di Michele Cione was born in Florence c.1435. After his training under
the goldsmith Giuliano del Verrocchio, whose name he adopted, he went on
his own, trying himself and achieving success in different fields of fine
arts: in jewelry, sculpture and painting, but it was in the field of sculpture
that he excelled most. The works of Donatello had great impact on him.
Verrocchio left works in marble, terracotta, silver and bronze, which show
his brilliance as a modeler as well as a carver. Little is known about
his early work. It was not until 1472 that he made his mark as a leading
master of his generation with his sepulchral monument for Piero
and Giovanni de’Medici (San Lorenzo, Old Sacristy). The culmination
of his achievements was the bronze group Christ
and Doubting Thomas (1467-83) at Or San Michele.
From about 1475, Verrocchio’s workshop in Florence became a kind of academy
of arts: a number of important painters were trained there: Lorenzo di
Credi, Pietro Perugino, Luca
Signorelli, and Leonardo da
Vinci are the most famous of them. It is difficult to separate Verrocchio’s
works in the field of painting from that of his pupils. Thus Verrocchio’s
The Baptism of
Christ (1475), which is considered to be the finest representation
of the subject in Early Renaissance Florentine art, was clearly assisted
by Leonardo, at that time active in Verrocchio’s workshop.
The last work by Verrocchio was a bronze equestrian statue - the monument
to a Venetian army commander Colleoni. In his will, Colleoni had requested
such a statue and, by way of encouragement had left a sizable fortune to
the Republic of Venice. The monument is not a portrait, but an idealization
of the personality of a successful war leader.
Verrocchio died in Venice in 1488.
Verrocchio by S. Androsov. Leningrad. 1984.
The Art of the Italian Renaissance. Architecture. Sculpture. Painting.
Drawing. Könemann. 1995.
Sculptures of Andrea Del Verrocchio by Andrew Butterfield.
Yale Univ Pr, 1997.