Antonio Pollaiuolo

Antonio Pollaiuolo

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Antonio del Pollaiolo also known as Antonio di Jacopo Pollaiuolo or Antonio Pollaiolo, was an Italian
Italian people
The Italian people are an ethnic group that share a common Italian culture, ancestry and speak the Italian language as a mother tongue. Within Italy, Italians are defined by citizenship, regardless of ancestry or country of residence , and are distinguished from people...

 painter
Painting
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface . The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is...

, sculptor
Sculpture
Sculpture is three-dimensional artwork created by shaping or combining hard materials—typically stone such as marble—or metal, glass, or wood. Softer materials can also be used, such as clay, textiles, plastics, polymers and softer metals...

, engraver and goldsmith
Goldsmith
A goldsmith is a metalworker who specializes in working with gold and other precious metals. Since ancient times the techniques of a goldsmith have evolved very little in order to produce items of jewelry of quality standards. In modern times actual goldsmiths are rare...

 during the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

.

Biography


He was born in Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

.

His brother, Piero, was also an artist, and the two frequently worked together. Their work shows both classical
Classicism
Classicism, in the arts, refers generally to a high regard for classical antiquity, as setting standards for taste which the classicists seek to emulate. The art of classicism typically seeks to be formal and restrained: of the Discobolus Sir Kenneth Clark observed, "if we object to his restraint...

 influences and an interest in human anatomy
Human anatomy
Human anatomy is primarily the scientific study of the morphology of the human body. Anatomy is subdivided into gross anatomy and microscopic anatomy. Gross anatomy is the study of anatomical structures that can be seen by the naked eye...

; reportedly, the brothers carried out dissection
Dissection
Dissection is usually the process of disassembling and observing something to determine its internal structure and as an aid to discerning the functions and relationships of its components....

s to improve their knowledge of the subject. They took their nickname from the trade of their father, who in fact sold poultry (pollaio meaning "hen coop" in Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

). Antonio's first studies of goldsmithing and metalworking were under either his father or Andrea del Castagno
Andrea del Castagno
Andrea del Castagno was an Italian painter from Florence, influenced chiefly by Tommaso Masaccio and Giotto di Bondone. His works include frescoes in Sant'Apollonia in Florence and the painted equestrian monument of Niccolò da Tolentino in the Cathedral in Florence...

: the latter probably taught him also in painting.

Some of Pollaiolo's painting exhibits strong brutality, of which the characteristics can be studied in the Saint Sebastian, painted in 1473-1475 for the Pucci Chapel of the SS. Annunziata of Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

. However, in contrast, his female portraits exhibit a calmness and a meticulous attention to detail of fashion, as was the norm in late 15th century portraiture.
He achieved his greatest successes as a sculptor and metal-worker. The exact ascription of his works is doubtful, as his brother Piero did much in collaboration with him.

He only produced one surviving engraving
Engraving
Engraving is the practice of incising a design on to a hard, usually flat surface, by cutting grooves into it. The result may be a decorated object in itself, as when silver, gold, steel, or glass are engraved, or may provide an intaglio printing plate, of copper or another metal, for printing...

, the Battle of the Nude Men
Battle of the Nudes (engraving)
The Battle of the Nudes or Battle of the Naked Men, probably dating from 1465–1475, is an engraving by the Florentine goldsmith and sculptor Antonio del Pollaiuolo which is one of the most significant old master prints of the Italian Renaissance...

, but both in its size and sophistication this took the Italian print
Old master print
An old master print is a work of art produced by a printing process within the Western tradition . A date of about 1830 is usually taken as marking the end of the period whose prints are covered by this term. The main techniques concerned are woodcut, engraving and etching, although there are...

 to new levels, and remains one of the most famous prints of the Renaissance.

In 1484 Antonio took up his residence in Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, where he executed the tomb of Pope Sixtus IV
Pope Sixtus IV
Pope Sixtus IV , born Francesco della Rovere, was Pope from 1471 to 1484. His accomplishments as Pope included the establishment of the Sistine Chapel; the group of artists that he brought together introduced the Early Renaissance into Rome with the first masterpiece of the city's new artistic age,...

, now in the Museum of St. Peter's
St. Peter's Basilica
The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter , officially known in Italian as ' and commonly known as Saint Peter's Basilica, is a Late Renaissance church located within the Vatican City. Saint Peter's Basilica has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world...

 (finished in 1493), a composition in which he again manifested the quality of exaggeration in the anatomical features of the figures. In 1496 he went to Florence in order to put the finishing touches to the work already begun in the sacristy of Santo Spirito.

He died in Rome as a rich man, having just finished his mausoleum of Pope Innocent VIII
Pope Innocent VIII
Pope Innocent VIII , born Giovanni Battista Cybo , was Pope from 1484 until his death.-Early years:Giovanni Battista Cybo was born at Genoa of Greek extraction...

, also in St. Peter's, and was buried in the church of San Pietro in Vincoli
San Pietro in Vincoli
San Pietro in Vincoli is a Roman Catholic titular church and minor basilica in Rome, Italy, best known for being the home of Michelangelo's statue of Moses, part of the tomb of Pope Julius II.-History:...

, where a monument was raised to him near that of his brother.

His main contribution to Florentine painting lay in his analysis of the human body in movement or under conditions of strain, but he is also important for his pioneering interest in landscape. His students included Sandro Botticelli
Sandro Botticelli
Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, better known as Sandro Botticelli was an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance...

.

Engraving

  • Battle of the Nudes
    Battle of the Nudes (engraving)
    The Battle of the Nudes or Battle of the Naked Men, probably dating from 1465–1475, is an engraving by the Florentine goldsmith and sculptor Antonio del Pollaiuolo which is one of the most significant old master prints of the Italian Renaissance...

     (1470s?) - Engraving, 42,8 x 61,8 cm.


Paintings

  • Altarpiece for the Chapel of the Cardinal of Portugal (1467) - Fresco, San Miniato al Monte, Florence
    Florence
    Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

  • Portrait of a Young Woman (c. 1465) - Poplar panel, 52,5 x 36,2 cm, Staatliche Museen, Berlin
    Berlin
    Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

  • The Saints Vincent, James and Eustace (1468) - Tempera on wood, 172 x 179 cm, Uffizi
    Uffizi
    The Uffizi Gallery , is a museum in Florence, Italy. It is one of the oldest and most famous art museums of the Western world.-History:...

    , Florence
    Florence
    Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

  • Apollo and Daphne (1470–1480) - Tempera on wood, 30 x 20 cm, National Gallery
    National Gallery, London
    The National Gallery is an art museum on Trafalgar Square, London, United Kingdom. Founded in 1824, it houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900. The gallery is an exempt charity, and a non-departmental public body of the Department for Culture, Media...

    , London
    London
    London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

  • Saint Sebastian (1473–1475) - Panel, 292 x 223 cm, National Gallery
    National Gallery, London
    The National Gallery is an art museum on Trafalgar Square, London, United Kingdom. Founded in 1824, it houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900. The gallery is an exempt charity, and a non-departmental public body of the Department for Culture, Media...

    , London
    London
    London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

  • Portrait of a Young Woman (c. 1475) - Tempera on wood,la sdfb 55 x 34 cm, Uffizi
    Uffizi
    The Uffizi Gallery , is a museum in Florence, Italy. It is one of the oldest and most famous art museums of the Western world.-History:...

    , Florence
    Florence
    Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

  • Hercules and the Hydra (c. 1475) - Tempera on wood, 17 x 12 cm, Uffizi
    Uffizi
    The Uffizi Gallery , is a museum in Florence, Italy. It is one of the oldest and most famous art museums of the Western world.-History:...

    , Florence
    Florence
    Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

  • Hercules and Antaeus (c. 1478)- Tempera on wood, 16 x 9 cm, Uffizi
    Uffizi
    The Uffizi Gallery , is a museum in Florence, Italy. It is one of the oldest and most famous art museums of the Western world.-History:...

    , Florence
    Florence
    Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

  • Portrait of a Girl - Panel, Museo Poldi Pezzoli
    Museo Poldi Pezzoli
    The Museo Poldi Pezzoli is an art museum in Milan, Italy.The museum was originated in the 19th century as private collection of Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli and his mother, Rosa Trivulzio, of the family of the condottiero Gian Giacomo Trivulzio, and has a particularly broad collection of Northern...

    , Milan
    Milan
    Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

  • Hercules and Deianira - Oil on Canvas, Yale University Art Gallery
    Yale University Art Gallery
    The Yale University Art Gallery houses a significant and encyclopedic collection of art in several buildings on the campus of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Although it embraces all cultures and periods, the Gallery possesses especially renowned collections of early Italian painting,...

    , New Haven

Sculptures

  • Judith (c.1455-70) - bronze
  • St Christopher and the Infant Christ (Pollaiolo) - Metropolitan Museum, New York
  • Hercules (1475) - Bronze