este. c 1498, Certosa, Pavia. 16
  17. 17. (Fig. 4) Bernardo Rossellino, Monument of Leonardo Bruni. c 1445, San Croce, Florence. 17
  18. 18. (Fig. 5) Desiderio da Settignano, Marsuppini Tomb. c 1455, San Croce, Florence. 18
  19. 19. (Fig. 6) Bernardo Rossellino, Tomb of the beata Villana. c 1451, Santa Maria Novella, Florence. 19
  20. 20. (Fig. 7) Jacopo della Quercia, Monument of Ilaria del Carretto. Detail. c 1406-1408 (?), Duomo, Lucca. 20
  21. 21. (Fig. 8) Benedetto, Briosco, Effigy of Beatrice Rusca. c 1499, Sant’Angelo de’ Frari, Milan. 21
  22. 22. (Fig. 9) Tomb Effigy of Cecilia Ursini. c 1549-61. San Lorenzo Maggiore, Naples. 22
  23. 23. (Fig. 10) Giovanni Antonio Amadeo, Tomb of Medea Colleoni. c 1470, Colleoni Chapel, Bergamo. 23
  24. 24. (Fig. 11) (top) Francesco di Simone Ferrucci, Tomb of Barbara Manfredi. c 1466, San Biagio,Forli. (bottom) Detail of effigy. 24
  25. 25. (Fig. 12) Arnolfo di Cambio, The Tomb of Cardinal de Braye. Detail. c 1282, San Domenico, Orvieto. 25
  26. 26. (Fig. 13) Tomb Slab of Donna Lucretia. c 1484, San Silvestro, Rome. 26
  27. 27. (Fig. 14) Silvestro dell’Aquila, Monument of Maria Pereira Camponeschi. c 1490-1500, San Bernardino,Aquila. 27
  28. 28. BibliographyBeck, James. Jacopo della Quercia. New York: Columbia UP, 1991.Bertram, Anthony. Florentine Sculpture. New York: E.P. Dutton and Co., 1969.Godfrey, F.M., Italian Sculpture: 1250-1700. New York: Taplinger, 1967.King, Catherine E. “Medieval and Renaissance Matrons, Italian-Style.” Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte. 55Bd., H. 3 (1992), pp. 372-393. www.jstor.orgKing, Catherine E. Renaissance Women Patron: Wives and Widows in Italy c. 1330-1550. New York:Manchester UP, 1998.Seymour Jr., Charles. Sculpture in Italy: 1400-1500. Baltimore: Penguin, 1966. Image Bibliography(Fig. 1) King, Catherine E. Renaissance Women Patron: Wives and Widows in Italy c. 1330-1550. NewYork: Manchester UP, 1998. pp. 66.(Fig. 2) Beck, James. Jacopo della Quercia. New York: Columbia UP, 1991. pp.238-239.(Fig. 3) Seymour Jr., Charles. Sculpture in Italy: 1400-1500. Baltimore: Penguin, 1966. pp. A135.(Fig. 4) Seymour Jr., Charles. Sculpture in Italy: 1400-1500. Baltimore: Penguin, 1966. pp. A59.(Fig. 5) Godfrey, F.M., Italian Sculpture: 1250-1700. New York: Taplinger, 1967. pp. 151.(Fig. 6) King, Catherine E. Renaissance Women Patron: Wives and Widows in Italy c. 1330-1550. NewYork: Manchester UP, 1998. pp. 224.(Fig. 7) Seymour Jr., Charles. Sculpture in Italy: 1400-1500. Baltimore: Penguin, 1966. pp. A9.(Fig. 8) King, Catherine E. Renaissance Women Patron: Wives and Widows in Italy c. 1330-1550. NewYork: Manchester UP, 1998. pp. 225.(Fig. 9) King, Catherine E. Renaissance Women Patron: Wives and Widows in Italy c. 1330-1550. NewYork: Manchester UP, 1998. pp. 153.(Fig. 10) Godfrey, F.M., Italian Sculpture: 1250-1700. New York: Taplinger, 1967. pp. 207.(Fig. 11) Seymour Jr., Charles. Sculpture in Italy: 1400-1500. Baltimore: Penguin, 1966. pp. A89. “Tomb of Barbara Manfredi.” A&A. <http://www.artandarchitecture.org.uk/images/conway/eb710c0b.html>.(Fig. 12) Bertram, Anthony. Florentine Sculpture. New York: E.P. Dutton and Co., 1969. pp. 12.(Fig. 13) King, Catherine E. Renaissance Women Patron: Wives and Widows in Italy c. 1330-1550. NewYork: Manchester UP, 1998. pp. 153.(Fig. 14) Seymour Jr., Charles. Sculpture in Italy: 1400-1500. Baltimore: Penguin, 1966. pp. A99. 28

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