One of the loveliest love stories in the Middle Ages is carved in marble in the sacristy of Lucca Cathedral. It’s the legendary monument of Ilaria del Carretto sculpted in the fifteenth century by Jacopo della Quercia, celebrated by John Ruskin and leading Romantic writers. A symbol of youth and immortal beauty, the eternal figure carved asleep in an unreal sleep was the beautiful young bride of the Lucca lord Paolo Guinigi, an art lover and precursor of that Medici patronage that would soon go down in history. The lady in question died in childbirth at age 25 and the Lucca-born nobleman commissioned to sculpt what is regarded as one of the highest sublimations of a man’s love for his woman in the history of art.