The Portrait Society | Baccio Bandinelli

16/08/1997 | 20th centuryCharcoal and acrylic on canvas50 x 40 cm

Baccio Bandinelli was an Italian sculptor and painter of the Renaissance. His father was a famous goldsmith whose pupils included Benvenuto Cellini. Bandinelli also trained under his father, who was patronised by the Medici. Baccio Bandinelli himself became a loyal supporter of the Medici, even when they were banished from Florence in 1494 and only returned in 1513. His loyalty paid off, as he received numerous commissions from Pope Leo X (Giovanni  de‘ Medici, 1513-1521) and from his cousin, Pope Clement VII (Giulio de‘ Medici, 1523-1534). In the mid-1520s, Emperor Charles V knighted him with the Order of St. James, after Bandinelli had falsified his family tree in order to be able to prove a descent from the noble Bandinelli family of Siena. After the Medici had finally taken power in Florence in the early 1530s, Bandinelli was assigned a huge block of marble that Michelangelo had actually claimed for himself. From this block Bandinelli crafted the statue of Hercules and Cacus, which is still standing in front of the Palazzo Vecchio. In 1536, he was given the commission for the tomb monuments of the Medici popes in Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome. One year later, Cosimo III de' Medici put him in charge of the cathedral building works in Florence. Bandinelli was protected by the Medici until his death in 1560. Along with Michelangelo, he is considered the most important sculptor of his time.


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