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The Morelli Chest
Biagio d'Antonio and Jacopo del Sellaio and Zanobi di Domenico

In 1472 Lorenzo Morelli arranged to marry Vaggia Nerli. They both belonged to Florence’s patrician elite. To mark this event, Lorenzo ordered lavish furnishings for his chamber in the Morelli palace, including these chests ('cassoni') and their backboards ('spalliere').

Lorenzo’s chest and spalliera panel tell stories from Roman history. Furius Camillus chased the Gauls from Rome, while Horatius Cocles single-handedly kept invaders from the city’s gates.

Lorenzo and his peers were taught to follow their example, and to be prepared to defend their families and the Florentine Republic.

Key facts
Artist Biagio d'Antonio and Jacopo del Sellaio and Zanobi di Domenico
Artist dates 1446 - 1516; about 1441 - 1493; active 1464 - 1474
Full title Cassone with the Arms of Lorenzo Morelli and Vaggia Nerli (The Morelli Chest)
Date made 1472
Medium and support Tempera, oil and gold on wood
Dimensions 109.2 × 193 × 76.2 cm
Acquisition credit On loan from The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London
Inventory number L911.1
Location in Gallery Room 58
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