IU

Indiana University Bloomington IU Bloomington IUB

Lid from a Cassone with the Pazzi and Borromei Coats of Arms

This panel once formed the lid of a cassone, a painted wedding chest used to store linens and clothes. This cassone was commissioned for the daughter of Giovanni Borromei on the occasion of her marriage to Giovanni di Antonio de’ Pazzi. Their union in 1463 joined two of Florence’s most powerful banking families. The panel depicts two putti riding on dolphins (symbols of the Pazzi family), while the banners attached to their horns display the coats of arms of both families. Few examples of Pazzi heraldry remain extant, as their symbols were effaced in 1478 after members of the family assassinated Giuliano de Medici, the brother of Florence’s de facto ruler. It is thought that this panel formed the interior lid of the cassone, where it remained hidden and therefore unscathed.

Apollonia di Giovanni
Italian (Florentine), ca. 1415/17–1465
Lid from a Cassone with the Pazzi and Borromei Coats of Arms
1463
Tempera on panel
21 1/8 x 72 in. (53.0 x 180.0 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, 75.37