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Art

While traveling throughout Italy you will undoubtedly visit museums, churches and galleries. Various artists elaborately decorate most of them with numerous paintings and sculptures. Although most people are familiar with some of the more well known artists like Leonardo and Michelangelo, many of the artists you may not be familiar with. In order to help enhance your experience, Italvista.com has compiled a list of artists and famous people, whose works you might encounter along your journey through Italy.

• Leon Battista Alberti
• Carracci Family
• Fra Angelico
• Giovanni Bellini
• Botticelli
• Bramante
• Bronzino
• Brunelleschi
• Caravaggio
• Cesari
• Cimabue
• Donatello
• Taddeo Gaddi
• Lorenzo Ghiberti
• Domenico Ghirlandaio
• Giotto
• Leonardo
• Masaccio
• Michelangelo
• Pietro Perugino
• Pisanello
• Pisano Family
• Jacopo della Quercia
• Raffaello
• Guido Reni
• Tinteretto
• Tiziano
• Paolo Uccello
• Giorgio Vasari
• Verrocchio

 

See Popular modern artist Paolo Canciani and his classical style!

 

 

Leon Battista Alberti

Leon Battista Alberti was known as the father of modern architecture. Alberti was born in the city of Greece in 1404 and was sent to the finest schools in Italy. He studied many different subjects like mathematics, architecture, philosophy, law, art and music. Alberti received his humanistic training at the University of Padua and studied law at Bologna.

Alberti designed the Palazzo Rucellai perfectly proportioned on all of its three floors, with a combination of Doric, Ionic and Corinthian pillars.

Alberti wrote in both Latin and Italian. He wrote many love poems, dialogues, Latin comedy, fables, and treaties on sculpture, agriculture, law, etc. He also wrote a ten-book treatise on the proper way to situate a city: the proper climate, how the water should flow, work sites, materials, type of buildings.

Alberti was an ideal Renaissance man. He contributed to the development of architectural styles in the Renaissance. In many people's eyes he is the greatest architect ever.    Back to Top

Carracci Family

Carracci family of Bolognese painters, the brothers Agostino (1557-1602) and Annibale (1560-1609) and their cousin Lodovico (1555-1619), who were prominent figures at the end of the 16th century in the movement against the prevailing Mannerist artificiality of Italian painting.

They worked together early in their careers on a series of frescos in the Palazzo Fava in Bologna (c.1583-84). In the early 1580’s they opened a private teaching academy, which soon became a center for progressive art. It was originally called the Accademia dei Desiderosi, later changed its name to Accademia degli Incamminati. In their teaching they laid special emphasis on drawing from life (all three were outstanding free hand artists) and clear draftsmanship became a quality particularly associated with artists of the Bolognese School, notably Domenichino and Reni, two of the leading members of the following generation who trained with the Carracci.  Back to Top

Fra Angelico

Fra Angelico was an Italian painter and monk with extraordinarily religious roots of the early Renaissance. He combined the life of a devout friar with that of an accomplished painter. He went by the name Angelico because of the calm religious settings of his paintings.  Back to Top

Giovanni Bellini

Founder of the Venetian school of painting, Giovanni Bellini raised Venice to a center of Renaissance art that rivaled Florence and Rome. He brought to painting a new degree of realism, a new wealth of subject matter, and a new sensuousness in form and color.

Giovanni Bellini was born in Venice, Italy. Little is known about his family. His father, Jacopo, a painter, was a pupil of one of the leading 15th-century Gothic revival artists. Giovanni and his brother Gentile probably began their careers as assistants in their father's workshop.

Bellini's historical importance is immense. In his 65-year evolution as an artist, he brought Venetian painting from provincial backwardness into the forefront of Renaissance and the mainstream of Western art. Moreover, his personal orientations predetermined the special nature of Venice's contribution to that mainstream. These include his luminous colorism, his deep response to the natural world, and his warm humanity.  Back to Top

Botticelli

Sandro Botticelli, born Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi, is considered one of the leading painters of the Florentine Renaissance. He developed a highly personal style characterized by elegant execution, a sense of melancholy, and a strong emphasis on line; details appear as sumptuous still lifes.

Botticelli was born in Florence, the son of a tanner. His nickname was derived from Botticello ("little barrel"), either the nickname of his elder brother or the name of the goldsmith to whom Sandro was first apprenticed. Later he served an apprenticeship with the painter Fra Filippo Lippi. He worked with the painter and engraver Pollaiuolo from whom he gained his sense of line; Verrocchio also influenced him.  Back to Top

Bramante

Bramante (Donato D'Angelo) was the greatest architect of the High Renaissance. Most of his early career, which is ill documented, seems to have been devoted to painting. He probably trained in Urbino and is first documented in 1477 working on fresco decorations at the Palazzo del Podesta in Bergamo. In about 1480 he settled in Milan. Although he did produce a number of architectural works at this time (S. Maria presso S. Satiro, S. Maria delle Grazie, cloisters of S. Ambrogio), it was his painting, especially his use of trompe l'oeil and the rigorous monumentality of the figures in solemn spatial contexts that influenced the Lombard school.  Back to Top

Bronzino

Florentine Mannerist painter (originally Agnolo di Cosimo), the pupil and adopted son of Pontormo, who introduced his portrait as a child into his painting Joseph in Egypt (National Gallery, London).

The origin of his nickname is uncertain, but possibly derived from his having a dark complexion. Bronzino was deeply attached to Pontormo and his style was heavily indebted to his master. However, Bronzino lacked the emotional intensity that was such a characteristic of Pontormo's work and excelled as a portraitist rather than a religious painter. He was court painter to Duke Cosimo I de Medici for most of his career, and his work influenced the course of European court portraiture for a century. Cold, cultured, and unemotionally analytical, his portraits convey a sense of almost insolent assurance.  Back to Top

Brunelleschi

Florentine architect, one of the initiators of the Italian Renaissance. His revival of classical forms and his championing of an architecture based on mathematics, proportion, and perspective make him a key artistic figure in the transition from the Middle Ages to the modern era.

Brunelleschi was born in Florence in 1377 and received his early training as an artisan in silver and gold. In 1401 he entered, and lost, the famous design competition for the bronze doors of the Florence Baptistery. He then turned to architecture and in 1418 received the commission to execute the dome of the unfinished Gothic Cathedral of Florence, also called the Duomo. The dome, a great innovation both artistically and technically, consists of two octagonal vaults, one inside the other. Its shape was dictated by its structural needs—one of the first examples of architectural functionalism. Brunelleschi made a design feature of the necessary eight ribs of the vault, carrying them over to the exterior of the dome, where they provide the framework for the dome's decorative elements, which also include architectural reliefs, circular windows, and a beautifully proportioned cupola. This was the first time that a dome created the same strong effect on the exterior as it did on the interior.  Back to Top

Caravaggio

Caravaggio was an Italian baroque painter who was the best exemplar of naturalistic painting in the early 17th century. His use of models from the lower classes of society in his early secular works and later religious compositions appealed to the Counter Reformation taste for realism, simplicity, and piety in art. Equally important is his introduction of dramatic light-and-dark effects - termed chiaroscuro - into his works.

Originally named Michelangelo Merisi, Caravaggio was born September 28, 1573, in the Lombardy hill town of Caravaggio, from which his professional name is derived. He may have spent four years as apprentice to Simone Peterzano in Milan before going to Rome in 1593, where he entered the employ of the Mannerist painter Giuseppe Cesari, also known as the Cavaliere d'Arpino, for whom he executed fruit and flower pieces (now lost). Among his best-known early works are genre paintings (scenes from everyday life) with young men - for example, The Musicians, (Metropolitan Museum, New York) - which were done for his first important patron, Cardinal Francesco del Monte. Scenes such as the Fortune Teller (1594, versions in the Louvre, Paris, and the Museo Capitolono Rome) were especially appealing to the artist's followers.  Back to Top

Cesari

Italian Mannerist painter, also known as Cavaliere d'Arpino, active mainly in Rome. He had an enormous reputation in the first two decades of the 17th century, when he gained some of the most prestigious commissions of the day, most notably the designing of the mosaics for the dome of St Peter's (1603-12). Although some of his early work is vigorous and colorful, his output is generally repetitous and vacuous, untouched by the innovations of Caravaggio (who was briefly his assistant) or the Carracci. He was primarily al fresco painter, but he also did numerous cabinet pictures of religious or mythological scenes in a finicky Flemish manner.  Back to Top

Cimabue

Italian painter and mosaicist, born in Florence (originally Cenni di Pepo). He was one of the most important artists of his time, breaking with the formalism of Byzantine art, then predominant in Italy, and introducing a more lifelike treatment of traditional subjects. He was the forerunner of the realistic Florentine school of the early Renaissance founded by Giotto, and he is believed to have been Giotto's teacher.  Back to Top

Donatello

Donatello (Donato di Niccolς di Betto Bardi), master of sculpture in both marble and bronze, one of the greatest of all Italian Renaissance artists.

A good deal is known about Donatello's life and career, but little is known about his character and personality, and what is known is not wholly reliable. He never married and he seems to have been a man of simple tastes. Patrons often found him hard to deal with in a day when artists' working conditions were regulated by guild rules. Donatello seemingly demanded a measure of artistic freedom. Although he knew a number of Humanists well, the artist was not a cultured intellectual. His Humanist friends attest that he was a connoisseur of ancient art. The inscriptions and signatures on his works are among the earliest examples of the revival of classical Roman lettering. He had a more detailed and wide-ranging knowledge of ancient sculpture than any other artist of his day. His work was inspired by ancient visual examples, which he often daringly transformed. Though he was traditionally viewed as essentially a realist, later research indicates he was much more.  Back to Top

Taddeo Gaddi

Florentine painter and architect, the most important of the pupils of the Florentine painter Giotto, assisting his master for 24 years, as well as painting independently. After Giotto's death Gaddi became the leading painter of the Florentine school for several decades. Taddeo dutifully followed Giotto's principles in his work, setting his naturalistic figures against somber landscapes. He also experimented with the depiction of individualized human features and with lighting effects, both in his altarpieces and in his numerous frescoes.  Back to Top

Lorenzo Ghiberti

Ghiberti, Lorenzo (1378-1455), one of the most important early Renaissance sculptors of Florence; his work and writings formed the basis for much of the style and aims of the later High Renaissance.

Originally named Lorenzo di Bartolo, Ghiberti was born in Florence and trained as a goldsmith; in his sculpture he showed lyrical grace and technical perfection as well as a concern for classical clarity of weight and volume. In 1403, competing against such formidable rivals as Filippo Brunelleschi and Jacopo della Quercia. Ghiberti won his first major commission, the making of the second pair of bronze doors for the baptistery of the cathedral of Florence. (The first pair had been made in the early 14th century by Andrea Pisano) He spent more than 20 years completing them, aided by his students, who included Donatello and Paolo Uccello. Each door contains 14 quatrefoil-framed scenes from the lives of Christ, the Evangelists, and the church fathers. Installed in 1424, the doors were highly praised. Although the reliefs were mainly Gothic in style, the later ones show an increased interest in the antique and in deep pictorial space, with the figures assuming more importance than the drapery. This transition toward Renaissance style is also evident in three bronze statues of saints he made for Orso San Michele (1416-24).  Back to Top

Domenico Ghirlandaio

Ghirlandaio (original name Domenico di Tommaso Bigordi) was an early Renaissance painter of the Florentine school noted for his detailed narrative frescoes, which include many portraits of leading citizens in contemporary dress.

Domenico was the son of a goldsmith, and his nickname "Ghirlandaio" was derived from his father's skill in making garlands. Domenico probably began as an apprentice in his father's shop, but almost nothing is known about his training as a painter or the beginnings of his career. The earliest works attributed to him, dating from the early 1470s, show strong influence from the frescoes of Andrea del Castagno who died when Ghirlandaio was about eight years old. Giorgio Vasari the biographer of Renaissance artists, recorded in his Lives (1550) that Ghirlandaio was a pupil of the Florentine painter Alesso Baldovinetti, but Baldovinetti was only four or five years older than Ghirlandaio himself. He worked in fresco on large wall surfaces in preference to smaller scale paintings executed on wood panels, although he used them for the altarpieces that were the centerpieces of the fresco cycles in his major undertakings. He never experimented with oil painting, although most Florentine painters of his generation began to use it exclusively in the last quarter of the 15th century.  Back to Top

Giotto

Florentine painter and architect. Outstanding as a painter, sculptor, and architect, Giotto was recognized as the first genius of art in the Italian Renaissance. Giotto lived and worked at a time when people's minds and talents were first being freed from the shackles of medieval restraint. He dealt largely in the traditional religious subjects, but he gave these subjects an earthly, full-blooded life and force.

The artist's full name was Giotto di Bondone. He was born about 1266 in the village of Vespignano, near Florence. His father was a small landed farmer. Vasari one of Giotto's first biographers tells how Cimabue, a well-known Florentine painter, discovered Giotto's talents. Cimabue supposedly saw the 12-year-old boy sketching one of his father's sheep on a flat rock and was so impressed with his talent that he persuaded the father to let Giotto become his pupil. Another story is that Giotto, while apprenticed to a wool merchant in Florence, frequented Cimabue's studio so much that he was finally allowed to study painting.

The earliest of Giotto's known works is a series of frescoes (paintings on fresh, still wet plaster) on the life of St. Francis in the church at Assisi. Each fresco depicts an incident; the human and animal figures are realistic and the scenes expressive of the gentle spirit of this patron saint of animals. In about 1305 and 1306 Giotto painted a notable series of 38 frescoes in the Arena Chapel in Padova. The frescoes illustrate the lives of Jesus Christ and of the Virgin Mary. Over the archway of the choir is a scene of the Court of Heaven, and a Last Judgment scene faces it on the entrance wall. The compositions are simple, the backgrounds are subordinated, and the faces are studies in emotional expression.  Back to Top


Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo

Leonardo da Vinci was a Florentine artist, one of the great masters of the High Renaissance, who was also celebrated as a painter, sculptor, architect, engineer, and scientist. His profound love of knowledge and research was the keynote of both his artistic and scientific endeavors. His innovations in the field of painting influenced the course of Italian art for more than a century after his death, and his scientific studies, particularly in the fields of anatomy, optics, and hydraulics- anticipated many of the developments of modern science.

Leonardo was born on April 15, 1452, in the small Tuscan town of Vinci, near Florence. He was the son of a wealthy Florentine notary and a peasant woman. In the mid-1460s the family settled in Florence, where Leonardo was given the best education that Florence, the intellectual and artistic center of Italy, could offer. He rapidly advanced socially and intellectually. He was handsome, persuasive in conversation, and a fine musician and improviser. About 1466 he was apprenticed as a garzone (studio boy) to Andrea del Verrocchio, the leading Florentine painter and sculptor of his day. In Verrocchio's workshop Leonardo was introduced to many activities, from the painting of altarpieces and panel pictures to the creation of large sculptural projects in marble and bronze. In 1472 he was entered in the painter's guild of Florence, and in 1476 he is still mentioned as Verrocchio's assistant. In Verrocchio's Baptism of Christ (circa 1470, Uffizi, Florence), the kneeling angel at the left of the painting is by Leonardo.

In 1478 Leonardo became an independent master. His first commission, to paint an altarpiece for the chapel of the Palazzo Vecchio, the Florentine town hall, was never executed. His first large painting, The Adoration of the Magi (begun 1481, Uffizi), left unfinished, was ordered in 1481 for the Monastery of San Donato a Scopeto, Florence. Other works ascribed to his youth are the so-called Benois Madonna (c. 1478, Hermitage, Saint Petersburg), the portrait Ginerva de' Benci (c. 1474, National Gallery, Washington, D.C.), and the unfinished Saint Jerome (c. 1481, Pinacoteca, Vatican).  Back to Top

Masaccio

Masaccio (1401-1427?), the first great painter of the Italian Renaissance, whose innovations in the use of scientific perspective inaugurated the modern era in painting.

Masaccio, originally named Tommaso Cassai, was born in San Giovanni Valdarno, near Florence, on December 21, 1401. He joined the painter’s guild in Florence in 1422. His remarkably individual style owed little to other painters, except possibly the great 14th-century master Giotto. He was more strongly influenced by the architect Brunelleschi and the sculptor Donatello, both of whom were his contemporaries in Florence. From Brunelleschi he acquired a knowledge of mathematical proportion that was crucial to his revival of the principles of scientific perspective. From Donatello he imbibed a knowledge of classical art that led him away from the prevailing Gothic style. He inaugurated a new naturalistic approach to painting that was concerned less with details and ornamentation than with simplicity and unity, less with flat surfaces than with the illusion of three dimensionality. Together with Brunelleschi and Donatello, he was a founder of the Renaissance.  Back to Top


Michelangelo
Michelangelo

Michelangelo (1475-1564), arguably one of the most inspired creators in the history of art and, with Leonardo da Vinci, the most potent force in the Italian High Renaissance. As a sculptor, architect, painter, and poet, he exerted a tremendous influence on his contemporaries and on subsequent Western art in general.

A Florentine- although born March 6, 1475, in the small village of Caprese near Arezzo- Michelangelo continued to have a deep attachment to his city, its art, and its culture throughout his long life. He spent the greater part of his adulthood in Rome, employed by the popes; characteristically, however, he left instructions that he be buried in Florence, and his body was placed there in a fine monument in the church of Santa Croce.  Back to Top

Pietro Perugino

Pietro Perugino (Pietro Vannucci), Italian painter, active mainly in Perugia. From which his nickname derives. His early career is obscure, but he seems to have formed his style chiefly in Florence, where Vasari says he studied with Verrocchio - this would have been at about the same time that Leonardo da Vinci was training with him (another tradition has it that Perugino was a pupil of Piero della Francesca; this could have preceded his training in Florence). In 1472 he was enrolled as a painter in the fraternity of St Luke in Florence (the same year as Leonardo) and in 1475 he was back in Perugia.  Back to Top

Pisanello

Italian painter, draftsman, and medallist, who was the last and most brilliant artist of the ornate, courtly International Gothic style. Originally named Antonio Pisano, he studied under Gentile da Fabriano whose graceful, detailed style he inherited.

Pisanello produced paintings, frescoes, drawings, and portrait medallions for the courts of Milan, Rimini, Naples, Mantua, Ferrara, and Verona. His well-known small painting, Princess of the House of Este (1443?, Louvre, Paris), exemplifies his style; it shows a woman in profile against a tapestry like floral background and is characterized by elegant long lines, clear colors, and exquisite drawing of details.  Back to Top

Pisano Family

Pisano, name of two 13th- and 14th-century Italian sculptors and architects, father and son, who were the preeminent figures of the 13th-century Italian revival of the classical Roman sculptural style. Working mainly in northern Italy in the cities of Pisa, Perugia, Siena, Pistoia, and Padua, the Pisanos created carved pulpits, cathedral facades, municipal fountains, and church sculpture.

Nicola Pisano (circa 1220-c. 1284). Nicola, the father, is thought to have been trained in the Italian workshops of the Holy Roman emperor Frederick II, who encouraged a Roman revival. Nicola's carved reliefs for the pulpit of the Pisa Baptistery were derived from figures on Roman sarcophagi in the Camposanto of Pisa: A nude Hercules was rendered into a personification of Christian fortitude; a Phaedra became the Virgin Mary. These carvings are outstanding for their assimilation of the solid, three-dimensional Roman style as well as for their corresponding emphasis on the individuality and dignity of the human figure. They mark a turning point in Italian sculpture analogous to that represented in painting by the work of Giotto.  Back to Top

Jacopo della Quercia

One of the earliest Italian Renaissance sculptors, best remembered for his fountain for the public square of Siena, the Fonte Gaia (1419; now in Palazzo Pubblico, Siena), which has been replaced by a copy.  Back to Top

Raffaello

Raphael was an Italian Renaissance painter who is considered one of the greatest and most popular artists of all time.

Raphael was born Raffaello Sanzio or Raffaello Santi in Urbino on April 6, 1483, and received his early training in art from his father, the painter Giovanni Santi. According to many art historians, he also studied with Timoteo Viti at Urbino, executing under his influence a number of works of miniature like delicacy and poetic atmosphere, including Apollo and Marsyas (Louvre, Paris) and The Knight's Dream (1501?, National Gallery, London). In 1499 he went to Perugia, in Umbria, and became a student and assistant of the painter Perugino. Raphael imitated his master closely; their paintings of this period are executed in styles so similar that art historians have found it difficult to determine which Raphael painted. Among Raphael's independent works executed at Perugia are two large-scale paintings, the celebrated Sposalizio, or Marriage of the Virgin (1504, Brera Gallery, Milan), and The Crucified Christ with the Virgin Mary, Saints and Angels (1503?, National Gallery, London).  Back to Top

Guido Reni

Italian painter of popular religious works and critically acclaimed mythological scenes. He was born in Bologna and began to study painting at the age of nine, and about 1595 he became a pupil of the Carracci family of Bolognese painters.

Between 1600 and 1614 Reni worked mainly in Rome, where he painted the Crucifixion of Saint Peter (1601-03, Vatican). He worked (1608-09) on frescoes in San Gregorio Magno al Cielo, Rome, and in 1613 he executed his most renowned work, the Phoebus and the Hours, Preceded by Aurora, in the Rospigliosi Palace, Rome.

Reni was strongly influenced by classical art, and the realistic style of his early period contrasted with the exuberant baroque style of his contemporaries. During his final years, he returned to Bologna, where he established his own academy. He abandoned realism for a softer, more sentimental style.  Back to Top

Tintoretto

Tintoretto, originally named Jacopo Robusti, was called Il Tintoretto ("the little dyer") in allusion to his father's profession. As a young man he studied briefly with Titian, who soon discharged him from his studio; the animosity between these two great painters lasted throughout their careers. Unlike Titian, Tintoretto lived and worked exclusively in Venice. His immense output was produced entirely for the churches, confraternities, and rulers of Venice and for the Venetian state.  Back to Top

Tiziano

Titian is considered to have been the greatest 16th-century Venetian painter, and the shaper of the Venetian colorist and painterly tradition. He is one of the key figures in the history of Western art. Titian, whose name in Italian is Tiziano Vecellio, was born in Pieve di Cadore, north of Venice, by his own account in 1477; many modern scholars prefer to advance the date to about 1487. In Venice, he studied with Gentile Bellini and then with Giovanni Bellini but only the latter left a lasting imprint on his style.  Back to Top

Paolo Uccello

Florentine painter whose work attempted uniquely to reconcile two distinct artistic styles - the essentially decorative late Gothic and the new heroic style of the early Renaissance. Probably his most famous paintings are three panels representing The Battle of San Romano (mid-1450s). His careful and sophisticated perspective studies are clearly evident in The Flood (1447-48).

By the time Paolo was 10 years old he was already an apprentice in the workshop of the sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti, who was then at work on what became one of the supreme masterpieces of the history of art - the bronze doors for the Baptistery of the Florence cathedral, which consisted of 28 panels illustrating New Testament scenes of the life of Christ. In 1414 Uccello joined the confraternity of painters (Compagnia di S. Luca), and in the following year he became a member of the Arte dei Medici e degli Speziali, the official guild to which painters belonged. Though Uccello must by then have been established as an independent painter, nothing of his work from this time remains, and there is no definite indication of his early training as a painter, except that he was a member of the workshop of Ghiberti, where many of the outstanding artists of the time were trained.  Back to Top

Giorgio Vasari

Italian writer, painter, and architect, best known for his book on the lives of major Italian Renaissance artists.

Vasari was born on July 30, 1511, in Arezzo. Trained in art as a child, he went to Florence, where he worked in the studio of Andrea del Sarto and won the patronage of the Medici family. Among Vasari's major surviving paintings are murals in the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, and the Vatican in Rome.

As an architect Vasari was a follower of his brilliant contemporary Michelangelo. Among the important buildings he designed are the Palazzo degli Uffizi in Florence, now a museum, and a number of palaces and churches in Pisa and Arezzo.

It is as a writer, however, that he is most famous. His Lives of the Artists (1550, revised 1568; trans. 1912-14, 10 vol.), one of the earliest works on art written by an artist of merit, is a primary source of information about the artists of the Italian Renaissance. The revised edition includes his autobiography in addition to the lives of Michelangelo and other major painters of the time. Vasari's book offers his personal evaluation of the works of these artists, as well as discussions on the state of the arts. His easy, natural writing style helped to make his book one of the most enduring of art histories. He died in Florence on June 27, 1574.  Back to Top

Verrocchio

Andrea del Verrocchio (originally Andrea di Cione), Florentine sculptor and painter, who is ranked second only to Donatello among the Italian sculptors of the early Renaissance. He was born in Florence and, according to tradition, was trained in that city as a goldsmith, with Giuliano Verrocchio, whose name he supposedly adopted as his own; as a sculptor, with Donatello; and as a painter, with Alesso Baldovinetti. Later Verrocchio conducted a large academy in Florence that became the principal center of the arts. Among his pupils were Leonardo, Botticelli and Perugino.

Verrocchio's bronze equestrian statue of the Venetian condottiere Bartolomeo Colleoni that stands in the Campo dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo in Venice, is notable for the impression it creates of nobility and power and for the consummate mastery of the anatomical and technical problems involved. Verrocchio completed only the clay model for this work, which was cast after his death by the Venetian sculptor Alessandro Leopardi. Other major bronze sculptures include David (1470-72, Museo Nazionale, Florence) and Boy with a Dolphin (1476 for a fountain in the courtyard of the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence).

Most of the paintings once attributed to Verrocchio probably were executed by his pupils after his designs. Firm drawing and modeling and enamel-like color distinguish the few paintings that exhibit his personal style. His landscapes particularly reveal him as a pioneer in the rendition of atmospheric perspective. Among his principal paintings are Baptism of Christ (1470, Uffizi, Florence) and several versions of the Madonna and Child (National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City). Recent studies of the Baptism of Christ have confirmed that one of the angels and part of the background are the work of Leonardo.  Back to Top

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