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Michelozzo di Bartolomeo Michelozzi (1396–1472) was an Italian
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

An architect is a person trained in the planning, design and oversight of the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to offer or render services in connection with the design and construction of a building, or group of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the...

 and sculptor
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...



Born in 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....

, the son of a tailor, he was a pupil of Ghiberti
Lorenzo Ghiberti
Lorenzo Ghiberti , born Lorenzo di Bartolo, was an Italian artist of the early Renaissance best known for works in sculpture and metalworking.-Early life:...

 in his early years and later collaborated with Donatello
Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi , also known as Donatello, was an early Renaissance Italian artist and sculptor from Florence...


He worked in marble, bronze, and silver. The statue of the young St. John over the door of the Duomo
Santa Maria del Fiore
The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore is the cathedral church of Florence, Italy. The Duomo, as it is ordinarily called, was begun in 1296 in the Gothic style to the design of Arnolfo di Cambio and completed structurally in 1436 with the dome engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi...

 in Florence, opposite the Baptistery, was created by him; he also made the silver statuette of John the Baptist
John the Baptist
John the Baptist was an itinerant preacher and a major religious figure mentioned in the Canonical gospels. He is described in the Gospel of Luke as a relative of Jesus, who led a movement of baptism at the Jordan River...

 on the altar-frontal of San Giovanni. Michelozzo's great friend and patron was Cosimo de' Medici
Cosimo de' Medici
Còsimo di Giovanni degli Mèdici was the first of the Medici political dynasty, de facto rulers of Florence during much of the Italian Renaissance; also known as "Cosimo 'the Elder'" and "Cosimo Pater Patriae" .-Biography:Born in Florence, Cosimo inherited both his wealth and his expertise in...

, whom he accompanied to Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

 in 1433 during his short exile. While at Venice, Michelozzo built the library of San Giorgio Maggiore
San Giorgio Maggiore
San Giorgio Maggiore is one of the islands of Venice, northern Italy, lying east of the Giudecca and south of the main island group. The isle is surrounded by Canale della Grazia, Canale della Giudecca, Saint Mark Basin, Canale di San Marco and the southern lagoon...

, and designed other buildings there.

In 1428, together with Donatello, he erected an open-air pulpit at an angle of the Cathedral of St. Stephen at Prato
Prato is a city and comune in Tuscany, Italy, the capital of the Province of Prato. The city is situated at the foot of Monte Retaia , the last peak in the Calvana chain. The lowest altitude in the comune is 32 m, near the Cascine di Tavola, and the highest is the peak of Monte Cantagrillo...

. The large Palazzo Medici in Florence, built by Cosimo, was designed by him; it is one of the noblest specimens of Italian fifteenth-century architecture, in which the great taste and skill of the architect has combined the delicate lightness of the earlier Italian Gothic
Gothic architecture
Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

 with the massive stateliness of the classical style. With great engineering skill Michelozzo shored up, and partly rebuilt, the Palazzo Vecchio
Palazzo Vecchio
The Palazzo Vecchio is the town hall of Florence, Italy. This massive, Romanesque, crenellated fortress-palace is among the most impressive town halls of Tuscany...

, then in a ruinous condition, and added to it many important rooms and staircases. When, in 1437, through Cosimo's liberality, the monastery of San Marco at Florence was handed over to the Dominicans
Dominican Order
The Order of Preachers , after the 15th century more commonly known as the Dominican Order or Dominicans, is a Catholic religious order founded by Saint Dominic and approved by Pope Honorius III on 22 December 1216 in France...

 of Fiesole
Fiesole is a town and comune of the province of Florence in the Italian region of Tuscany, on a famously scenic height above Florence, 8 km NE of that city...

, Michelozzo was employed to rebuild the domestic part and remodel the church.

For Cosimo he designed numerous other buildings, mostly of them of noteworthy importance. Among these were a guest-house at Jerusalem for the use of Florentine pilgrims, Cosimo's summer villa at Careggi
Villa Medici at Careggi
The Villa Medici at Careggi is a patrician villa in the hills near Florence, Tuscany, central Italy.-History:The villa was among the first of a number of Medici villas, notable as the site of the Platonic academy founded by Cosimo de' Medici, who died at the villa in 1464...

, and the fortified castello that he rebuilt from 1452 as the Villa Medicea di Cafaggiolo in Mugello. For Giovanni de' Medici
Giovanni di Cosimo de' Medici
Giovanni de' Medici was an Italian banker and patron of arts.Born in Florence, he was the son of Cosimo de' Medici the Elder and Contessina de' Bardi, and brother to Piero the Gouty....

, Cosimo's son, he built a very large villa at Fiesole
Villa Medici in Fiesole
The Villa Medici is a patrician villa in Fiesole, Tuscany, Italy, the fourth oldest of the villas built by the Medici family. It was built between 1451 and 1457.-External links:*...


In 1461-1464 he constructed the walls of Ston
Ston is a village and municipality in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County of Croatia, located at the south of isthmus of the Pelješac peninsula. The town of Ston is the center of the Ston municipality.- Demographics :...

, in Dalmatia
Dalmatia is a historical region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It stretches from the island of Rab in the northwest to the Bay of Kotor in the southeast. The hinterland, the Dalmatian Zagora, ranges from fifty kilometers in width in the north to just a few kilometers in the south....

, the largest medieval wall in Europe

In spite of Vasari's statement that he died at the age of sixty-eight, he appears to have lived till 1472. He is buried in the monastery of San Marco, Florence.

See also

  • Tomb of Antipope John XXIII
    Tomb of Antipope John XXIII
    The Tomb of Antipope John XXIII is the marble and bronze tomb monument of Antipope John XXIII , created by Donatello and Michelozzo for the Florence Baptistry adjacent to the Duomo...

  • Tomb of Cardinal Rainaldo Brancacci
    Tomb of Cardinal Rainaldo Brancacci
    The Tomb of Cardinal Rainaldo Brancacci is a sculptural work in the church of Sant'Angelo a Nilo in Naples, southern Italy, executed by Donatello and Michelozzo around 1426-1428...

  • Walls of Dubrovnik
    Walls of Dubrovnik
    The Walls of Dubrovnik are a series of defensive stone walls that have surrounded and protected the citizens of the afterward proclaimed maritime city-state of Dubrovnik , situated in southern Croatia, since the city's founding prior to the 7th century as a Byzantium castrum on a rocky island...

  • Palazzo dello Strozzino
    Palazzo dello Strozzino
    Palazzo dello Strozzino is a palace in Florence, Italy. was a residence of the Strozzi family, older than the larger and more prestigious Palazzo Strozzi.It was also called Palazzo delle Tre Porte for his three portals...

Further reading

  • Caplow, Harriet McNeal. Michelozzo, 2 vols. New York: Garland, 1977.
  • Ferrara, Miranda, and Francesco Quinterio. Michelozzo di Bartolomeo. Florence: Salimbeni, 1984.
  • Lightbown, Ronald W. Donatello and Michelozzo: an artistic partnership and its patrons in the early Renaissance. London: H. Miller, 1980.
  • Michelozzo: scultore e architetto (1396–1472). Florence: Centro Di, 1997.
  • Maria Carchio, Roberto Manescalchi, La scoperta di un Michelozzo inedito: una scala dimenticata nel convento dell’Annunziata, Firenze, Ananke n°43, settembre, 2004.

External links