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Andrea del Verrocchio

There’s an exhibition at the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence on Verrocchio atm, and I’ve been asked to informally guide a group of scholars around it due to my art history expertise and wot not. Despite Verrocchio having been one of my bezzie faves back in the day, little info on his life and work seems to have embedded itself in my brain. Thanks to Wikipedia, that’s all about to change…


What I Do Remember:

Florentine; painter and sculptor; mid-to-late fifteenth century; did the equestrian statue in Campo s. Giovanni & Paolo (that one I learnt recently being in Venice & all).

Other than that, nada.


V was born in Florence as Andrea di Michele di Francesco de’Cioni. His dad had the glam job of being a tax collector, and before that a tile and brick maker. After the 39 C heat the in which city is enveloped at the moment, ‘tis not a profession to be an envied. Thankfully V jr. is known today with the much tidier name of Verrocchio; the surname of his goldsmith master.

There are very few paintings attributed to him, with one of the more famous being the above Baptism of Christ. In fact there is very little known about him in general. He became a bit more en trend in the last 20 years of his life as a result of Medici connections, and is probably best known for being Leonardo’s teacher. His workshop was a busy one, and in addition to the young Leo, it was also attended by Ghirlandaio, Perugino, Botticelli, and Lorenzo di Credi. All in all, he was a pretty big cheese in his lifetime.

Fun fact (sort of): at the end of his life he moved to Venice where he opened a workshop while carrying out the Bart Colleoni commission (leaving the old place in the hands of Lorenzo di Credi). And he died in Venice. A Florentine. Imagine!

(It’s cool though, he is buried in Flo in S. Ambrogio)


His Works:

There’s the above Christ one, with which Leonardo possibly assisted. There’s the Tobias and the Angel in the National Gallery, poss a studio work. There’s a Madge avec Child in Berlin. A sculpture or two of the Medici. The chatting Christ and St. Thomas in an exterior nitche of Orsanmichele. A famous equestrian statue of Bartolomeo Colleoni in Venice (phwoarrr). And, the very famous and very kinky David. His sculptures are generally better known and the attributions more solid.


A Western Art History blog by someone who sometimes gets paid  to read and write about Western Art History. Mostly Old Masters. Mostly Italian. Hopefully accurate.

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