Andrea Del Verrocchio

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Verrocchio, Andrea Del


(properly Andrea di Michele Cioni). Born 1435 or 1436 in Florence; died Oct. 7, 1488, in Venice. Italian sculptor, painter, and jeweler of the early Renaissance.

Verrocchio studied under the jeweler Verrocchio (whose name he adopted), A. Baldovinetti, and possibly Antonio Rossellino. He was influenced by Desiderio da Settignano and A. Pollaiuolo. In 1467 he began executing commissions for the Medici, the rulers of Florence. Verrocchio’s creative work combined the realistic traditions of the Florentine quattrocento and the aristocratic refinement characteristic of the artists who worked at the court of the Medici during the last quarter of the 15th century. In his early work—the tomb of Giovanni and Piero de’ Medici (done in porphyry, colored marble, and bronze, 1472; Old Sacristry of the Church of San Lorenzo in Florence)—Verrocchio achieved a harmonic quality of proportion and a graceful decorativeness of the forms. His statue David (bronze, 1473-75; National Museum, Florence), distinguished for its anatomical precision, meticulous modeling, jewel-like subtlety of finish, and sharp and elegant angularity of lines, embodied a new, aristocratically refined ideal of beauty.

Verrocchio executed a number of portraits distinguished by an accurate portrayal of the subject—for example, a bust of Giuliano de’ Medici, terra-cotta, National Gallery of Art, Washington; and Portrait of a Woman, marble, c. 1475, National Museum, Florence—and works of monumental-decorative sculpture. In the group Christ and St. Thomas (bronze, 1476-83, facade of Or San Michele in Florence) the artist created an inner significance of the images, a freedom of composition, and a natural interrelationship of the figures.

Verrocchio’s central work—the equestrian statue of B. Colleoni on the plaza of SS Giovanni e Paolo in Venice (1479-88; cast in bronze, 1490)—is a vivid embodiment of Renaissance individualism. The heroicized figure of the condottiere is executed with rigorous energy and dynamic tension. The few paintings done by Verrocchio (Madonna, c. 1470, Staatliche Museen, Berlin-Dahlem, and The Baptism of Christ, post 1470, Uffizi Gallery in Florence, executed with the help of Leonardo da Vinci, for example) are distinguished by their sharp and precise drawing, as well as a sculpture-like meticulousness in the modeling of the forms. Verrocchio was the teacher of many Italian artists, including Leonardo da Vinci, Lorenzo di Credi, and Perugino.


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The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
It was his father who helped set him up as an apprentice to Florentine artist Andrea del Verrocchio, from whom the teenage da Vinci learned painting, sculpture and even mechanical arts.
At this cultural center, home of the Medici, he was apprenticed to sculptor and painter Andrea Del Verrocchio (2).
Bambach, however, was not intimidated, and seven years ago she began putting together a show that would assemble some 120 pieces of Leonardo's drawings and one painting, as well as thirty works by his teacher Andrea del Verrocchio and several of Leonardo's followers.
On display are drawings by da Vinci's teacher, Andrea Del Verrocchio, and his contemporaries, such as Antonia del Pollaiuolo and Lorenzo di Credi.
Andrea del Verrocchio pioneered techniques in mediums ranging from painting to bronze casting.
Leonardo learned his trade in artist Andrea del Verrocchio's workshop, where he enrolled as a teenager.
* At 16, Leonardo began his art studies as an apprentice in the workshop of the important sculptor and painter, Andrea del Verrocchio, in the city of Florence.
In the case of Leonardo, specifically of his early career in Florence, a notion persists that any painting falling short of conventional criteria for admission to the canon must be by Lorenzo di Credi simply because Vasari said that Lorenzo was fond of imitating Leonardo, his friend and fellow pupil in Andrea del Verrocchio's studio.
They are certainly products of the Florentine studio of Andrea del Verrocchio, where Leonardo trained, but the pooling of skills in this busy workshop makes attribution difficult.
This Head of a woman by Andrea del Verrocchio (1470s; right) is part of 'Fra Angelico to Leonardo: Italian Renaissance drawings' at the British Museum, London (22 April-25 July).