This is the death mask created (or cast, however he made it….) by Andrea di Lazzaro Cavalcanti, also known as Buggiano, a sculptor who lived in Florence between 1412 and 1462. The element that interested me is that during this period of Florence’s history, it apparently became popular for people to have death masks on display in their homes. So here we are during a great renaissance period of art and the local denizens decide to buy themselves some death masks to display. Buggiano worked on numerous buildings, including Florence Cathedral, with this death mask dating from 1446.
The death mask is of Buggiano’s step-father, Filippo Brunelleschi, who was responsible for much of the construction of the dome of Florence Cathedral. Brunelleschi was buried in the Cathedral in 1446 and his tomb was lost for many centuries, only being rediscovered in 1972.