The Treasury - Fine Sculpture


8863. BARTOLOMMEO COLLEONI ON HORSEBACK, after ANDREA DEL VERROCCHIO (1481-8). Italian Foundry, 19th century. Superbly rendered and detailed large copy in bronze of the famous equestrian statue of Bartolommeo Colleoni, commander of the Venetian Republic by Andrea del Verrocchio, 1481-8. 24" height, 52lbs. Slight bend to the staff he carries in his right hand, otherwise excellent condition with no problems, repair or restoration. Provenance: An extensive North Eastern collection. Acquired in a private sale from the estate of a well known American sculptor in the early 1990's.

Andrea del Verrocchio; c. 1435-1488), born Andrea di Michele di Francesco de' Cioni, was an Italian painter, sculptor, and goldsmith who was master of an important workshop in Florence. He became known by his nickname "Verrocchio" which in Italian means "true eye" a tribute given to him for his artistic achievement. Few paintings are attributed to him with certainty, but a number of important painters were trained at his workshop. His pupils included Leonardo da Vinci, Pietro Perugino and Lorenzo di Credi. His greatest importance was as a sculptor and his last work, the equestrian statue of Bartolomeo Colleoni in Venice, is generally accepted as a masterpiece. The original Equestrian Statue of Colleoni by Verrochio stands in the Campo di Santi Giovanni e Paolo in Venice, Italy. The current piece is a remarkable large copy from an Italian foundry true to the original in the finest detail.

Bartolomeo Colleoni (1395-2 November 1475) was an Italian condottiero, who became captain-general of the Republic of Venice, where there is a famous statue showing him on horseback. He is also credited with having refurbished the Roman baths at Trescore Balneario. When not fighting to protect the Venetian Republlic, he devoted his time to introducing agricultural improvements on the vast estates with which the Venetians had endowed him, and to charitable works. At his death in 1475 at Malpaga, he left a large sum to the republic for the Turkish war, with a request that an equestrian statue of himself should be erected in the Piazza San Marco. The statue was modelled by Andrea del Verrocchio and cast in bronze after his death by Alessandro Leopardi, but, as no monument was permitted in the piazza, it was placed near the Scuola Grande of St Mark outside the Church of SS Giovanni e Paolo.