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According to Ferdinand Gregorovius, the tomb is "at once the sepulchre of the Great Schism in the church and the last papal tomb which is outside Rome itself".
Cossa had a long history of cooperation with Florence, which had viewed him as the legitimate pontiff for a time during the Western Schism.
The long and complicated history of the relic would only have increased the legendary status of the finger: Philotheus Kokkinos, Patriarch of Constantinople presented it in 1363 to Pope Urban V, who passed it to his successors Gregory XI and Urban VI, who was dispossessed of it during the siege of Nocera, after which John XXIII bought it for 800 florins and wore it on his person before hiding it in the monastery of Santa Maria degli Angeli.
To harmonize these accounts, one must conclude either that Michelozzo's chronology was imprecise, that Donatello received the commission before the partnership was formed, or that the 1424 date in the Florentine calendar falls in 1425 in the modern calendar.Apart from the effigy on the sarcophagus, all the other sculpted figures are in high relief.Although the style of the work is thoroughly classicising, the overall form reflects the grandest type of the medieval Italian wall tomb, in which the vertical piling-up of a series of different elements is characteristic.At the time of its completion, the monument was the tallest sculpture in Florence, The tomb monument was the first of several collaborations between Donatello and Michelozzo, and the attribution of its various elements to each of them has been debated by art historians, as have the interpretations of its design and iconography.Antipope John XXIII had a complicated life, legacy, and relationship with the city of Florence.