Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Plaster cast - Tomb of Ilaria del Carretto
  • Tomb of Ilaria del Carretto
    Quercia, Jacopo della
  • Enlarge image

Tomb of Ilaria del Carretto

  • Object:

    Plaster cast

  • Place of origin:

    Siena (town) (probably, cast)
    Lucca (original, sculpted)

  • Date:

    1406-1407 (sculpted)
    ca. 1899 (cast)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Quercia, Jacopo della (sculptor)
    Lelli, Oronzio (cast-maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Plaster cast, painted plaster

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Cast Courts, Room 46b, The Weston Cast Court , case FS, shelf N

Physical description

Plaster cast of the tomb of Ilaria del Carretto, wife of Paolo Guinigi, the wealthy merchant and ruler of Lucca, after the marble original by Jacopo della Quercia, situtated in the North Transept of the cathedral, Lucca.

Place of Origin

Siena (town) (probably, cast)
Lucca (original, sculpted)


1406-1407 (sculpted)
ca. 1899 (cast)


Quercia, Jacopo della (sculptor)
Lelli, Oronzio (cast-maker)

Materials and Techniques

Plaster cast, painted plaster


Width: 112 cm base, Length: 250 cm base

Object history note

Purchased from Oronzio Lelli in 1889 for £80

Historical context note

The tomb was first attributed to Jacopo della Quercia by Vasari in 1550, and he also identified the subject as Ilaria del Carretto (d. December 1405), wife of Paolo Guinigi, the wealthy merchant and ruler of Lucca. He records that following the expulsion of Paolo Guinigi from Lucca in 1429, the tomb was removed from the Guinigi chapel and destroyed except the effigy and sarcophagus, which are all that remain of this monument. Since this cast was made, in 1899, the coat of arms of the Guinigi family quartered with those of Ilaria del Carretto has been removed, in 1911, and restored to the head of the sarcophagus. Some of the plinth with swags on the side of this sarcophagus appear to be by a different hand and have been tentatively ascribed to Jacopo's collaborator, Francesco Valdambrino, whose presence in Lucca is documented.

Descriptive line

Plaster cast, painted plaster, after the original marble tomb of Ilaria del Carretto in the North Transept of Lucca Cathedral, possibly by Jacopo della Quercia, Lucca, 1406-7. Cast by Oronzio Lelli, probably in Siena, around 1889.

Labels and date

Ilaria del Carretto was the young wife of Paolo Guinigi, a wealthy merchant and ruler of the city of Lucca. When this cast was made in the 19th century, her tomb was a widely celebrated sculpture. Its idealised portrayal of a beautiful woman who died prematurely appealed to Victorian taste. The dog at Ilaria's feet symbolises fidelity. [2014]






Ph_survey; Architecture; Sculpture; Death


Sculpture Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.