- James Holderbaum
[Niccolò di Raffaello de’ Pericoli; il Tribolo]
(b ?Florence, 1500; d ?Florence, Sept 7, 1550).
Italian sculptor, engineer and garden designer. He was apprenticed in Florence first as a wood-carver with Giovanni d’Alesso d’Antonio and then as a sculptor with Jacopo Sansovino, whom he continued to assist well into the second decade of the 16th century. Vasari listed many works (most now untraced) from Tribolo’s youth, among which was his earliest fountain; an old terracotta copy (London, V&A) shows this unpretentious and slightly old-fashioned work to have featured two children and a spouting dolphin that foreshadow the blithe charm of his later masterpieces.
Tribolo was famously unassertive and often adapted his art to suit established or collaborative projects. His plump and lissom putto (marble, c. 1523–4) on the lower right of Baldassare Peruzzi’s tomb of Hadrian VI (Rome, S Maria dell’Anima) indicates his exposure both to antique sculpture and to contemporary Roman work, especially that of Michelangelo’s maturity. In 1525–7 he collaborated on façade sculpture for S Petronio, Bologna, where his portal relief of ...