One of the finest sepulchral monuments of the 15th century is to be found in Lucca's cathedral. The beautiful tomb (c. 1408) of Ilaria del Carretto was carved by the sculptor Jacopo della Quercia (c. 1374-1438).
Ilaria del Carretto dei Marchesi di Savona (1379-1405) was the second wife of Paolo Giunigi, who ruled Lucca from 1400 until 1430. She died while giving birth to their second child, a daughter who took her mother's name.
The recumbent image of Ilaria, whose head rests on two tasselled pillows, serves as a lid for a marble sarcophagus. She is dressed in a fashionable gown with a high collar known as a palanda and lies with her arms crossed. Her headdress, a ghirlanda, is decorated with rosettes. At her feet crouches a small dog, a common symbol of fidelity, which looks up at its mistress.
The long sides of the sarcophagus are decorated with putti holding garlands of fruit, while the short sides sport respectively a cross of acanthus leaves and a shield with the arms of the del Carretto and Guinigi families.
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