Master of Arts (MA)



Document Type



This thesis addresses the subject of two Medici family tombs designed by Andrea del Verrocchio for the church of San Lorenzo in Florence. One is the tomb of Cosimo de’ Medici and the other a dual tomb for his sons, Piero and Giovanni de’ Medici. In dealing with this subject, the paper discusses the Medici’s rise to power in Florence, Verrocchio’s career leading up to the tombs, and the important relationship between the Medici and San Lorenzo. The family donated lavishly to the rebuilding of the church and received in return spiritual aid and extraordinary burial sites. Upon first looking at these tombs, they seem beautiful, but simple. They are a stark visual contrast to the ornate Medici tombs in the New Sacristy of San Lorenzo that were later designed by Michelangelo. The tomb of Cosimo is marked with a simple floor slab in the crossing of the church, and the tomb of his sons in the Old Sacristy, though decorated with intricate bronzework, seems to be a rather modest monument in some respects. It is the work of this thesis to disprove these first impressions. Upon closer scrutiny, it becomes clear that Verrocchio and his patrons chose sumptuous materials, unusual locations within the church, and inspiration from classical sources to create enduring monuments that serve the purpose of not only memorializing the men, but also aiding their souls in the afterlife.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Mark Zucker