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Bartolomeo Colleoni - Venice, Italy
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Siren Hunter
N 45° 26.350 E 012° 20.482
33T E 292067 N 5035177
Quick Description: This statue of Bartolomeo Colleoni stands in the Campo SS Giovanni e Paolo in Venice, Italy.
Location: Veneto, Italy
Date Posted: 7/12/2012 4:52:08 PM
Waymark Code: WMEW5M
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
Views: 25

Long Description:
"In 1475 the Condottiero Colleoni, a former Captain General of the Republic of Venice, died and by his will left a substantial part of his estate to the Republlic on condition that a statue of himself should be commissioned and set up in the Piazza San Marco. In 1479 the Republic announced that it would accept the legacy, but that (as statues were not permitted in the Piazza) the statue would be placed in the open space in front of the Scuola San Marco. A competition was arranged to enable a sculptor to be selected. Three sculptors competed for the contract, Verrocchio from Florence, Alessandro Leopardi from Venice and Bartolomeo Vellano from Padua. Verrocchio made a wax model of his proposed sculpture, while the others made models of wood and black leather and clay. The three models were exhibited in Venice in 1483 and the contract was awarded to Verrocchio. He then opened a workshop in Venice and made the final clay model which was ready to be cast in bronze, but he died in 1488, before this was done. He had asked that his pupil Lorenzo di Credi, who was then in charge of his workshop in Florence, should be entrusted with the finishing of the statue, but the Venetian state after considerable delay commissioned Alessandro Leopardi to do this and the statue was eventually erected on a pedestal made by Leopardi in the Campo SS Giovanni e Paolo in Venice, where it stands today.

Leopardi cast the bronze very successfully and the statue is universally admired, but Pope-Hennessy suggests that, if Verrocchio had been able to do this himself, he would have finished the head and other parts more smoothly and made it even better than it is. Although it was not placed where Colleoni had intended, Passavent emphasised how fine it looks in its actual position, writing that "the magnificent sense of movement in this figure is shown to superb advantage in its present setting" and that, as sculpture, "it far surpasses anything the century had yet aspired to or thought possible". He points out that both man and horse are equally fine and together are inseparable parts of the sculpture.

Verrocchio is unlikely to have ever seen Colleoni and the statue is not a portrait of the man but of the idea of a strong and ruthless military commander "bursting with titanic power and energy". This is in contrast to Donatello's statue at Padua of the condottiere known as Gattamelata with its "air of calm command" and all Verrocchio's effort "has been devoted to the rendering of movement and of a sense of strain and energy"." (quoted from wikipedia.org; Andrea del Verrocchio)
Identity of Rider: Bartolomeo Colleoni

Name of artist: Andrea del Verrocchio

Date of Dedication: 1496

Material: Bronze

Unusual Features: While at first the sculptor Andrea Verrocchio was commissioned to build the model, it was finally (After Verrocchio died in 1496) finished by Alessandro Leopardi.

Position: One Hoof Raised

Identity of Horse: Not listed

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