Sepulcher of Guccio de' Medici
- Florentine craftsmen - Ancient Roman art
- 4th cent., 1299
- Baptistery of Saint John
- Specific location
- Interior, southwest wall
- Original location
- Ancient cemetery area of Piazza del Duomo and Piazza San Giovanni (the sarcophagus)
- Height: 135 cm ca.; Width: 215 cm ca.; Length: 80 cm ca.;
- Whith marble
This elegant Roman sarcophagus from the early 4th century AD was most likely obtained from the cemetery of Florentia city, in the immediate area of the Baptistery. In 1299, the sarcophagus was adapted as a sepulchre for Guccio de' Medici, holder of the prestigious military and administrative office of ‘Gonfalonier’.
The practice of adapting Roman sarcophagi for new tombs was quite common in medieval Tuscany. In this case the work involved adding a lid, decorated with the Mystic Lamb, symbol of the Wool Guild of the Opera of Santa Maria del Fiore, and with two variants of the arms of the Medici, the family of the gonfalonier: shields studded with six bezants, or “spheres”. On each of the short sides there is a cross in ‘flowered’ style.
The front of the sarcophagus shows a boar hunt, a common decorative theme of Roman art. The figure represented on horseback, in the act of throwing a spear at a wild boar, is the portrait of the ancient owner of the tomb.