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Jeffrey Chipps Smith

(b ?Munich, fl 1535; d Munich, 1567).

German sculptor, mason and medallist. In 1536 he became a master sculptor in Munich and shortly afterwards entered the service of Ludwig X, Duke of Bavaria. He moved to Landshut in 1537 to work on the construction of the Italian wing of the ducal Stadtresidenz. In 1555 he travelled to Neuburg an der Donau to oversee the shipment of stone for the palace’s chimneys. He was influenced by and may have assisted Thomas Hering, the sculptor of these chimneys (See under Hering, Loy). Also in 1555 he reverted to Munich citizenship.

The few surviving examples of his sculpture show him to have been an accomplished if somewhat derivative artist. Many seem to have been commissioned by Duke Albrecht V of Bavaria, who paid him an annual salary from 1558 (and perhaps as early as 1551) to 1567. Aesslinger’s limestone reliefs (both 1550) of the Massacre of the Innocents...

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[il Bologna; il Varignana; il Vecchio Bolognese]

(b Varignana, c. 1460–70; d Bologna, May 12, 1539).

Italian sculptor and architect. He was the son of Giovanni da Varignana and is mentioned in a contemporary poem as a pupil of Andrea Sansovino. According to Vasari, after the discovery in 1506 of the Laokoon (1st century ad; Rome, Vatican, Mus. Pio-Clementino), Aimo participated in a contest arranged by Bramante to make the best copy in wax of the ancient marble statue for later casting in bronze. His fellow competitors were Zaccaria Zacchi, Alonso Berruguete and Jacopo Sansovino. Raphael, who had been appointed as judge, decided in favour of Sansovino.

A payment to Aimo of 21 January 1511 documents two sculptures for the lunette of the Porta Magna of S Petronio, Bologna: an archivolt relief depicting a half-length figure of Moses, and a statue of St Ambrose. The latter was commissioned to provide a symmetrical counterpart to Jacopo della Quercia’s St Petronius, which is also in the lunette. St Ambrose’s robe, held together by a clasp, is gathered up to hip level by the right hand; below this is rich drapery with numerous dish-shaped folds. The figure as a whole is stockier than della Quercia’s and stands upright in contrast to the Gothic swing of ...

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Paul Davies and David Hemsoll

(b Genoa, Feb 14, 1404; d Rome, April 1472).

Italian architect, sculptor, painter, theorist and writer. The arts of painting, sculpture and architecture were, for Alberti, only three of an exceptionally broad range of interests, for he made his mark in fields as diverse as family ethics, philology and cryptography. It is for his contribution to the visual arts, however, that he is chiefly remembered. Alberti single-handedly established a theoretical foundation for the whole of Renaissance art with three revolutionary treatises, on painting, sculpture and architecture, which were the first works of their kind since Classical antiquity. Moreover, as a practitioner of the arts, he was no less innovative. In sculpture he seems to have been instrumental in popularizing, if not inventing, the portrait medal, but it was in architecture that he found his métier. Building on the achievements of his immediate predecessors, Filippo Brunelleschi and Michelozzo di Bartolomeo, he reinterpreted anew the architecture of antiquity and introduced compositional formulae that have remained central to classical design ever since....

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Samo Štefanac

[Aleši, Andrija; Alexii, Andreas; Andrea di Niccolò da Durazzo]

(b Dürres, c. 1425; d Split, 1504).

Dalmatian sculptor and architect of Albanian birth. Although he is recorded in 1435 at Zadar as a pupil of Marco di Pietro da Troia, his most important artistic influence was the Late Gothic style of Giorgio da Sebenico, with whom he worked in 1445 on Šibenik Cathedral and in 1452 at Ancona on the Loggia dei Mercanti. Between 1448 and 1460 Alessi also controlled his own workshop at Split and Rab. In 1466 he began work on his masterpiece, the baptistery at Trogir, which was finished in 1467. The chapel is rectangular in plan, covered with a barrel vault with acute angled coffers; its richly decorated interior is an eclectic blend of Late Gothic and Renaissance elements. The sculpture shares these characteristics: the Baptism of Christ over the entrance, with its elongated figures and complex drapery patterns, derives from Giorgio da Sebenico’s mannered style, while St Jerome in the Desert...

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Richard Schofield and Janice Shell

(b Pavia, c. 1447; d Milan, Aug 28, 1522).

Italian sculptor and architect. He was principally active in Bergamo, Cremona, Milan and Pavia. His professional success, in terms of the architectural and sculptural commissions and official appointments that he received, was far greater than that of any of his contemporaries in Lombardy in the late 15th century, including Bramante. Amadeo’s influence in both fields, for example in his use of all’antica ornament of local origin, was considerable.

He was trained as a sculptor and evidently apprenticed to Francesco Solari (fl 1464–71) in Milan and at the Certosa di Pavia (see Pavia, §2, (i)). In 1466 Amadeo assisted in the decoration of the large cloister of the Certosa and was apparently responsible for the terracotta lavabo in the small cloister. His first signed work, directly influenced by the Late Gothic style of Solari, is the carved portal in the small cloister with a lunette of the ...

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[Bartolommeo]

(b Settignano, nr Florence, June 18, 1511; d Florence, April 13, 1592).

Italian sculptor and architect. He was a major figure in Italian art in the second and third quarters of the 16th century. His extensive travels in north and central Italy gave him an unequalled understanding of developments in architecture and sculpture in the era of Mannerism. His style was based inevitably on the example of Michelangelo but was modified by the suaver work of Jacopo Sansovino. In both sculpture and architecture Ammanati was a highly competent craftsman, and his masterpieces, the tombs of Marco Mantova Benavides and two members of the del Monte family, the Fountain of Juno and the Fountain of Neptune and the courtyard of the Palazzo Pitti, are among the finest works of the period.

Orphaned at the age of 12, Ammanati earnt his living in the ‘Academy’ of Baccio Bandinelli c. 1523–7, after which time he left Florence, which was in political turmoil, for Venice. Jacopo Sansovino had just arrived there after the Sack of Rome (...

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François-Auguste de Montêquin

(b Burgos, 1526–7; d Mexico City, 1593).

Mexican architect and sculptor of Spanish birth. In 1541 he moved from his native city to Madrid, where he served as an apprentice to Luis de Vega, one of the architects working in the High Renaissance style for Emperor Charles V. Arciniega worked with Vega in the remodelling of the Alcázar at Madrid. At intervals between 1542 and 1548 he worked under the direction of Rodrigo Gil de Hontañón as a sculptor on the Plateresque façade of the university at Alcalá de Henares. He was possibly also responsible for the main retable in the church of Santiago at Guadalajara.

In 1554 Arciniega arrived in New Spain (now Mexico) with his brother Luis de Arciniega (1537–99), who was also an architect. He settled in Puebla de los Angeles (now Puebla) and worked there between 1554 and 1558, primarily engaged in a large number of public works as master mason. He established his reputation with the fountain that he constructed (...

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Phyllis Pray Bober

(b Bologna, 1474–5; d Bologna, Nov 19, 1552).

Italian painter, sculptor, illuminator, printmaker and draughtsman . He was born into a family of painters, and his youthful facility reportedly astonished his contemporaries. His work developed in the Emilian–Ferrarese tradition of Ercole de’ Roberti, Lorenzo Costa the elder and, above all, Francesco Francia. Until the re-evaluation by Longhi, critical assessment of Amico’s oeuvre was over-reliant on literary sources, especially Vasari’s unsympathetic account of an eccentric, half-insane master working so rapidly with both hands (the ‘chiaro’ in one, the ‘scuro’ in the other) that he was able to finish decorating an entire house façade in one day.

Longhi presented Amico as a creative master whose expressive intensity and sensitive use of colour rescued Bolognese painting of the early 16th century from sterile echoes of Raphael. Today Aspertini is viewed as an influential precursor of Mannerism, and his highly individual study of antiquity has been brought to the fore by the publication of his sketchbooks. Amico was not a mere imitator of ancient artists, but their imaginative rival, whether in his grotesques derived from the decorations of Nero’s Domus Aurea in Rome (e.g. the Parma sketchbook and the borders of his ...

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Sophie Page

Astrology is the art of predicting events on earth as well as human character and disposition from the movements of the planets and fixed stars. Medieval astrology encompassed both general concepts of celestial influence, and the technical art of making predictions with horoscopes, symbolic maps of the heavens at particular moments and places constructed from astronomical information. The scientific foundations of the art were developed in ancient Greece, largely lost in early medieval Europe and recovered by the Latin West from Arabic sources in the 12th and 13th centuries. Late medieval astrological images were successfully Christianized and were adapted to particular contexts, acquired local meanings and changed over time.

Astrology developed into a scientific branch of learning in ancient Greece, but because of the opposition of the Church Fathers it was transmitted to early medieval Europe in only fragmentary form in technically unsophisticated textbooks and popular divinatory genres. Literary and scientific texts provided more general ideas about the nature and attributes of the planets which were influential on later iconography. The first significant astrological images appear in 11th-century illustrated astronomical texts (e.g. London, BL, Cotton MS. Tiberius BV), which were acquired and produced by monasteries to aid with time-keeping and the construction of the Christian calendar....

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Isabel Mateo Gómez

(b ?Toledo; d 1595).

Spanish painter, miniaturist, sculptor, architect and writer. He belongs to the Toledan school of the second half of the 16th century. The son of the painter Lorenzo de Ávila, he developed a Mannerist style that is smooth and delicate and derives from his father’s and from that of Juan Correa de Vivar and of Francisco Comontes (d 1565). He worked as painter to Toledo Cathedral from 1565 to 1581 and was painter (Pintor del Rey) to Philip II from 1583. He acted frequently as a valuer for the work of other artists.

Between 1563 and 1564, in collaboration with Luis de Velasco, Hernando de Ávila painted the retable of the church of Miraflores (Madrid Province) with the Life of Christ and the Life of the Virgin (untraced); these are probably among his earliest works. He was commissioned to paint the retables of St John the Baptist and the ...

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Bruno Tollon

(b Arras, 1500; d Toulouse, 1557).

French sculptor, mason and architect . He was the dominant sculptor and architect of 16th-century Toulouse and deserves to be placed after Pierre Lescot and Philibert de L’Orme (both primarily active in the Ile de France) among the creators of the French classical style in architecture. His training as a sculptor probably took place in Arras, then a Spanish province in direct contact with Italy, and he probably also studied in Italy before arriving in Toulouse c. 1532. The exceptional quality of his work won him an immediate admiration that lasted into posterity. His origins and training were rapidly surrounded with legends, repeated by Dupuy du Grès in his Traité de peinture (1699), in which Bachelier is described as a pupil of Michelangelo. In the 19th century all important Renaissance monuments between Pau and Cahors were unhesitatingly ascribed to him.

Bachelier’s first employment was as a sculptor, and such works as his carved stone retables and altars in the churches of Toulouse, including the cathedral of St Etienne (...

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Charles Avery

[Brandini, Bartolomeo]

(b Gaiole in Chianti, Oct 17, 1493; d Florence, Feb 7, 1560).

Italian sculptor, painter and draughtsman . He was the son of Michelagnolo di Viviano (1459–1528), a prominent Florentine goldsmith who was in the good graces of the Medici and who taught Cellini and Raffaello da Montelupo. Baccio remained loyal to the Medici, despite their being in exile from 1494 to 1513, and this led to a flow of commissions after the elections to the papacy of Leo X (Giovanni de’ Medici) in 1513 and of Clement VII (Giulio de’ Medici) a decade later; after Cosimo de’ Medici became Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1537, these increased still further. This political stance made him unpopular with most Florentines, including Michelangelo, who were Republican at heart, and this lay at the root of much of the adverse criticism—not always justified—that greeted Bandinelli’s statues.

Baccio seems to have had an ambitious and impatient temperament, which led to frequent changes of master and of direction when he was learning his art. Until ...

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David Hemsoll

(d’Antonio)

(b Milan; fl c. 1471; d 1520).

[Ambrogio da Milano; Ambrogio da Urbino] Italian architect and sculptor. He was one of the most able and prolific of the late 15th-century peripatetic Lombard masons and was recorded by Giovanni Santi in La vita…di Federico da Montefeltro duca d’Urbino (1484–7) as being among the great artists of the period. His career has, however, sometimes been confused with that of other artists named Ambrogio da Milano, in particular the sculptor who signed the tomb (executed in collaboration with Antonio Rossellino) of Bishop Lorenzo Roverella (1475; Ferrara, S Giorgio), and his oeuvre may still not have been fully defined.

Barocci was probably involved in the sculptural decoration of Pietro Lombardo’s enlargement (begun c. 1471) of S Giobbe, Venice. By c. 1475 he was in Urbino, where, under the direction of Luciano Laurana and Francesco di Giorgio Martini, he executed numerous designs for stonework for the Palazzo Ducale. Some of this work (e.g. the portals of the Sala del Trono and the fireplace in the Salotto della Duchessa) is notable for the extremely fine low relief carvings of foliage enlivened with birds and other naturalistic details, a characteristic of Barocci’s work that Santi singled out for special praise. It is closely related in style and quality to the carvings in S Giobbe and S Maria dei Miracoli, Venice (where Barocci may have worked with ...

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Francesco Quinterio

(b Florence, 1396; d Florence, Oct 7, 1472).

Italian sculptor and architect. He was both an extremely talented sculptor and one of the pioneers of Renaissance architecture. He was extensively employed by the Medici family, especially Cosimo I de’ Medici (see Medici, de’ family, §14), becoming in effect his personal architect. His success can be attributed to an enthusiasm for innovation and a willingness to tailor his designs to his clients’ wishes. Characteristic of his work is the variety of styles, sometimes with medieval and Renaissance elements placed together in the same design.

Michelozzo was the son of Bartolomeo di Gherardo Borgognone, a tailor of French origin but a Florentine citizen for 20 years, who lived in the Via Larga. Michelozzo must have trained as a workshop apprentice, because in 1410 he is recorded in the registers of the Fiorinaio (coinmakers’ guild) as an engraver working for the Florentine mint. His apprenticeship in metalwork would have qualified him to assist ...

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Italian, 15th century, male.

Active in Milan.

Architect, sculptor.

Battagio designed the Renaissance gateway of Palazzo Landi in Piacenza, now the city's courthouse. He was also involved in the construction and sculptural decoration of the church of S Maria Incoronata in Lodi. Some biographers believe him to be the same person as a Giovanni da Lodi mentioned in ...

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Fiorella Sricchia Santoro

(di Giacomo di Pace)

(b Cortine in Valdibiana Montaperti, 1484; d Siena, between Jan and May 1551).

Italian painter, sculptor, draughtsman, printmaker and illuminator. He was one of the protagonists, perhaps even the most precocious, of Tuscan Mannerism, which he practised with a strong sense of his Sienese artistic background but at the same time with an awareness of contemporary developments in Florence and Rome. He responded to the new demand for feeling and fantasy while retaining the formal language of the early 16th century. None of Beccafumi’s works is signed or dated, but his highly personal maniera has facilitated almost unanimous agreement regarding the definition of his corpus and the principal areas of influence on it. However, some questions concerning the circumstances of his early career and the choices available to him remain unanswered. The more extreme forms of Beccafumi’s reckless experimentation underwent a critical reappraisal only in the later 20th century.

The primary sources of information concerning Beccafumi are Vasari’s biography (1568) and archival findings, mostly 19th century, relating to the artist. Vasari, although a direct acquaintance of Beccafumi in his last years and in a position to gather information from mutual friends, was, predictably, unreliable in regard to his early career. According to Vasari, Mecherino, the son of a poor farmer named Giacomo di Pace, became the protégé of ...

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Stanisław Mossakowski

(b Pontassieve, nr Florence, c. 1480; d Kraków, Aug 1537).

Italian architect and sculptor, active in Poland. He may be the otherwise unidentified ‘scultore Bartolomeo’, who was employed in 1505–6 on preliminary work being done on the marble mausoleum of S Giovanni Gualberto Bisdomini at the Badia di Passignano (Mossakowski, 1986). He was called to Poland before 1517 to design and build King Sigismund I’s sepulchral chapel (1519–26) in Kraków Cathedral and took charge of the masons’ workshop with its staff of c. 30 assistants, mainly sculptors from Tuscany. The Sigismund Chapel, this workshop’s chief masterpiece, was executed to Berrecci’s plans and with his collaboration. The centralized structure is built on a square plan and has an octagonal drum supporting a dome with a lantern (see Kraków, §IV, 2, (ii)). It is undoubtedly one of the most successful and original architectural and sculptural achievements of the Italian Renaissance outside Italy.

Other works by Berrecci include his collaboration in ...

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(b Mantua, c. 1516; d Mantua, April 2, 1576).

Italian architect, painter, sculptor and writer. He was educated in Mantua, was recorded as active ‘for many years in Rome and elsewhere’ and became known only when he was over 30, due to his design for the triumphal decorations set up in Mantua in January 1549 in honour of Philip (later Philip II of Spain), son of Emperor Charles V. The success of these decorations won for him the esteem of Cardinal Ercole Gonzaga, and he obtained the prestigious appointment of supervisor of the Cathedral Works (Opera del Duomo) and in May 1549 the title of Prefetto delle Fabbriche Ducali, a post that had remained vacant for almost three years following the deaths, in rapid succession, of Giulio Romano and Battista da Covo. The decree of appointment praises him as a ‘supreme architect, excellent painter, refined sculptor’, yet the only evidence of his youthful activity as a painter consists of an order (...