The Early Renaissance



del Verrocchio


Andrea del Verrocchio

(b Florence, 1435; d Venice, ?30 June 1488).

Italian sculptor, painter, draughtsman and goldsmith. He was the leading sculptor in Florence in the second half of the 15th century, and his highly successful workshop, in which Leonardo da Vinci trained, had a far-reaching impact on younger generations. A wide range of patrons, including the Medici family, the Venetian State and the city council of Pistoia, commissioned works from him. Exceptionally versatile, Verrocchio was talented both as a sculptor—of monumental bronzes, silver figurines and marble reliefs—and as a painter of altarpieces. He was inspired by the contemporary interest in the Antique and in the study of nature, yet, approaching almost every project as a new challenge, developed new conceptions that often defied both traditional aesthetics and conventional techniques. His fountains, portrait busts and equestrian sculpture are indebted to an iconographic tradition rooted in the early 15th century and yet they are transformed by his original outlook. His funerary ensembles are unique, so that, despite the great admiration they inspired, they had no imitators. Though a highly important artist in his own right, Verrocchio has often had the misfortune of being seen as in the shadow of his pupil Leonardo.



Tobias and the Angel

Egg tempera on poplar
National Gallery, London



Saint Monica

S. Spirito, Florence


The Baptism of Christ

Oil on wood, 177 x 151 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Madonna with Sts John the Baptist and Donatus

Wood, 189 x 191 cm
Duomo, Pistoia

Head of a Girl

British Museum, London

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