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Bora 1432 Died 1498 


Born 1443 Died 149G 

Acre magis solers, liquidisve coloribus alter 
Non fuit heroas ponere sive deos. 

Argento aut auro nunquam praestantius alter 
Divina potuit fingere signa manu. 

Tbusca igitur tellus magis hoc iactet alumno, 
Graecia quam quondam Parrhasio aut Phidia. 


THIS is the first book devoted to Antonio Pollaiuolo 
that has been published in any language, and with 
the exception of the notice (chiefly descriptive) of 
Cavalcaselle little has been written about him up to 
recent times, so that there are few writers to whom I am 
indebted. But to one critic Mr. Bernhard Berenson 
I owe much. From his suggestive study of the 
Pollaiuoli published in vol. i. of his "Florentine 
Drawings of the Renaissance," I have received the 
greatest assistance, and I desire at the beginning of my 
work to acknowledge my debt. 



ift 1906, 



I. BIOGRAPHY ....... i 

TINE ART ....... 25 



OF S. GIOVANNI. 1457-1479 ... 45 

1460 ........ 61 

VI. PAINTINGS WITH PIERO. 1465-1470 . . 87 

S. GIOVANNI. 1466 ..... 100 


1464-1470 . . . . . .116 

X. THE Pucci ALTARPIECE. 1475 . . .150 

1480 ........ 167 


LATEST WORK. 1470-1483 . . , .176 



XIII. THE TOMBS OF THE POPES. 1484-1498 . . 189 

APPENDIX . . . . . . .219 

INDEX 283 


To face 

I. Head of Antonio Pollaiuolo. From the 
Fresco by Filippino Lippi in the Brancacci 
Chapel, Carmine, Florence Frontispiece 

II. Tomb of Antonio and Piero Pollaiuolo. 

S. Pietro in Fincoli, Rome . . . 20 

III. Portrait of Pippo Spano. By Andrea dal 

Castagno. Sant' Apollonia, Florence . . 32 

IV. Silver Cross. By Betto Betti and Antonio 

Pollaiuolo. Museo delF Opera del Duomo, 
Florence . . . . . . . 48 

V. David. By Antonio Pollaiuolo. Kaiser 

Friedrich Museum, Berlin .... 64 

VI. Hercules Slaying the Hydra. By Antonio 

Pollaiuolo. Uffizi, Florence . . . 66 
VII. Hercules Slaying Antaeus. By Antonio 

Pollaiuolo, Uffizi, Florence , , . 70 


To face 

VIII. Hercules Slaying the Hydra. From an 

engraving by Robetta . . . 73 

IX. Hercules Slaying Antaeus. From an en- 
graving by Robetta . . . . 74 

X. Hercules and Nessus. By Antonio and 
Piero Pollaiuolo. Jarves Collection, New 
Haven, U.S.A 78 

XI. Hercules Slaying Antaeus. Bronze Statu- 
ette. By Antonio Pollaiuolo. Museo 
Nazionale, Florence . . . . . 81 

XII. Bust of Young Warrior. Terra Cotta. By 
Antonio Pollaiuolo. Museo Nazionale, 
Florence ....... 82 

XIII. SS. James, Vincent and Eustace. By 

Antonio and Piero Pollaiuolo. Uffizi, 
Florence 88 

XIV. The Journey of Tobias. By Antonio and 

Piero Pollaiuolo. Galleria Reale, Turin . 94 

XV. The Annunciation. By Piero Pollaiuolo 
(assisted in small part by Antonio). Kaiser 
Friedrich Museum, Berlin . . . . 96 

XVI. Embroidery. S. John Baptizing. Designed 
by Antonio Pollaiuolo. Museo dc.IV Ojjera 
del Duomo, Florence . . . . 102 


To face 

XVII. Embroidery. S. John Preaching to Herod. 
Design by Antonio Pollaiuolo. Museo 
dell' Opera del Duomo, Florence . . 104 

XVIII. Embroidery. The Banquet ot Herod. 
Design by Antonio Pollaiuolo. Museo 

dell' Opera del Duomo, Florence . . 106 

XIX. Embroidery. Birth of Baptist. Design by 
Antonio Pollaiuolo. Museo dell' Opera del 
Duomo, Florence . . . . .112 

XX. Embroidery. Decollation of Baptist. Design 
by Antonio Pollaiuolo. Museo delf Opera 
del Duomo, Florence . . . .114 

XXI. Embroidery. Salome Presenting the Head 
of the Baptist to Herodias. Design by 
Antonio Pollaiuolo. Museo delV Opera 
del Duomo, Florence . . . . 114 

XXII. Fresco of Torre del Gallo . . . . 117 

XXIII. Battle of Ten Nudes. Engraving by Antonio 

Pollaiuolo 120 

XXIV. Prisoner brought before Judge. Drawing 

by Antonio Pollaiuolo. British Museum, 
London .... .124 

XXV. "The Genius of Discord." Victoria and 

Albert Museum, South Kensington . . 126 


To face 

XXVI. Adam. Drawing by Antonio Pollaiuolo. 

Uffizi, Florence . /. . . 130 

XXVII. Eve. Drawing by Antonio Pollaiuolo. 

Uffizi, Florence 130 

XXVIII. Shield with Milo of Crotona. By Antonio 
Pollaiuolo. Collection of Signor Brauer, 
Florence . . . . . .134 

XXIX. Prudence. By Piero Pollaiuolo. Uffizi, 

Florence ...... 140 

XXX. Charity. By Piero Polliauolo. Uffizi, 

Florence ...... 142 

XXXI. Faith. By Piero Pollaiuolo. Uffizi, 

Florence . . . . . .144 

XXXII. Faith. Drawing by Andrea Verrocchio. 

Uffizi, Florence 146 

XXXIII. S. Sebastian. By Antonio and Piero 

Pollaiuolo. National Gallery, London . 150 

XXXIV. Communion of S. Mary of Egypt. By 

Antonio Pollaiuolo. Pieve, Staggia, near 
Poggibonsi . . . . . .160 

XXXV. S. Christopher. Fresco by Piero Pollai- 
uolo. Metropolitan Museum, New York . 162 
XXXVI. The Birth of the Baptist. Silver Relief. 
By Antonio Pollaiuolo. Museo dell" Opera 
del Duomo, Florence , . . . 172 


To face 

XXXVII. Portrait of the Wife of Giovanni de' 

Bardi. By Antonio Pollaiuolo. Poldi- 
Pezzoli, Museum, Milan . . . 178 
XXXVIII. Portrait of Lady. By Antonio Pol- 

laiuolo (Repainted). Uffizi, Florence . 180 

XXXIX. Galeazzo Sforza. By Piero Pollaiuolo. 

Uffizi, Florence . . , . .182 

XL. Coronation of the Virgin. By Piero 

Pollaiuolo. Collegiata, S. Gimignano . 184 

XLI. Tomb of Sixtus IV. Bronze. By 

Antonio Pollaiuolo. S. Pietro, Rome . 190 

XLII. Tomb of Sixtus IV. By Antonio Pol- 
laiuolo. S. Pietro, Rome . . .190 

XLIII. Sixtus IV. From the Tomb by Antonio 

Pollaiuolo. S, Pietro, Rome . . 192 

XLIV. Theology. From the Tomb of Sixtus 
IV. By Antonio Pollaiuolo. S. Pietro, 
Rome ....... 196 

XLV. Perspective. From the Tomb of Sixtus 
IV. By Antonio Pollaiuolo. & Pietro, 
Rome . . . . . . .196 

XLVI. Dialectics. From the Tomb of Sixtus 
IV By Antonio Pollaiuolo. S. Pietro, 
Rome ..... . 198 


To face 

XLVII. Rhetoric. From the Tomb of Sixtus 
IV. By Antonio Pollaiuolo. S. Pielro, 
Rome 198 

XLVIII. Tomb of Innocent VIII. Bronze. By 

Antonio Pollaiuolo. S. Pietro, Rome . 200 

XLIX. Innocent VIII. From the Tomb by 

Antonio Pollaiuolo. S. Pietro, Rome . 202 

L. Innocent VIII. From the Tomb by 

Antonio Polliauolo. S. Pietro, Rome . 202 

LI. Study for Equestrian Statue to Fran- 
cesco Sforza. Drawing by Antonio 
Pollaiuolo. Munich Print Room . . 212 



LITTLE is known of the private history of Antonio 
PollaiuoJo. Like most of the artists born in the earlier 
part of the fifteenth century, his life was merely that of 
the busy craftsman, absorbed in work, with little time 
to spare for the amenities of life. Son of a poulterer, 
keeping his goldsmith's bottega, and when not occupied 
with business leading a patriarchal life, surrounded by 
numerous relations, he cannot certainly be reckoned 
among those artists who, clad in purple and fine linen, 
aspired to the luxury of princes. The two portraits of 
him which exist that painted by Filippino Lippi in the 
Brancacci Chapel of the Carmine, and that sculptured 
on his tomb in S. Pietro in Vincoli, both done when he 
was past middle age show the rugged face and harsh 
expression of a man who has spent his life laboriously 
and austerely. Prosperous he was, as his declarations 
to the tax officials prove, but he seems to have used his 
money soberly in the acquisition of land and providing 
dowries for his daughters. Such history as is known 
of him is a mere record of work, and even the pages 
of Vasari are free of anecdote concerning him. He 


attributes to him no personal quality except industry, 
and limits his eulogy to this and his consequent pros- 
perity. A few documents yield some bald facts as to his 
possessions and family, and from these and his testa- 
ment some idea of his social status may be gathered. 
For the character of the man we must turn to the works 
he has left. Six depositions to the Catasto * are in 
existence, two made by his father in 1430 and 1457, two 
made by himself in 1480 and in 1498, and two made 
by his brothers Giovanni and Piero, when all three were 
living under the same roof, though independently of each 
other. From these documents we learn the following 
facts, f The family name was Benci, derived from the 
great-great-grandfather of Antonio, that of Pollaiuolo 
(poulterer) being adopted from the trade of his father 
Jacopo, according to the Florentine custom. Vasari, 
apparently to give point to some characteristic moral- 
ising on the triumph of industry, records that Jacopo 
was of low origin and poor, (" assai basso e nan molto 
agiato "), but the latter statement at least the documents 
disprove. In his deposition to the Catasto of 1457 he 
was in possession of a shop in the Mercato Vecchio, for 
which he paid a fairly high rent, of a house in the 

* In 1427 a law was passed by which every Florentine citizen 
was required to declare the amount of his property for the regula- 
tion of the income-tax. Owing to carelessness mistakes were 
frequent in these documents as to the ages of the deponent and his 
children, and often false statements were made as to the amount of 
property, with the object of being lightly taxed. The statements 
must therefore be accepted with reserve. 

f The documents will be found transcribed in the Appendix. 


country, and of an exceedingly numerous clientele. It 
is true that this clientele is revealed to us only by its 
debts, but the number and importance of the names 
prove his poulterer's business to have been large and 

The family consisted of Jacopo, his wife Tomasa 
and their six children, four sons and two daughters, of 
whom Antonio was the eldest. Of Salvestro, next to 
him in age, who seems to have passed most of his life in 
Pistoja, we hear nothing of importance. Giovanni, like 
his father, was a poulterer, and inherited the shop in 
the Mercato Vecchio. He was married to Ginevra, 
daughter of Francesco Baccegli, and had five children, 
Salvestro, llaffaello, Lucrezia, Francesco, and Domenico. 
Piero, the youngest of the brothers, was trained as 
painter and sculptor, and had, as will be seen, a bottega 
independent of Antonio. He never married, but left 
an illegitimate daughter Lisa. The three brothers, 
Antonio, Giovanni, and Piero, shared a house in the 
Piazza degli Agli, near S. Maria Maggiore, no longer 
in existence. In 1480, when each made his separate 
deposition to the Catasto, they were living together, 
Jacopo the father, eighty-one years old, being sup- 
ported by Giovanni, and Tomasa the mother, sixty- 
eight, by Piero. Why the younger sons, rather than 
Antonio the eldest, should have borne the expense of 
supporting the aged parents, does not transpire. 

Antonio was born January 17, 1432.* According to 

* The year of his birth is not absolutely certain, but this date is 
the most probable. In his Portata to the Catasto of May 31, 1433 


Vasari he was placed by his father at an early age to 
learn the trade of goldsmith in the bottega of Barto- 
luccio Ghiberti, master of Lorenzo, and soon became 
one of the most skilful workers in Florence in niello and 
in the setting of jewels. By his ability he attracted the 
attention of Lorenzo himself, then at work on the second 
of the Bronze Doors of the Baptistry,* and on the frame- 
work of these (always according to Vasari) he was set to 
carve, and introduced into the design a quail, so 
excellently done " that flight alone was required to 
make it perfect." Before many weeks had elapsed he 
had surpassed all his fellows, and was recognised as the 
best draughtsman and most careful worker of them all ; 
and his fame and ability increasing, he left the workshop 
of Lorenzo Ghiberti and started an independent 
business as a goldsmith in the Mercato Nuovo.j- 

(see Cavalcaselle, " Storia della Pittura in Italia," Firenze. 1886, 
vol. vi. p. 73, note 2), his father gives his age as one year and a half, 
which would place his birth as above stated 1432, (old style, 1431). 
The day and month are determined by his name. January 17 is 
the feast of his patron saint Antonio Abbate, and on this day he 
ordered in his testament that an annual dinner should be given to 
twelve paupers. It is true that in his father's Portata to the Catasto 
of 1457 his age is given as 24, which would place his birth in 1433, 
and on his tomb in S. Pietro in Vincoli the year of his death is 
given as 1498 and his age as 72, which would place it in 1426. But 
in his own Portata to the Catasto of 1480 he states his age to be 49, 
which corroborates the date 1432. It seems most probable that 
this is correct, since, though a father may be mistaken as to the 
precise age of his grown-up son, he could hardly err in the case of 
a child of eighteen months. 

* The so-called Gates of Paradise. Begun, 1425. Finished, 1447. 
Gilded and set in place 1452. 

t See Vasari, Ed. Sansoni, Firenze, 1878, iii. p. 286. 


As far as the main facts go there is every reason to 
believe this sketch of his early apprenticeship to be 
correct, although there is no documented evidence either 
of his being placed with Bartoluccio Ghiberti, or of 
his having worked on the Bronze Doors under 
Lorenzo. In the Account Books of the Commissioners 
of the Doors, an entry made at the beginning of the 
work records that Ghiberti had in his employ his son 
Vittorio, Michelozzo, and three other assistants, but 
neither there nor in the later entries is the name of 
Antonio mentioned.* There is however no reason to 
reject the statement that he served his apprenticeship 
with Lorenzo. It is on the contrary extremely probable, 
since his father was able to afford it, that he should 
place his son at the best training school in Florence to 
learn his craft. Antonio Billi, both in his notice of 
Antonio Pollaiuolo and in that of Brunellesco, states 
that he worked as Lorenzo's assistant on the Doors,f 
and to this the Anonimo Gaddiano adds the story of 
the quail.f This, however, is certainly apocryphal. The 

* " 1424. 2 Gennaio. Lorenzo di Bartolo possa tenere al lavoro 
della detta porta Michelozzo suddetto. Vittorio figliuolo di detto 
Lorenzo e altri tre." Miintz, " Les Archives des Arts," Paris, 1890. 

t " Lavoro nella Parte Guelfa " (a mistake of the copyist who 
add d the word Guelfa. In the original MSS. certainly Porte) 
" con Lorenzo di Bartoluccio, dove fecie cose miracolose." (" Libro 
di Antonio Billi," Ed. Carl Frey, Berlin, 1892, p. 27.) " Vale assai " 
(Brunellesco) "nella scultura come si vede nel modello di bronzo 
che lui fecie per le porte di Sto Giovanni .... anchora che poi 
furno allogate a Lorenzo Bartolucci o vero Giberti ; anchora che 
sopra vi lavorassino detto Filippo, Donatello, Luca della Robbia et 
An to del Pollaiuolo" (op. cit. p. 20). 

| " Et anchora in sua gioventu lavoro " (Antonio) " nella porte 


bird is to be seen on the left side of the Door facing the 
Duomo, about half way up. It has none of the special 
characteristics of Antonio's work, and nothing to dis- 
tinguish it in any way from the other birds and animals 
that decorate the framework. 

Vasari relates that while Antonio was apprenticed to 
a goldsmith, his younger brother Piero was a painter, 
and was placed to learn his art in the bottega of Andrea 
dal Castagno, and he proceeds to make the following 
astonishing statement : 

"Antonio, recognising that the craft of goldsmith repaid 
but little the labours of the artist, resolved to abandon it 
for one which should better preserve his memory ; where- 
fore, his brother Piero being a painter, he placed himself 
with him to learn the use and practice of colours . . . and 
spurred on by ambition rather than the love of gain, he 
learnt in a few months the art of painting, and became a 
most excellent Master ; and associating himself entirely 
with Piero, they painted together many pictures." * 

It is perhaps hardly necessary to deny so preposterous 
an assertion in these days of scientific criticism. The 
statement that Antonio learnt painting from one so 
infinitely his inferior as Piero, who was also many years 
his junior, hardly merits notice; yet there is no doubt 
that to a lingering reminiscence of Vasari's words is due 

d'essa chiesa" (S. Giovanni) " con Lorenzo di Bartoluccio et in fra 
le altre cose fece nello stipito della porta di mezo una quaglia molto 
delicatamente lavorata " (" L'Anonimo Gaddiano," Ed. Cornel v. 
Fabriczy, Firenze, 1893, p. 56). 
* Vasari, iii. p. 290. 


in great measure the lack of discrimination as to the 
relative value of their work. While Antonio, next to 
Donatello, occupies the position of Chief and Pioneer 
of the Florentine realistic school, Piero, but for his 
influence and assistance, would probably be as little 
known as any of the nameless imitators of Botticelli, 
whose feeble work we are content to class as " School," 
Such small merit as there is in his painting is due 
entirely to his brother, whose style he imitated as 
closely as his abilities permitted, and there is little 
doubt but that, so far from Antonio having been his 
pupil, he himself owed his training as painter and 
sculptor to his brother. The statement that Antonio 
renounced the craft of goldsmith to become entirely a 
painter is equally false. He was throughout his life 
first and foremost a worker in metal. " Orqfo " he signs 
himself whenever his name appears either in private 
documents or in his public works. He was hardly a 
sculptor in the accepted sense of the word, for he never, 
as far as is known, touched marble, and all his existing 
sculptured works were evidently intended to be executed 
in metal. Yet that he began to study painting at 
an early age, and practised it simultaneously with his 
goldsmith's work, is proved by dated evidence. The 
goldsmith's bottega was training-ground for the painter 
as well as for the metal-worker and sculptor, the school 
for design and drawing which constituted the most 
important part of Florentine painting. The character 
of Antonio's work points to the probability that he 
owed his technical education as a painter to Andrea 


dal Castagno and Alesso Baldovinetti. Although his 

first paintings, for which we have certain date, were 

executed at the age of twenty-eight, several others are 

in existence which may well be placed earlier work 

with which Piero had nothing to do. That he carried 

on the art simultaneously with that of goldsmith is 

proved by the following documented dates. In 1460 

he painted the important canvases representing the 

Labours of Hercules, at the commission of Lorenzo de 1 

Medici, having just completed the Silver Cross for the 

Altar of S. Giovanni. About 1465 he frescoed the 

Altar-wall in the Chapel of the Cardinal of Portugal, 

S. Miniato, at the same date that he was working at 

the Silver Candlesticks to accompany the Cross. In 

1472 his name figures at the head of the list of painters 

drawn up in that year,* and in 1475 he painted the 

S. Sebastian for the Pucci Chapel, now in the National 

Gallery, between which dates we have record of several 

pieces of goldsmith's work the helmet for the Count 

of Urbino, the silver basin for the Signoria, and a 

Crucifix for the Church of the Carmine. In the 

inscription carved by him upon the Tomb of Sixtus IV., 

executed in the last years of his life, he designates 

himself "Skilful in Silver, in Gold, in Painting, and 

in Bronze, 11 f an d the title "Pictor insignis " follows his 

name in the inscription on his Tomb in S. Pietro in 


* Berenson, " Drawings of the Florentine Painters," London, 
1903, vol. i. p. 18. 



The bottega of Antonio, like that of Verrocchio, 
united the crafts of sculptor, painter, portraitist, 
goldsmith, jeweller, architect, decorative designer, and 
bronze founder, and in each of these different branches 
of art we have record of work executed by him. All 
kinds of ecclesiastical ornament from sculpture of the 
importance of the Cross and Relief of the Silver Altar 
of S. Giovanni to thuribles and pad ; from large altar- 
pieces and frescoes to designs for embroideries ; all kinds 
of secular goldsmith's work, such as the setting of jewels, 
the making of girdles, of helmets and gala armour. He 
frescoed the walls of private houses, and experimented 
in the newly-practised art of engraving. He was also 
an architect and practical engineer. X Finally, judging 
by the number of life-studies which bear traces of his 
influence, his atelier must have been the chief training- 
school in Florence for the special study of anatomy and 
of the nude, and he seems to have shared with Verrocchio 
the reputation as the most popular teacher of the 
realistic art initiated by Donatello. 

From Antonio's own statement we learn that he began 
his career in an independent position in 1459.* It was 
probably at this time that he hired the shop in Via 
Vaccherecciaf in the neighbourhood of the Ponte 

* " Fu mancieppato d' Jacopo mio padre a di xi di magio 1459 " 
(see Doc. III. p. 237). 

f " Franciscus de Cavalcantibus . . . local ad pensionem 
Antonio olim Jacobi del Pollajoli civi florentino unam apothecam 
ad usum aurificis in popolo Sanctae Ciciliae in via di Vacchereccia " 
(Vasari, iii p. 285, note i), and Antonio's own statement in his 
Portata, " Fo una bottega d'orafo in Vachereccia ..." (Doc. 
III. p. 239). 


Vecchio, then as now the quarter of the goldsmiths, which 
shop he continued to hold up to the time of his depar- 
ture for Rome in 1484. " His bottega" writes Vasari, 
" became in a short time the most popular in Florence, 
and he the most renowned draughtsman of his day. 1 " 1 
" He was so great a draughtsman," wrote Cellini, 
"that nearly all the goldsmiths made use of his most 
beautiful designs, which were of so great excellence that 
to this day many sculptors and painters, the best 
in those arts, used them, and thereby gained the 
greatest honour."" * Vasari goes on to speak of Tomaso 
Finiguerra, the celebrated worker in niello, and states 
that in rivalry with him Antonio also devoted himself 
to that art, and with so much success as speedily to 
supersede him. Here again is an error. It is now 
known that so far from being the rival of Finiguerra, 
Antonio was in partnership with him and another 
famous rw//o-worker, Piero di Bartolomeo Sali, and 
that there existed between them the closest friend- 
ship, which lasted till the death of Finiguerra.f As 
Finiguerra died 1464 this partnership must date from 
the earlier part of Antonio's career as an independent 
Master, and that they were together in 1462 is proved 
by a document of payment for some jewels ordered by 

* Cellini," I Trattati dell' Oreficeria e della Scultura," Ed. Carlo 
Milanesi. Firenze, 1857. 

t " Fu Maso " (Finiguerra) " compagno di Piero di Bartolommeo 
Sali, orefice a suoi giorni di molto credito, nella cui bottega stette 
ancora Antonio del Pollaiuolo," Vasari, v. p. 395, note 2, and 
Milanesi's " Commentary on the Life of Marcantonio," Vasari, v. 
P- 443- 


Cino Rinuccini, in which both names are mentioned.* 
Benvenuto Cellini writes that Finiguerra, being but a 
poor draughtsman himself, was always assisted by 
Antonio, and that nothing issued from his bottega 
that was not designed by him. Unfortunately, of 
Finiguerra's niello work but one example remains, 
by which we may judge of the truth of this statement, 
and this the Pace representing the Crucifixion, in the 
Museo Nazionale, Florence, cited by Cellini as an 
example of their mutual work shows no trace of 
Antonio's style. 

We are justified in assuming that up to 1464, the 
date of Finiguerra's death, Antonio was in partnership 
with him. Later, as he himself states in his Portata 
to the Catasto of 1480, he was sharing his goldsmith's 
shop in Via Vacchereccia with Paolo di Giovanni 
Sogliani. cousin of the more famous painter of that 
name, the pupil and assistant of Lorenzo di Credi.j" It 
is uncertain what was the exact nature of the business 
connection between Antonio and his brother Piero, but 
that they were not partners in the strictly commercial 
sense of the word is proved by the fact that Piero 
received commissions independently of Antonio in both 
painting and sculpture. He had, besides, his inde- 
dendent bottega in a small house adjoining the family 

* See Doc. XL p. 260. 

f " Fo una botegha d'orafo in vachereccia in una botegha .... 
nela quale o per chompagno pagholo di giovanni sogliani " (see Doc. 
III. p. 239.) Paolo Sogliani was born 1455 (see Vasari, v. p. 133. 
Albero de' Sogliani). 


dwelling in Piazza degli Agli.* That he enjoyed 
considerable, if undeserved, reputation as a painter, is 
proved by the fact that at the age of twenty-six he 
received the important commission to paint the panels 
representing the Seven Virtues for the Council Hall of 
the Mercatanzia, a commission which he won against 
competitors of the importance of Verrocchio and 
Botticelli. By the Signoria also he was employed both 
as painter and sculptor, and, as will be seen, received 
other important commissions as an independent 

Yet in spite of this independent position it is 
impossible to ignore that some kind of business connec- 
tion existed between the brothers. The earliest painted 
work of Antonio is executed entirely by his own hand, 
but from the time when Piero was old enough to assist 
him he seems to have left to him the greater part of the 
execution, confining himself to designing the composi- 
tion, and to painting such parts as had for him a special 
interest, such parts being often subordinate details of 
landscape and ornament. Antonio himself states that 
he was aided by Piero in the " Labours of Hercules," 
painted at the commission of Lorenzo de 1 Medici in 
1460. Since at that date Piero was only seventeen, 
such assistance as he gave could have been merely that 
of a garzone di bottega. In the earliest example of his 
work which exists the Altarpiece of the Three Saints 
now in the Uffizi, painted when he was about twenty- 

* " Una chasetta la quale e apichata cholle detta di sopra ... la 
quale adopero quando ho che fare a dipingniere " (Doc. V. p. 246). 


three we see that the greater part of the execution 
was left to him. All the subsequent paintings of 
Antonio show his hand in greater or less degree, and we 
know that Piero aided him also in his sculptured work, 
for example in the Tombs of the Popes in S. Pietro. 
Taking into account the difference of years between the 
brothers, and the vast difference of ability, it seems 
probable that, while working as an independent Master 
with his own bottega and assistants, Piero was also in 
the pay of his brother, and that Antonio, preoccupied 
with his goldsmith's work, deputed to him the greater 
part of the execution of the paintings for which he was 
commissioned, and employed him as his assistant in the 
more mechanical parts of his sculpture. 

The position held by Antonio among the Florentine 
artists was perhaps higher even than that of Verrocchio, 
for he certainly took the lead in the so-called realistic 
school which had eclipsed so completely the decorative 
art of the preceding generation. He was fortunate, as 
Vasari remarks, in living at a time of financial prosperity, 
which allowed costly public and private works to be 
undertaken. He received numerous commissions 
throughout his life from the Council of the Mercatanzia, 
which, as guardian of S. Maria del Fiore and the 
principal churches of Florence, held the most honour- 
able post among ecclesiastics and burgesses. The time 
at which Antonio started his bottega in the Vaccher- 
eccia was a busy one for the goldsmiths, for the church 
treasures were being overhauled and replaced by costlier 
works. The Reliquaries were found too simple for so 


wealthy a city, and more sumptuous ones were ordered. 
Crosses and candelabra wrought with elaborate reliefs, 
and glowing with gem-like enamels, replaced the old 
ornaments. Later, the Silver Altar, the most precious 
treasure of the Republic, hitherto left unfinished for lack 
of funds, was completed, and superb vestments, stiff with 
gold, decorated with Antonio's designs, worked by 
embroiderers from all countries, and costing fabulous 
sums of money, were ordered. In all the chief ecclesi- 
astic and civic commissions Antonio had a share, and so 
many were they that the greater part of his time while 
he remained in Florence must have been spent in their 

That his circumstances were proportionately pros- 
perous his depositions to the Catasto prove, and he 
seems to have invested most of his money in land. In 
addition to his share of the house in the Piazza degli 
Agli and his goldsmith's shop in Via Vacchereccia, he 
owned a large podere in the parish of S. Michele a 
Bugliano, between Poggio a Caiano and Pistoja. The 
main part of this he bought in 1469, and he had gone 
on adding to it fields, vineyards, olive groves, and 
wooded land, until it had attained the dimensions of a 
considerable estate, from which he drew a large amount 
of profit in oil, grain, and wine. Beside this he 
possessed a vineyard at Castello, bought before 1470, 
and rented another piece of land near the Porta al 
Prato. When he made his deposition of 1480, he was 
married to his first wife Marietta, but she must have 
died very soon after, for in his testament made in 1496 


he leaves as heirs his second wife Lucrezia, and his two 
daughters by her, Marietta and Magdalena. From his 
deposition made in the last year of his life we learn that 
this second wife was the daughter of a certain Fantone 
Fantoni, and that he had been promised as her dowry 
property in the Mercato Vecchio which had never been 

It was probably to the good will of Lorenzo de 1 
Medici that he owed the most important commission of 
his life that from Innocent VIII. to execute a monu- 
ment to his predecessor Sixtus IV. in S. Peter's. In a 
letter to Giovanni Lanfredini, Florentine envoy at the 
Papal Court, Lorenzo expressed his appreciation of 
Antonio in the following words : 

"'The said Antonio is the chief Master in this city, and 
perhaps that has ever been, and this is the common 
opinion of all who understand such matters." * 

Antonio left Florence to take up his abode in Rome 
somewhere about 1484, accompanied by Piero, who seems 
to have served as his assistant. Of his life there we 
hear nothing, but the immense development shown in 
his work testifies to the invigorating stimulus he 
received from the wider intellectual atmosphere. For 
originality of conception, as well as for technical 
execution, the two superb Tombs of the Popes rank as 

* " Detto Antonio e il principale Maestro di questa citta, e forse 
per avventura non ce ne fu mai ; e questa e commune opinione di 
tutti gl' intendenti " (Letter dated November 12, 1489 ; see Gaye, 
" Carteggio Inedito," Firenz, 1839, i. p. 341.) 


high above his former work as does the Colleoni statue 
of Verrocchio above his Florentine sculpture. 

Innocent VIII. died 1492, two years before the com- 
pletion of the Tomb commissioned by him, and Antonio 
received from his heir, Cardinal Lorenzo Cybo, the 
order to execute the second Monument. Between the 
completion of the one and the beginning of the other 
he paid a visit to his estates near Pistoj a. Of this visit we 
have notice in a letter written by himself to his patron 
Gentil Virginio Orsini, Lord of Monterotondo. In 
the dearth of direct record a letter by his own hand is 
of interest, and this, alluding as it does to the canvases 
painted by him for Lorenzo de 1 Medici, has a special 
importance.* It bears the date July 13, 1494, and was 
written in answer to a verbal message sent him by 
Orsini, proposing that he should make a bust of him in 
bronze. This Antonio declares himself very ready to 
do, but he would have preferred, he writes, to execute 
instead a life-sized equestrian statue, which should 
immortalise his memory. He proposes to go to 
Bracciano, where Orsini then was, in order to make the 
drawing for the bust, which he would then take back to 
Rome and execute in bronze. He proceeds to ask the 
following service. He is going the next day to visit 
his estates near Pistoj a, fifteen miles distant from 
Florence ; and as on account of the plague then ravaging 

* The document was discovered in the archives of Casa Orsini in 
Rome, and was first published on the occasion of the marriage of 
one of the family, June 24, 1891, by Luigi Borsari. Republished in 
L'Arte, 1892, p. 208. It will be found transcribed in the Appendix, 
Doc. VII. p. 256. 


Italy, it was forbidden for any one coming from Rome 
to approach within twenty miles of Florence, he begs 
Orsini to obtain for him permission from Piero di 
Lorenzo de 1 Medici. " I think he will willingly grant 
me this favour," he writes, " because he knows that I 
have been ever faithful to his house, and think that it 
is now thirty-four years since I painted those Labours 
of Hercules which are in the hall of his palace, executed 
by me and one of my brothers." 

He states that he is taking with him to Florence 
two figures of bronze, but whether these were works exe- 
cuted by himself or were antiques is not recorded. The 
letter proves that while in Rome he was not occupied 
exclusively with the Papal Tombs, and indeed we have 
further record o work done by him for certain 
Cardinals, who were apparently in no haste to pay for 
it (Doc. VIII. p. 258). His proposal to make an 
equestrian statue of Orsini reminds us that, as is proved 
by the existence of the sketch by his hand, he competed 
for the commission to execute the Monument to 
Francesco Sforza, which was eventually given to 
Leonardo. This competition must have taken place 
soon after Lodovico^s accession to power in 1480, thus 
shortly before Antonio's journey to Rome, and in 
demanding permission to make an equestrian statue of 
Orsini, Antonio probably had in mind to use his studies 
and models. 

His stay in Tuscany must have been a mere visit, for 
he was soon after again in Rome, executing the Tomb 
of Innocent VIII., which was completed only in the year 


of his death. In some of its details merely a replica of 
that of Sixtus, the monument is yet, on account of its 
superb portrait statues of the Pope, a fitting culmina- 
tion to his life's work. The supreme point of his 
achievement artistically and technically was attained in 
the Tomb of Sixtus, as a realistic and psychological 
portraitist in the two statues of Innocent, living and 
dead. Thus by an irony of chance both Pollaiuolo and 
Verrocchio, appreciated and honoured to the utmost by 
their fellow townsmen, left, not to those among whom 
their lives had been passed, but to strangers, their 
noblest work. 

The Tomb of Innocent was completed but a very 
short time before Antonio's death. On Jan. 30, 1498, 
the remains of the Pope were transferred from their 
temporary resting place to the sarcophagus, and less 
than a week after, on Feb. 4, Antonio died.* 

Fifteen months before ( Nov. 4, 1496 ) he had made 
his testament, a lengthy document, from which however 
few facts of interest are forthcoming. He desires that 
if he dies in Rome, his body shall be buried in S. Pietro 
in Vincoli, from which it may be assumed that he was 
living in the parish of that church. If, on the other 
hand, he dies in Florence, he wishes to be buried in the 
tomb of his ancestors, but where that was he does not 
specify. He leaves to each of his daughters by his wife 
Lucrezia, a dowry of 1000 gold ducats and his property, 

* ' In uno strumento del 27 maggio 1511 rogato di Ser Angelo da 
Cascese si legge che la morte d'Antonio accadde in Roma il 4 feb- 
brajo dell 1 anno 1498." See Milanesi's note, Vasari, iii. p. 299. 


and in case of their death he nominates as his heirs the 
sons of his brother Giovanni. We learn that Piero, 
vrhen sick and near to death, had left to Antonio's care 
the guardianship of his illegitimate daughter Lisa. 
From the thousands of lawyer's words employed in the 
document we gather nothing more. 

Both Antonio and Piero were buried in S. Pietro in 
Vincoli, where the tablet to their memory is to be seen 
to the left of the entrance (Plate II.). The monument, 
with the busts of the brothers, is probably the work 
of the Fiesole sculptor Michele di Luca Marini.* The 
inscription is as follows : 







Both heads have the appearance of being faithful 
portraits. That of Antonio corresponds with the head 
painted somewhere about 1484 by Filippino Lippi in 
the Brancacci Chapel in the Carmine, Florence ( see 

* Born at Fiesole 1459. His best known works are the statue of 
S. Sebastian in S. Maria sopra Minerva and the Ponzetti Tombs in 
S. Maria della Pace, Rome. The resemblance of the Pollaiuolo 
Tablet to these tombs one erected in 1505 to the sisters Beatrice 
and Lavinia Ponzetti, one in 1509 to Ferrando Ponzetti, enables us 
to determine its authorship. The design is similar the portrait 
heads of the deceased in almost free relief deeply sunk into oval 
niches, with the inscription below in Latin characters enclosed in a 
square decorated framework. 


Frontispiece ).* Allowing for the personality of the 
two artists, Marini coarsening, Filippino refining, the 
features, we probably obtain a true idea of Antonio's 
appearance an appearance which corresponds with the 
strength and energy of his work and the simple austerity 
of his life. In both we have the same rugged face with 
strongly marked features, large nose, tightly compressed 
lips, broad forehead, with beetling brows and prominent 
chin. It is not an attractive face. Its expression is so 
concentrated and morose as to verge on ferocity, but, 
like the portraits of Mantegna and Signorelli, it 
expresses to a supreme degree the qualities of intel- 
lectual and physical force and energy. It is just the 
face that might be expected from the Hercules pictures 
and the fighting nudes combative and capable of 
brutality. Equally characteristic of his feeble work 
is the timid and fretful face of Piero, with its weak 
mouth and vacillating expression. This must have 
been copied from some earlier portrait, for it represents 
him as a much younger man than he was at the date of 
his death. 

Nine days after the death of Antonio the Signoria 
wrote the following letter to Domenico Bonsi, Florentine 
Orator in Rome, a letter which proves the high esteem 
in \vhich he was held by his fellow citizens. It is dated 
Feb. 13. 1497 ( N. S. 1498 ). 

* The portrait of Antonio is to be found in the fresco of S. Peter 
and Paul before the Proconsul, one of the three men who stand be- 
hind S. Paul, nearest the Proconsul. His hair is grey, almost white, 
and be wears a red biretta. (See Frontispiece.) 





" To our most learned and magnificent Orator. Antonio 
del Pollaiuolo, a very celebrated sculptor of our city, having 
died in Rome within the past days, we are begged by his 
wife to recommend her to you. Her said husband remaining 
creditor for certain sums of money to the Most Reverend 
Cardinal di Benevento and to Monsignor Ascanio, for 
certain works of art executed for them, we desire that you 
should go to the said Most Reverend Cardinal, and in our 
name exhort them to pay their debt to the said Antonio 
and his wife and heirs, so that if it be possible they may 
receive their money ; for the said Antonio having been a 
citizen of our town and unique in his art, it is meet that 
for his sake we should aid his wife and heirs, as those who 
ever hold all excellence in the highest esteem. " ( See 
Doc. VIII. p. 257.) 

Vasari says that it was currently reported that 
while in Rome Antonio designed the Villa of the 
Belvedere in the Vatican Gardens, for Innocent VIII. 
This seems improbable, since there is no mention of 
his name in the documents of payment for the building. 
On the contrary, the name of the architect is given 
Giacomo da Pietrasanta, who was employed both by 
Innocent and Sixtus IV. The plans of the now almost 
demolished Villa show, however, the influence of Flor- 
entine architecture, square and fortress-like, with the 
castellations, machicolated walls, and open loggia of the 
Florentine buildings.* That he was a practical archi- 

* Several plans are in existence. The Pianta di Roma by Sebas- 
tiano Miinster, published 1549 ; an unpublished drawing by Heem- 
skerk in the Royal Library, Berlin, and a third, published in the 


tect and engineer is known, for in 1491 he is mentioned 
as having furnished a design or model for ihe facade of 
S. Maria del Fiore.* In 1467 and again in 1468 he was 
among those consulted as to the metal ball which was to 
crown the lantern of Brunellesco's cupola ( Doc. XIII. 
p. 263). The document recording this deliberation is 
of interest as a picture of such assemblies, and the care 
bestowed on the minutest detail of the public works. 
The list of " the venerable citizens and most prudent, 
excellent, and intelligent Masters'" met together to 
decide whether the ball should be of cast or of hammered 
metal, includes such names as those of Lorenzo de 1 
Medici, Matteo Palmieri, and Buonaccorso Pitti, among 
the citizens, and of Luca della Robbia, Antonio 
Pollaiuolo, and Verrocchio, among the Masters. 

The few facts known of the life of Piero may be 
briefly summed up, in order that an idea of his position 
among his contemporaries may be obtained. The date 
of his birth is uncertain, and as in the case of Antonio we 
have to choose the most probable from those given in 

" Giardino di Roma " by Falda, Tavola iv. Taja and Chattard 
writing 1750-1762, ascribe the architecture to Antonio, but this is 
probably copied from Vasari. The Villa was almost completely 
destroyed by PioVI. in constructing the Museo Chiaramonti. 

* Cavalcaselle,"Storia della Pittura," Firenze,i8g4, vi. p. 95. The 
name of Antonio is mentioned among the competitors who were 
absent at the exhibition of the drawings and models. Burckhardt 
asserts that the cupola of the Sacristy of S. Spirito was erected 
from Antonio's design ("Cicerone," p. 128), but there seems to be 
no foundation for the statement. 


the different Portate.* This would seem to be 1443, 
which if correct would make him eleven years younger 
than Antonio. 

It is of course possible, as Vasari states, that he 
learnt painting in the atelier of Andrea dal Castagno, 
but as Andrea died when he was but fourteen years old, 
in any case it would not have been his only training. 
From the character of his work it seems most likely 
that he owed his education entirely to Antonio. 

The first documented notice we have of him is of 
I46o,when, as a boy of seventeen, he assisted Antonio in 
painting the lost canvases of the Labours of Hercules 
for Lorenzo de 1 Medici. The earliest existing work in 
which his hand is visible is in the Altarpiece of the 
Three Saints, painted with his brother a few years later 
for the Chapel of the Cardinal of Portugal, S. Miniato. 
In 1470 he held already an independent position as a 
Master, receiving the commission from the Mercatanzia 
for the panels of the Virtues to decorate their Council 
Hall. In 1477 he was competing with Verrocchio for 
the Forteguerri Tomb, to be erected in the Cathedral 
of Pistoja. Verrochio had, it transpires from the 
document recording this competition (Doc. XX. p. 277), 
demanded more money from the commissioners than they 
were willing to give j upon which they invited Piero, 

* In his Portata to the Catasto of 1457 his father gives his age as 
14, which would place the date of his birth in 1443. He himself, in 
his Portata of 1480 gives it as 33, which would place it in 1447. As 
in the case of Antonio, I have accepted the former, since it is un- 
likely that a father would mistake the age of so young a child. 


then in the city, to send in a model for the Monument. 
This model they found "more beautiful and more 
artistically worthy " than that of Verrocchio. Both 
were sent to Lorenzo de' Medici to decide as to their 
respective merits, and his judgment was in favour of 
Verrocchio. Piero received several commissions in- 
dependently of Antonio from the Signoria, but never, 
as far as is known, worked for the Duomo. In 1478 he 
was ordered to paint the Altar-piece for the Chapel of 
S. Bernardo in the Palazzo dei Priori, but, for some 
reason that does not transpire, the commission was eight 
days later taken from him and given to Leonardo, who 
however left the work unfinished.* In 1482 he had to 
paint the facade of a wall-fountain in the hall of the 
same Palace (Doc. XVII. p. 273). In 1483 he painted 
at the commission of Domenico Strambi the Altarpiece 
for the Church of S. Agostino, S. Gimignano. He 
accompanied his brother to Rome to aid him in the 
Tombs of the Popes, and the last record we have of him 
is in the testament of Antonio above quoted. The 
exact date of his death is not known, but it was 
probably in 1496. 

* See Milanesi, " Document! inediti risguardanti Leonardo da 
Vinci," Firenze, 1872. 



THANKS in part to the misleading notice of Vasari, in 
part to the scanty study that has been made of his work, 
the name of Antonio Pollaiuolo the greatest scientific 
artist of the Florentine School has been inextricably 
confused with that of Piero one of the weakest. The 
fact that Piero worked upon (and half spoiled) some 
few paintings designed, and in part executed, by him, 
is not sufficient reason for this confusion, for no men 
ever differed so fundamentally as these brothers, both 
in temperament and in ability. The same contrast is 
offered by their work as by their busts in S. Pietro in 
Vincoli, where in one we find a concentration of energy 
and force, which recalls the faces of Mantegna, of 
Signorelli, and of Michelangelo, in the other the timidity 
and vacillation which arise from physical and mental 
weakness. The high place held by Antonio is due far 
more to his work in metal, and to the few small panels 
painted entirely by his own hand, than to the larger 
pictures, to which Piero's co-operation has given a 
secondary value. His immense influence on contem- 
porary and subsequent art is the result of his initiation 


of a scientific study of the nude, never before attempted. 
A just appreciation of the specific qualities of his work 
makes it far from difficult, as far as the figures at least 
are concerned, to distinguish in their joint paintings 
the share of each brother. These qualities are pre- 
cisely those which Piero lacks. Antonio's consummate 
knowledge of the human structure, his mastery of the 
movements of limb and muscle, the concentration of 
energy he imparts to his figures, and the perfection of 
his draughtsmanship, are in direct contrast to the 
feebleness, flaccidity, and technical weakness of Piero. 
By his profound science, his realistic and forcible 
representation of the nude, Antonio changed the entire 
character of Florentine Art, setting it on a basis of 
truth and realism, which ultimately resulted in the 
supreme achievements of Michelangelo. The feebleness 
of Piero did not permit him to do more than weakly 
imitate his brother's forms, which in his hands became 
mere caricatures of strength. Of energy of any sort 
he was incapable. Of the vibrating life, the vigorous 
action, the rapid movement, of Antonio's work there is 
no trace in that of Piero. 

How then has the work of men thus different become 
so confused, that from Vasari down to our own day the 
attributions are almost invariably incorrect ? Chiefly, 
that the most characteristic work of Antonio the 
reliefs of the Silver Cross, of the Tomb of Sixtus, his 
pen studies from the nude, and the few panels and 
frescoes by his own unaided hand, are less known than 
the larger pictures painted in conj unction with Piero. 


In these latter, moreover, the energy of his work so 
dominates the picture, that the mind, concentrated on 
the parts executed by him, ignores the rest. For 
example, in the best known and most popular of their 
joint paintings the S. Sebastian of the National 
Gallery two figures only, out of the foreground group 
of seven, are painted by Antonio the archers stooping 
to load their bows. Yet these two so dominate the 
scene that they are the picture. From Vasari onward 
no critic has troubled to analyse the rest, which are 
mere puppets without life or action. The energy by 
which the altar-piece takes rank among the greatest 
masterpieces, is concentrated in these superb figures, in 
which strength and effort are focussed to a higher degree 
than in actual life, and the feeble brushwork of Piero 
escapes notice. 

To criticise on an equality the works of men so 
different is impossible. The ties of blood alone connect 
Piero with Antonio. That he had a share in some 
paintings, designed and partly executed by his brother, 
makes a slight sketch of his development unavoidable, 
but the following study is devoted chiefly to Antonio, 
the great scientific Master of Italian Art, the main 
influence by which it was brought to perfection in the 
work of Michelangelo. 

From the days of Giotto, Florentine Art had been 
steadily progressing towards realism, and breaking with 
the traditions of symbolism set by early Christian painters 
and mosaic- workers. Through the impulse given by 


Donatello it grew self-reliant, and asserted its right to 
independence. Donatello's interests were however more 
with the interpretation of character than mere physical 
life. As subtle psychological studies his statues are 
marvellous, but in the presentation of the human form 
there was still much to be learnt. Giotto was the first 
to give solidity and weight to the body, Donatello to 
realise its superficial forms and endow it with mind ; it 
remained for Antonio Pollaiuolo to present with 
complete science its structure of muscle and bone, its 
movements of limb and joint, and the complicated play 
of the muscular system. It was he, rather than 
Donatello, who introduced the culte of the body, which 
had been repudiated during the dark ages. In spite of 
essential differences of ideal, his aim and that of the 
Greek sculptor were alike the representation of the 
body in its most perfect development ; but while the 
Greek ideal was harmonious beauty, to which strength 
was but an adjunct, with Antonio strength and energy 
took the foremost place. 

Early Christian Art had looked askance on the human 
body in its reactionary bitterness towards Roman sen- 
suality. It had concealed it in draperies suggesting 
nothing of the form beneath, and conventionalised even 
the faces, hands, and feet. Even in the early Quattro- 
cento the nude was almost completely excluded. Where 
it was necessary to represent it, as in the Crucified 
Christ, it was treated in a manner so conventional as to 
be little more than a symbol. The Pisani, it is true, had 
long before sculptured the nude with a certain apprecia- 


tion, Niccola treating it in imitation of the antique, 
Giovanni with more realism, and Andrea has left, on 
his bronze doors and his carvings on the Campanile 
more than one nude figure, showing much knowledge 
of its structure. Masaccio and Andrea dal Castagno, 
preoccupied as they were with the human body, 
preferred to present it under draperies, and even 
Donatello carved few nudes except his children. Under 
the patronage of Lorenzo de' Medici and the leadership 
of Antonio Pollaiuolo, a new era of pseudo-paganism 
was revived in art, and the body and its possibilities of 
perfection alone were studied. The old themes of the 
Church were either neglected or treated in a manner 
more in accordance with the fresh interests. Mytho- 
logical subjects became the fashion. Draperies were 
abandoned, or when necessitated by the subject were 
treated for the independent interests they offered for 
complicated arrangements, curves and lines. A scientific 
study of the nude became the necessary training of the 
student, and the life school replaced the goldsmith's 
bottega. In all these innovations Antonio took the 
lead. He and Verrocchio held the chief training-schools 
at Florence, but in the study of the nude Verrocchio was 
his disciple. It is not only as the sculptor of the 
Tombs of the Popes, as the creator of the Hercules and 
splendid athletes, that Antonio must be recognised, 
but as the chief artistic influence of his epoch 
the head of an atelier, where half the painters 
and sculptors of Italy studied his scientific methods, 
drew from the nude model, and learnt the secrets 


of the construction of the body and its move- 

"He understood the nude in a more modern way 
than any of the Masters before him," wrote Vasari, 
"and removed the skin from many corpses to see the 
anatomy beneath ; he was the first to study the play of 
the muscles and their form and order in the body. 11 * 
It is for the high standard set by him in the repre- 
sentation of the nude that the influence of Antonio is 
chiefly valuable. 

And it was not only in Florence that this influence 
was felt. Through the channel of Signorelli and of 
Fiorenzo de 1 Lorenzo, both his disciples, it spread to the 
Umbrian School ; through the channel of Mantegna to 
the Paduan ; and by means of Diirer, his influence is 
even perceptible in a better understanding of the nude 
in the art of Germany. 

But Antonio had other interests in the nude body 
besides its forms. He was chiefly preoccupied with its 
movements, the movements not only of limb and joint, 
but the play of the muscles under the skin. Tracing 
his development, as far as is possible in his existing 
work, a steady progress in the presentation of movement 
is visible, and this movement grows more vehement as 
his ability increased. He played with the body as a 
juggler with his balls, putting it into a hundred difficult 
postures, with such science of its structure that they 
hardly seem strange, concentrating effort in the swell and 

* Vasari, iii. p. 295. 


tension of a muscle, and fury in the downward curve of 
a lip. Violent, brutal, savage all these words may be 
applied to his scenes of combat, but physical force and 
energy have never been so superbly presented before or 
since. Not even Signorelli nor Michelangelo have 
equalled him, and who can say to what extent is due to 
him those magnificent achievements of the nude in 
action the Inferno of Orvieto and the Last Judgment 
of the Sistine Chapel ? 

As regards the artistic influences of Antonio little 
need be said. He was above all original, and his art is 
most personal. He directed rather than followed, and 
the chief influence on his work was that of Nature, 
which he sought to imitate to the utmost of his power. 
Yet there is of course much in superficial form that is 
derived from his predecessors, certain characteristics 
which may indicate to what Masters he owed his training. 

As far as his goldsmith's education is concerned 
Vasari may be right in stating that he was apprenticed 
to Bartoluccio and Lorenzo Ghiberti. But whatever 
he may have learnt from the latter technically he had 
no appreciable influence on his style, which in its crude 
realism is exactly opposed to the pseudo-classicism 
of Ghiberti. The influence of Donatello counts for 
much in his development, yet it is doubtful if he was 
directly his pupil, his system of work pointing to a 
training in the goldsmith's rather than the sculptor's 
atelier. In any case, since Donatello left Florence for 
Padua when he was a child of twelve, any personal 
influence must have been slight. It is more likely that 


it was transmitted through Andrea dal Castagno, to 
whom of all the Florentine Masters Antonio owes most.* 
It is even possible that to Andrea were due his ideals of 
physical force. Antonio brought to perfection the type 
originated by him, and his Hercules is but a grander 
development of Pippo Spano (Plate III.). Such realistic 
figures also as the Evangelist and Virgin in Andrea's 
large fresco of S. Maria Nuova now in the Uffizi, and 
in the tiny panel of the National Gallery, have 
obviously had their influence upon Antonio. Andrea 
was the first uncompromising Realist of the Quattro- 
cento, whose aims were entirely devoted to the inter- 
pretation of physical force and emotion. He lacked the 
sense for beauty inherent in Antonio, and presented his 
ideals by truculent gesture and facial grimace as much 
as by thews and sinews. To him, with greater reason 
than to Antonio, can be applied the epithets " ugly " 
and " brutal," but his few remaining works show how 
scientific had been his training in the construction of 
the human form, although we possess no single nude 
from his brush that is not treated conventionally. The 
draperies however do not conceal the admirable structure 
of the form beneath, nor does the armour of Pippo 
Spano hide the freedom of the limbs.f 

* Recent investigation seems to prove that Andrea dal Castagno 
was born, not as Milanesi states in 1399. but somewhere about 
1410. See Herbert Home, " Andrea dal Castagno," Burlington 
Magazine, vii. 1905, p. 66. 

f It is one of the disgraces of modern Florence that the superb 
fresco by Andrea dal Castagno, representing the Trinity with S. 
Jerome and other saints standing below, discovered several years 




Face p. 32 


An influence far more superficial is that of Alesso 
Baldovinetti, and as it is certain that no personal 
sympathy would have attracted Antonio towards an 
artist so widely different, it seems likely that he was 
placed by his father to learn painting in his atelier. 
His manner of treating landscape strongly recalls that 
of Baldovinetti, who was the first to paint it realistic- 
ally. The backgrounds of his ruined fresco in the 
cloister of the SS. Annunziata and the Madonna of 
the Louvre, resemble strikingly the favourite Arno 
Valley of Antonio, and there are other likenesses which 
will be noticed later, between certain of Antonio^s 
forms and those of Baldovinetti. The collaboration 
of the two Masters in the decoration of the Chapel of 
the Cardinal of Portugal, S. Miniato, points to some 
connection between them, and the fact that Antonio 
employed the same unfortunate method of fresco, 
adds further weight to the hypothesis that he was his 

Except in certain superficial forms Antonio borrowed 
little from the antique. Of all contemporary Masters 
he was perhaps the least influenced by Greek or Roman 

ago beneath a later painting, in the left aisle of the SS. Annunziata, 
should have been again covered up by the authorities, for no other 
reason than that it attracted tourists to the church who disturbed the 
services. Why the Art-Conservators, with apparently inexhaustible 
funds at their command with which to restore buildings that need 
no restoration, (such as the Campanile of the Badia, the Loggia dei 
Lanzi, and the Convent of S. Miniato,) should not have removed 
the fresco to the Gallery, is a mystery I will not attempt to 


Sculpture, and never did he work in a manner so 
personal and modern as when in the atmosphere of 
Rome. He was as indifferent to the conventions of 
classic as of early Christian Art. It is significant that 
while some of the figures round the Tomb of Sixtus 
bear a superficial likeness. to certain antique statues, by 
their postures, their gesticulation, and the arrangement 
of their draperies, they are as far removed from classic 
art as any work of the Renaissance. 

Antonio's place in the development of engraving 
cannot be disregarded, although we have but one plate 
from his hand, and it is possible this was his only 
experiment in the art, outside his niello work.* But 
this single plate The Battle of Ten Nudes gives 
him an important place as an engraver. In the strong 
outline and to some extent also in the regular shading 

* Of the three engravings given by Bartsch to Antonio this only 
is authentic. Mr. Berenson has suggested as possibly work by his 
hand the Profile Portrait of a Lady in the Berlin Print-Room, 
officially attributed to an unknown Florentine engraver of the 
fifteenth century (" Florentine Drawings, "~i. 25). It has been 
ascribed also to an Umbrian master, and Delaborde suggested that 
it is a portrait of Battista Sforza, Duchess of Urbino. (See " La 
Gravure en Italic," Paris, p. 146.) The technique is of the 
simplest. The profile is engraved in one continuous, deeply-cut, 
line, and the modelling is obtained by colour a wash of pale red, 
obviously applied by the artist himself. The lady wears a very 
elaborate headdress of jewels and goldsmith's work, fastened on her 
forehead by a star-shaped jewel, and the too great elaboration of 
this headdress, which eclipses the face, seems to me at variance 
with Antonio's usual emphasis of the significant, and his interest 
in the human face. The engraving is well reproduced in colour by 
the International Chalcographical Society. 


of the background, he betrays the habits of the niello- 
worker, but his scheme of shading in the figures shows 
a different aim the imitation of pen-drawing. Nearly 
all the engraving which preceded him, for example the 
" Planet " series, attributed to Finiguerra, had been 
executed in what is called the " fine manner," that is to 
say, shaded with fine lines laid closely together and 
often cross-hatched. This system produced most likely 
intentionally the effect of a washed drawing. Some- 
what later probably between 1470 and 1480 the so- 
called "broad manner" came into use, simple parallel 
lines of open shading, certainly based on the imitation 
of pen-drawing ; for example copies of the " fine 
manner" Sibyls and Prophets, and the plates in the 
style of Fra Filippo, illustrating the Life of the Virgin 
and Christ. As the Battle of the Nudes must have 
preceded these, it may be inferred that the change of 
technique was due to Antonio. In his plate, however, 
there is another element of shading lacking in the 
" broad manner," the interlaying of oblique strokes at 
a very small angle to the principal lines, as though the 
artist were making a return-stroke with the pen. These 
lines are very lightly engraved, and do not appear in 
the more worn impressions, but in the best existing 
print that in the collection of Prince Lichtenstein at 
Feldsberg they are plainly visible.* 

These peculiarities of Antonio's technique appear 

* For these notes on the engraving of Antonio I am indebted to 
Mr. A. M. Hind of the Department of Prints and Drawings, 
British Museum. 


also in the engravings of Mantegna, and it is probable 
that the latter adopted them from him. Dr. Kristeller 
suggests that it was the Battle of the Nudes which 
gave Mantegna the impulse to master the technique 
and become his own engraver.* It is however dangerous 
to lay stress on such a possibility, since open-lined 
engraving was practised by the Paduan followers of 
Mantegna as early as from 1460-70. 

In the rapid movement towards perfection which 
took place in Florentine art in the last fifty years of 
the fifteenth century, Antonio holds the chief place. 
He is the connecting link between the tentative efforts 
of Paolo Uccello and Andrea dal Castagno, and the 
triumphant facility of Leonardo and Michelangelo. 
His own development was steady and rapid. Of his 
earliest goldsmith's work no example remains, but his 
progress in technical matters and his intellectual develop- 
ment can be appreciated by a comparison of his earliest 
existing work the reliefs of the Silver Cross and his 
latest the Tombs of the Popes. The advance is 
extraordinary, even in that age of swift development. 
Between the severe, slightly academic figures of the 
reliefs, and the free, almost baroque sculptures of the 
Tombs lies a world of truer visualisation and progress. 
These Monuments must be considered as the culminat- 
ing-point, not only of Antonio's personal development, 
but of the whole artistic movement he represents. 
A step beyond and we come to the baroque art 
* Kristeller, "Andrea Mantegna," London, 1901, p. 392. 


of the following century, in which the interpretation 
of idea was subordinated to the parade of technical 
facility. The great charm of Antonio's work is that 
with the depth of feeling and earnest effort of the 
fifteenth century he combined the technical perfection 
of the sixteenth. 



THE faultless draughtsmanship of Antonio was recog- 
nised by all the early critics as his preeminent quality. 
Vasari, Cellini and Baldinucci, far as they were from 
comprehending his true position in the development of 
Florentine art, gave him the first place as a draughtsman, 
and their praise is below his merits. His figures are 
invariably well proportioned, showing an acquaintance 
with anatomy that only the dissecting-table could give ; 
his modelling is perfect, with a feeling for the bone 
and muscle which enables us at will to see the figure as 
it is presented, as an ecorche, or as a skeleton ; his 
perspective is invariably correct, and his space values 
are admirably managed. It is true that, in accordance 
with his special interests, he constructs his figures with 
no regard to beauty in the general acceptation of the 
word. His types are selected solely with a view to 
interpret strength and energy, and have not the sym- 
metry of a Greek statue nor any manifestation of 
intellectual development. His types of male nude are 
two, one lean and sinewy, with immense shoulders and 
chest, small hips and bent legs the type of the 


Hercules the other more of the Doryphorous build, 
broader in the flanks and stouter, as in the Discord 
and the Battle of the Nudes. How much the first 
and most characteristic of these types influenced his 
contemporaries, may be seen in the numerous life 
studies of the epoch and in the paintings of Verrocchio, 
of Mantegna and of Botticelli. 

During the early part of his life he seems to have given 
little attention to the female nude, probably considering 
that it offered small scope for his special interests. As 
far as we know he never carved or painted a Madonna, 
except in the Annunciation of the Silver Cross and in 
the Birth of the Baptist of the Silver Altar. Up to 
the time of his departure for Rome, with the exception 
of these exquisite figures, his females are comparatively 
commonplace, but in the superb nudes that recline round 
the Tomb of Sixtus, he seems for the first time to have 
recognised the possibilities of a union of grace and 
strength in the female form. In the supple beauty of 
their limbs, strong as an athlete's, dainty as a stag's, 
he has reached the highest point as a sculptor of the 
female nude. 

Antonio must have made a special study of hands 
and feet, and none of his contemporaries, not even 
Luca della Robbia or Verrocchio, have equalled the 
beauty and expressiveness of his hands. The type is 
chosen for its nervous energy as much as for its grace. It 
is long and narrow, extremely delicate in form, with 
pointed fingers capable of grip and force. The beauty 
of his hand is best illustrated in the Arts and Sciences 


round the Tomb of Sixtus, but even in his tiny reliefs 
of the Silver Cross it is remarkable. 

But great draughtsman as he was, it is to his science 
in presenting action the most violent, of seizing move- 
ment at its most significant point, of concentrating 
energy and effort, that he owes his unique position in 
the development of art. To this he devoted his science 
and skill, and never have rapid motion, vehement 
gesture and the violence of brute force been better 
rendered. By the side of his Hercules combating the 
Hydra and strangling Antaeus, of his struggling nudes 
of the engraving, and of the Discord, other representa- 
tions of similar themes seem tame and spiritless, and 
even Signorelli, Michelangelo and Leonardo those 
great Masters of vehement movement have never 
surpassed him. And he can be equally successful in 
rhythmic as in rapid movement, in quiet as in violent 
action, as the frescoes of Arcetri prove. 

The feeling for beauty and harmony was inherent in 
his nature, so deeply rooted that it asserts itself * even 
in his most brutal scenes of struggle. In the Combats 
of Hercules for example, the decorative beauty of the 
lines, and the tranquil landscape, give an almost 
idyllic charm to the scenes. The Battle of the Nudes, 
considered only as pattern, is like some exquisite 
tapestry, with its background of leaves and grasses and 
the interwoven movement of the figures. In spite of 
his obsession for strength, no artist has created figures 
of more poetic charm than his David, now in Berlin, 
the stag-like Virgin of the Silver Altar, or the 


Annunciation of the Silver Cross. Thanks in part to his 
goldsmith's training, the Florentine painter is extremely 
sensitive to the beauty of line. He depends for his 
effects on line as the Venetian on colour. As a linealist 
Antonio has surpassed all his contemporaries, not even 
excepting Botticelli. His line is sensitive and at the 
same time decisive. Swift and rhythmic, it curls like 
smoke or flashes like flame. The line of Botticelli has 
the same sensitive quality but not the same energy. As 
a linealist Leonardo only can be compared to him, and 
the touch of the two Masters has much resemblance. 

Antonio was a superb composer. Again thanks to 
the goldsmith's training the standard of composition in 
the Florentine school is extremely high. Men of such 
slight ability as the Bicci and the nameless imitators of 
Botticelli and Fra Filippo, rarely err in the balance and 
grouping of their scenes. This of course is more easy 
in the tranquil compositions of the hieratic Altarpieces, 
such as the Madonna and Saints, the Assumption, and 
kindred themes. In crowded scenes of vehement action 
the composition presents greater difficulties, yet in the 
most complicated and energetic of his works, Antonio 
groups his figures with faultless balance. His tendency, 
like all great painters and sculptors, is to build up his 
composition in pyramidal form, which gives a monu- 
mental stability to the group. One of the most perfect 
examples of this is the Combat of Hercules with Antaeus. 
The figures seem designed to be cast in bronze, and not- 
withstanding the energy and effort, the action has the 
finality of monumental sculpture. He had a method of 


giving importance to his figures by setting them on a 
prominence well in the foreground, thus eliminating the 
middle distance, by which means they stand out colossal 
against the distant plane. This composition is almost 
invariable in his paintings, and was imitated by Botti- 
celli in those early works which most show the influence 
of Antonio, for example, in his S. Sebastian of Berlin 
and the Judith of the Uffizi. 

He must have devoted himself with almost equal zeal 
to the study of perspective as to anatomy, and here also 
he was far in advance of his contemporaries. His success 
in rendering the depth of space in landscape exceeds 
that of Paolo Uccello, and in interiors he is unrivalled. 
In his designs for the embroideries, in his relief of the 
Silver Altar, with backgrounds as detailed as a Flemish 
interior, he has given the perspective of the long rooms 
and the relative values of distance with consummate skill. 
His landscapes have the spaciousness of Perugino's, a 
spaciousness gained, not by any atmospheric effect, 
which he never attempted, but by his fine management 
of perspective. The planes recede so naturally and the 
values of distance are so well rendered, that we have the 
feeling, as in the minute landscapes of Mantegna, of 
actually being able to enter lit and to measure the 
number of miles to the most distant point. 

He was as realistic in his treatment of landscape as of 
the human form. He chose to represent invariably the 
same scene the Arno Valley seen from below Florence 
and reproduces with photographic fidelity every 
detail and building dotted among the hills. Each 


tower and church in the city can be recognized, and no 
more faithful pictures of old Florence exist than we find 
in his paintings. He was the first great landscape 
painter of his epoch, valuing scenery not as a mere 
accessory to the figures, but for the sake of its beauty 
and special interest. His scenes of the Arno Valley, if 
abstracted from the subject to which they form the 
background, are complete pictures in themselves, as full 
of interest and meaning as a landscape by Turner. That 
he took a special interest in them is proved by the fact 
that, while leaving to Piero the principal figures in his 
pictures, he himself painted with the care of a minia- ; 
turist the background scenery. 

In colour Antonio tends to be somewhat heavy, warm 
brown, green, peacock blue, deep amethyst and ruby 
being his favourite tints. It is probably to his handling 
of gold and jewels that he owes the depth and gem-like 
glow of his colours. In combining them he is always 
harmonious, and the effect of his paintings is of great 
depth and richness. There is as little weakness or 
triviality in his tones as in his draughtsmanship, and his 
contrasts of light and shade are strong and sharp, as of 
one accustomed to work in metal. His flesh tints are 
brown, with a tendency to brick-red, and these strong 
colours add to the energy of his forms. In his paintings 
there is always a suggestion of bronze, in his choice of 
colour as much as in his sharp decisive modelling. 

In rendering surface and texture he is particularly 
successful. In his painted and sculptured work he 
makes us feel the hardness of bone, the elasticity of 


muscle, as no other artist has done. In his painting of 
stuffs he is as realistic as in all else, imitating with 
delusive effect the soft pile of velvet and furs, the crisp- 
ness of gold brocade, and the diaphanous texture of 

And with all his attention to detail Antonio never 
lost sight of the composition as a whole, nor lost his 
largeness of style. He combined to perfection the 
delicacy of the goldsmith with the breadth of the 
worker in clay. 


CROSS OF S. GIOVANNI, 1457-1479 

ACCORDING to Vasari the earliest works executed by 
Antonio after starting an independent career, were 
some Pad * worked in niello, and he mentions others 
wrought in enamel, so exquisitively coloured "that 
with the brush they could hardly be better done." 
" In other Churches of Florence, of Rome and elsewhere 

* Small engraved plaques of precious metal, generally representing 
the Crucifixion, enclosed in jewelled frames, which were offered by 
the Priest to be kissed by the faithful during Mass, a ceremony 
that replaced in the fifth century the kiss given to each other by the 
early Christians before communicating. The name is derived from 
Pax Tecum, the words addressed to the worshipper on presentation 
of the Pace. The earliest existing example is in the Collegiata of 
Cividale Friuli, and is of the eighth century. It is of gilded silver, 
decorated with jewels. In the fifteenth century the Pad were gene- 
rally wrought in niello, aword derived from Nigellum, from the black 
enamel with which the engraved lines were filled. Vasari gives a 
full description of niello work as practised in his time (Vasari, I. p. 
208). There is a tradition that the art of engraving was due to a 
chance discovery made by Finiguerra, who having by hazard 
placed a plaque, in which the enamel was still wet, on a packet of 
damp linen, found on removing it the engraved design reproduced 
to perfection. 


in Italy," he writes, " his marvellous enamels are to be 
seen. He taught the art to Mazzingo the Florentine, 
and to Giuliano del Facchino, fairly excellent Masters, 
and to Giovanni Turini the Sienese." * None of the 
Pad of Antonio are in existence, having been melted 
down in time of war or otherwise destroyed, but 
several interesting examples in niello and coloured 
enamels are to be seen in the Museo Nazionale, Florence, 
among them the celebrated Crucifixion by Finiguerra, 
which Cellini asserts to have been designed by Antonio 
himself, f This is not the case. The composition is over- 
crowded and without harmony or balance, the figures are 

* Vasari, III. p. 288. This is an error. Both Mazzingo and 
Giuliano del Facchino, goldsmiths employed in the mint of 
Florence, were many years older than Antonio. 

t " Si vede di sua mano " (Finiguerra's) " una Pace con un 
Crocifisso drentovi insieme con i due ladroni e con molti ornamenti 
di cavagli e di altre cose, fatta sotto il disegno di Antonio del 
Pollajuolo . . . ed e intagliata e niellata di mano del detto Maso." 
(Cellini, " Trattati dell' Oreficeria, " p. 13.) This is the only surviving 
example of Finiguerra's work. It was executed in 1452 for the 
Church of S. Giovanni. The Coronation of the Virgin, done in 
1455, until recently attributed to Finiguerra, also in the Museo 
Nazionale, is by Matteo di Giovanni Dei. (See Milanesi's article 
published in " L'Arte," 1884, I. p. 70.) Itshows chiefly the influence 
of Fra Filippo. 

Dr. Kristeller attribute's to Antonio the following prints from 
niello-plates. The " Fountain of Love " in the Museo Malaspina, 
Pavia, also given to him by Burckhardt, the "Fortitude " in that of 
Baron Edmond de Rothschild, (executed for Antonio's patron, Gen- 
til Virginio Orsini, as the presence of his stemma shows) and the 
" Beheading of a Prisoner " in the Cabinet of Engravings, Parma. 
See " Die Italienische Niellodrucke und der Kupferstich des XV. 
Jahrhundert " Jahrbuch fur Kiinstliche Kunstwissenschaft, " 1894, 
P 94. 


weak in action and faulty in drawing, and show complete 
ignorance of anatomy. In the foreground to the right 
are two soldiers which faintly recall the type of 
Antonio, but it is probable that this likeness was derived 
from Andrea dal Castagno, by whom Finiguerra was 
also influenced. 

But if no specimen of Antonio's niello engraving has 
survived the melting-pot we have, in the reliefs of the 
Silver Cross of S. Giovanni (Plate IV.) superb examples 
of his early goldsmith's work, although the enamels 
which filled them have long since dropped away. This 
Reliquary his earliest existing work of which we have 
certain date was commissioned in 1457 to contain the 
most precious relic of the Republic, the fragment of the 
True Cross, which tradition asserts to have been pre- 
sented to the city by Charlemagne. The relic consists 
of a large piece of unjoined wood in the form of a cross, 
on which is carved the figure of Christ, the head 
crowned with a mitre instead of thorns, the feet pierced 
by two nails instead of one, a mode of representation 
which proves it to have been carved before the thir- 
teenth century. It was originally contained in a portable 
Cross of much smaller dimensions, and was earned in 
procession on the rare occasions when the most precious 
relics were exhibited to the public.* The Cross of 
Antonio is now placed on the Silver Altar in the Museo 

* In the Spogli di Carlo Strozzi, under the date August 13, 1455, 
is the following record. " Una processione si fa per 4 di per la vit- 
toria ottenuta per i cristiani contro i turchi nella quale 1'arcivescovo 
porta per ultimo in mano una reliquia, una croce grande d'argento 


dell 1 Opera del Duomo, but the relic is no longer within, 
having been transferred to its present Reliquary in the 
eighteenth century, at which date the Cross suffered 
many changes and additions. 

The history of the commission is as follows. In 1456 
7 the University della Mercatanzia, which had charge 
of the principal Churches, considering the older Reli- 
quary unworthy of the importance of the relic, decided 
to replace it by a larger and more magnificent one of 
silvered ecorated with enamels. On February 14, 1457 
(N.S.) the discussion as to the goldsmiths to be employed 
took place, and on April 30 the work was distributed 
as follows. The upper part the Cross was given to 
Betto di Francesco Betti, and the lower the Reliquary 
itself to Antonio Pollaiuolo and Miliano di Domenico 
Dei. (Doc. IX. p 274.) 

Two years later, 1459, the work was completed, and 
the total cost was 3036 florins, 6 lire, 18 soldi, 4 danari. 
Of this sum Betto Betti received 1030 florins, 3 lire, 5 
soldi, while the larger part 2006 florins, 3 lire, 13 soldi, 
7 danari, was paid to Antonio. Of Miliano Dei no 
further mention is made in the documents, and it is 
probable that he either died or renounced his share of 
the commission. 

In its present state the Reliquary is much changed by 
additions made in the eighteenth century, when the relic 

nella quale era una crocetta che si dice essere del legno della croce 
di Cristo la quale fu comperata da uno Greco che disse haverla 
levata di Gostantinopli quando fu presa dai Turchi. " (Delib. de' 
Consoli 1455-1459. Spogli Strogzi, "Arch, di Stato," I. c. 214'.) 






Face p. 48 


was removed and the Cross was turned into a Crucifix. 
These alterations were made in all probability by the 
celebrated goldsmith Bernardo Holzmann, who was em- 
ployed at the end of the seventeenth and the beginning 
of the eighteenth centuries in restoring the Reliquaries 
of S. Maria del Fiore and S. Giovanni. The present 
tabernacle to which the relic was transferred bears the 
date 1702, which may be accepted as that of the changes 
and additions to the old Cross. 

There is no documentary notice to determine what 
these alterations were, and opinion differs on several 
points, but all are agreed that the figure of Christ on 
the Cross, the statuettes of the Virgin and Evangelist on 
the branches, and the sphynxes below, with the brackets 
they support, belong to the eighteenth century. Dr. 
Mackowsky is of opinion that the seated figures of the 
Baptist and the Angels^\which fill the niches of the 
Tabernacle, as well as several of the minor ornaments 
belong to the same date. These disputed points will be 
discussed later. 

The upper part the Cross of Betto Betti is much 
better preserved than the lower. The reliefs still retain 
the enamels, which flash and glow as brilliantly as when 
they were executed nearly five centuries ago. The back 
is decorated as elaborately as the front, and it is to be 
regretted that in its present position on the Altar 
an examination is nearly impossible. On both sides 
are six medallions containing figures enamelled in 
brilliant colours. In front at the top is God the Father, 
a strange gnome-like figure, seated with one leg tucked 


under him. Below, hidden by the head of Christ, 
is the Pelican with spread wings, feeding its young 
from its breast, symbolic of Christ. On the two arms 
are the Virgin and the Magdalen, and below a weep- 
ing old man, (probably representing S. Peter) and the 
Evangelist. Between each medallion is an angel, 
standing or flying horizontally, according to the space 
to be filled. The colours are exceedingly rich, chiefly 
moss-greens, peacock blues and deep crimsons, which 
glow like gems and flash back their deep tones to the 

On the back the medallions contain the following 
figures. In the centre the Lamb with the Flag, repre- 
senting the sacrifice of Christ, and around the four 
Evangelists, while below is the Boy-Baptist in the 
desert. The intervening spaces are filled, like those in 
front, with angels, with the exception of the arms, on 
which lie two figures, whose names ISAIA and 
IEREMIAS are inscribed on scrolls. In all these 
reliefs there is a suggestion of early German art, bizarre 
and half grotesque. 

The Cross is surrounded by small Florentine lilies 
alternating with decorated bosses,and these lilies are con- 
sidered by Dr. Mackowsky to belong to the eighteenth 
century additions. To me however they appear to be 
part of the original design. It springs from the petals 
of a lily, which rests upon a tiny Calvary, minutely 
worked, on which are carved in high relief the symbolic 
skull and snake. It is surrounded by a little fortified 
town with towers and battlemented walls, and below 


branch out two brackets for the support of statuettes. 
These certainly belong to the original design, but the 
figures they support are modern. On the volutes are 
medallions both back and front. Those behind contain 
a very beautiful Annunciation the work of Antonio 
Pollaiuolo, those in front, two Saints seated on the 
ground in a landscape. These from the contrast of 
style to that of Antonio, have been attributed to 
Miliano Dei, but a comparison of the work with the 
medallions on the Cross proves them to be by Betto 
Betti. On one is an old man in the dress of a monk, on 
the other a youthful saint. They perhaps represent S. 
Augustine and S. John the Evangelist, but as they are 
without symbols it is difficult to determine. They are 
curiously constructed, and have the same gnome-like 
German appearance as all the foregoing figures. They 
sit on the ground with outstretched necks in strange 
ungainly postures. The coarse features have a very 
earnest expression, but are yet almost grotesque. The 
foreshortening of the leg of the old saint is badly 
indicated, and the draperies are treated with an 
uncouthness that show the artist to have no sense for 
the beauty of line. The old saint, squatted rather than 
seated, with one leg tucked under him, resembles almost 
exactly God the Father in the top medallion. These 
are the only works of Betto Betti known to me, 
but his style is so personal, so strange and uncouth, 
with its strong suggestion of German influence, 
that did others exist, they would be recognized without 


The lower pari of the Cross has suffered much 
damage, the enamels being almost entirely broken away. 
Here and there only a touch of colour remains. This 
is hardly to be regretted from the student's point of 
view, since the exposure of the metal has rendered it 
possible to take casts, without which, owing to the 
inaccessible position of the Cross, it would be impossible 
to study these early examples of Antonio's art.* There 
are fifteen reliefs, and most of them of the greatest im- 
portance for the influence they evidently had upon 
contemporary and later work. A few of them however 
are so inferior in quality as to suggest that they were 
left to the hand of assistants. 

The largest and most elaborate of the reliefs is that 
which decorates the base of the Cross, representing the 
Baptism of Christ. The composition differs in no way 
from that of Verrocchio in his painting now in the 
Accademia, and both bear a strong resemblance to the 
small panel by Alesso Baldovinetti in the same gallery.f 
In the centre stands the Herculean figure of Christ, his 
arms folded across his chest, looking like a pugilist 
resting after a fight. The legs are crossed one behind 
the other, in an attitude repeated many times by 
Antonio, an attitude somewhat conventional but indi- 

* Casts of all the details of Antonio's work can be obtained at the 
atelier of Giuseppe Lelli, 95 Corso dei Tintori, Florence. Photo- 
graphsof the reliefs are reproduced in Dr.Mackowsky's article "Das 
Silberkreuz fur den Johannisaltar im Museo di S. Maria del Fiore 
zu Florenz." Jahrbuch der K. Preuss. Kunstsaramlungen, 1902, p. 


t No. 233. In the Gallery attributed to Fra Angelico. 


cative of great muscular strength. He is nude except 
for the loin-cloth, and the torso and limbs have the 
development of the athletes of Michelangelo. The 
realistic treatment of this Christ gives at once the key- 
note to the spirit in which Antonio worked. The 
opportunity offered by the nude to portray his favourite 
brawny type, he seized without considering the charac- 
ter and scene he was representing, and never has Christ 
been presented in so material a guise. Verrocchio in 
his Accademia painting evidently had this relief in his 
mind, for his Christ is of the same build and type, and 
might well have been drawn from the same model, but 
he has sought in some measure by the expression of the 
face to adapt it to the character, whereas Antonio has 
uncompromisingly presented a nude pugilist. The 
realistic treatment of the Christ is in sharp contrast to 
the stiff and conventional figure of the Baptist, who 
strides forward with the same ungainly gesture as in 
Verrocchio's painting, both seeming to be imitated from 
the panel of Baldovinetti. This likeness between the 
relief of Antonio and the painting of Verrocchio, and 
their common resemblance to Alesso's panel, is important, 
as pointing to their probable connection as fellow 
students in his bottega. The interest of both artists 
has been centred on the nude Christ, and both have 
been content to imitate, even to its faults of structure 
and movement, the conventional figure of the Baptist 
which must have been familiar to them in the painting 
of their Master. It is probable that Baldovinetti's 
small panel is a replica of some larger and more 


important work, now lost, for the composition was evi- 
dently popular, and superseded the earlier treatment of 
the scene, of which we have an example in the trecento 
reliefs of the Silver Altar. 

To the left of the scene kneel two Angels, character- 
istic figures, with large scythe-like wings and voluminous 
draperies, which we shall find many times repeated in 
the earlier work of Antonio. 

On either side of the Baptism is a relief representing 
a Father of the Church, seated on a high-backed throne 
in full episcopal costume on the front SS. Augustine 
and Jerome, on the back SS, Ambrose and Gregory. 
Of these figures the finest is S. Augustine, superbly 
posed and gazing upward with inspired expression. 
The draperies are arranged in large free folds, and the 
long-fingered beautiful hands are characteristic. The 
other three seem to have been left to assistants. Their 
attitudes are somewhat cramped, the draperies less 
free and structural, and the faces more common- 

Next in importance to the Baptism is the relief in 
the centre of the base, representing Moses holding high 
up, with menacing gesture, the tablet of the law. It 
is a superb figure, and with its fierce face and noble 
action recalls so strongly Michelangelo's Prophets 
of the Sistine Chapel, and his Moses of S. Pietro in 
Vincoli, as to suggest its influence upon those works. 
It is treated with a breadth and grandeur which in 
spite of its actual dimensions give the impression of 
colossal size. 


On either side is a medallion representing the Virtues 
Faith and Hope. These show marked differences in 
style and quality. The Faith, ill-posed with wide- 
spread knees and coarsely treated draperies, is evidently 
the work of an assistant, while the Hope is one of the 
most beautiful and characteristic of Antonio's figures. 
She is seated, her body swung round in free and graceful 
pose, her long delicate fingers pressed together in 
adoration. Her draperies emphasize the fine modelling 
of the limbs. Her large scythe-like wings seem to cut 
the air behind her. The foreshortening of the right 
thigh, in the extremely low relief, is admirably 
managed. It is interesting to compare the simple 
severity of this Hope with the mannered and restless 
figure on the Tombs of the Popes executed thirty 
years later. 

On either side of these medallions is affixed a small 
shield, bearing the arms of the Mercatanzia an eagle 
perched on a woolsack strong fierce birds, splendidly 
designed. Beyond these again are two medallions 
with the other Virtues, Temperance and Charity, 
insignificant figures, probably executed by assistants. 
The latter is repeated with slight variations in the 
centre of the pedestal immediately below the 

On either side of these is an Angel who, with arms 
truculently folded on its chest, rushes forward with the 
impetus of the wind. Antonio's conception of an 
Angel is original and characteristic. It is neither 
graceful nor gentle, but audacious in bearing, violent in 


action, and with the muscular development of a prize- 
fighter. This material conception is redeemed by the 
beauty of the large wings and of the fluttering 
draperies. The counterpart of these figures will be 
found frescoed above the Altar in the Chapel of the 
Cardinal of Portugal, S. Miniato, painted by Antonio 
several years later. 

On the volutes at the back of the Cross, corresponding 
with Betto Betti's Saints, are medallions containing 
the Archangel Gabriel and the Virgin, one of those 
romantic and poetic scenes, which now and then break 
through his usual blunt realism. Curiously enough some 
critics have supposed these exquisite figures to be by 
the same hand as the uncouth Saints in front, and have 
attributed all four medallions to Miliano Dei. They 
are however thoroughly characteristic of Antonio both 
in type and treatment. In one the Virgin kneels on 
the flowered grass before a reading desk. One finger 
marks the place upon her open book as in the painting 
of Verrochio in the Uffi/i. These hands are of the 
greatest beauty the long delicate hand peculiar to 
Antonio. The severely arranged draperies model her 
shoulders and arms, and hang about her in noble 
simplicity. In the other the Archangel, with large 
sharp wings, has just alighted, as we are made aware by 
a subtle seizure of transitory movement. The pose is 
easy and graceful, with its gesture of reverential 
salutation wings and draperies correspond with those 
of the vehement angels on the base, while the long 
body and simple robes of the Virgin recall those in the 


relief executed by Antonio later for the Silver Altar. 
Both figures kneel in a landscape, which, though 
indicated only by a few trees and flowered grass, is 
wonderfully suggestive of space and open air. The two 
medallions form one of the most exquisite Annunciations 
of the fifteenth century. 

The Tabernacle below, in which the relic was formerly 
enclosed, represents a little temple of beautiful propor- 
tions, the roof of which is covered with tiles of blue 
enamel, decorated with the crescent and star, in allusion 
to the Turkish origin of the relic. Its original state is 
a matter of dispute. Dr. Mackowsky considers that 
the statuettes in the niches two seated Baptists and 
four Angels belong to the eighteenth-century additions, 
partly because he finds the style modern, partly because 
he holds the repetition of the same figures, back and 
front, to be out of character with the epoch. The 
larger statuettes of angels, standing on the sphynx- 
supported brackets, which resemble these, he claims to 
belong to the original work, supposing that they occupied 
the place on the branches above, where now are the 
modern statuettes of the Virgin and Evangelist. My 
own studies lead me to a different conclusion namely, 
that the small figures in the Tabernacle belong to the 
original work, and the larger Angels imitated from them 
to the eighteenth -century additions. That the niches were 
intended for statuettes there can be no question ; the 
figure of the Baptist has everything in common with 
Antonio's style, is finely constructed and well posed, 
and has the severity of the epoch, while the Angels 


with their beautiful wings and draperies are much more 
in Antonio's character than those on the pedestals, which, 
with their sentimental gesture and affected expression, 
have decidedly an eighteenth century air. That figures of 
Angels however originally stood on the upper brackets, 
where now are the Virgin and Evangelist, is probable, for 
we find them in similar work, apparently copied from 
this, the most noted example of which is the enamelled 
Reliquary of S. Girolamo executed in 1487 in direct 
imitation.* It is possible that the original figures 
(which, being on the upper part of the Cross, were 
probably executed by Betto Betti and not by Antonio) 
were destroyed or lost, and that Bernardo Holzmann 
the restorer, through whose hands the S. Girolamo 
Reliquary also passed, replaced them in imitation of 
this. The small vases filled with flowers surmounting 
the temple seem also to have been added by him. 

In the tiny details of this Reliquary the first dated 
work of Antonio, and as such the standard and starting- 
point in the study of his development we have found 
the most characteristic examples of his style, delicate 
goldsmith's work, which yet has had its influence on 
paintings and sculpture, the greatest which modern art 
has produced. It is impossible to look at the Baptism 
without being reminded of the painting of Verrocchio, 
at the Annunciation without recalling the stag-like 
figures of Botticelli, at the Moses without thinking of 

* By an unknown artist. The Reliquary is preserved in the 
Tabernacle of S. Antonio Abate in the Dnomo. It was restored 
by Holzmann in 1693. 


Michelangelo. In general design, denuded of the 
eighteenth-century additions the work is faultless, the 
carvings, technically considered, are a marvel of low relief. 
And it is besides important as offering at the outset evi- 
dence of the unconscious struggle between the man and 
the artist, of which we are made aware throughout his 
work. The noble energetic figure of Moses, the muscular 
pugilist who poses as Christ, the dainty figures and 
romantic setting of the Annunciation, the vehement, 
rushing Angels all bear witness to the conflicting 
elements which makes his work of so great psychological 
interest the innate love of beauty and refinement, the 
idolatry of brute-force, and the scientific interests in 
which his intellect was centred. 

The Cross was first used in 1483, at the date of the 
completion of the Silver Altar. Both Reliquary 
and Altar were prized as the most precious treasures of 
the Republic, and in time of war, when finances were 
low and other works in precious metal were pawned to 
meet expenses, they alone were spared. Only once, in 
1529, was the Cross in danger, when, the city being in 
urgent need of money, it was pledged to the banker 
Camillo Antinori, for the sum of 1500 florins. It was 
however redeemed shortly after for 1650 florins. 

In 1465 Antonio was commissioned by the same Arte 
dei Mercatanti to execute two Silver Candlesticks to 
accompany the Cross (Doc. XV. p. 272). They are 
described as being enriched with enamels and carved with 
figures and reliefs, and probably resembled it in design. 
They were 2\ bracelet in height and the total cost was 1548 


florins, Antonio being paid at the rate of 17 florins the 
libbra. Unfortunately they are no longer in existence, 
and it is probable that they were melted down in 1527, 
when so many treasures of the Church were destroyed 
to meet the expenses of the war. 


GROUP. 1460 

IN comparison with his bronze and goldsmith's work 
painting occupied but a subordinate place in the art of 
Antonio Pollaiuolo. Of the large number of pictures 
attributed to him in public galleries and private 
collections, it is impossible to accept more than eleven 
as genuine, and of these, four are the joint work of him 
and his brother. From all that can be gathered, it 
seems probable that as soon as Piero was old enough to 
assist him, Antonio, preoccupied with his other work, 
left to him the greater share in the paintings for which 
he received commissions. It is certain that four out of 
the seven oil paintings, executed entirely by him, date 
from a time when Piero was still a mere apprentice. 
In the dearth of documents it is difficult to decide with 
any degree of certainty the chronological order of 
his paintings. Not one of them is dated, and only by 
inference do we obtain the approximate time of three, 
the two small Hercules panels, which must have been 
painted about 1460, and the frescoes and Altarpiece of 


the Chapel of the Cardinal of Portugal, S. Miniato, 
which date from about 1465. Vasari gives the year of 
the S. Sebastian of the National Gallery as 1475, but 
the statement is unsupported by any evidence. Recent 
investigation has proved the Newhaven Hercules and 
Nessus to have been painted before 1467. This is all 
the aid to a chronology that is forthcoming. The 
order of execution must then be judged by the 
development discerned in the paintings themselves, by 
their relation to the dated bronze and goldsmith's 
work, and by taking into account the development of 
Piero. The earliest appear to be the David of the 
Kaiser Friedrich Museum, Berlin, the Apollo and 
Daphne of the National Gallery, and the two panels of 
Hercules in the Uffizi. In neither of the four is the 
hand of Piero visible. The latter may be dated 1460. 
the others I should be inclined to place earlier for the 
following reasons. The interest of Antonio in the play 
of muscle and violent action seems to have increased 
steadily with the development of his powers, and in the 
Hercules pictures is already predominating. With the 
exception of the David and the Apollo and Daphne 
not a painting by him exists which does not suggest 
this preoccupation, his treatment of the theme being 
determined by his desire to present the nude in violent 
action, or to seize some transient and difficult movement. 
The sense for poetry and beauty, inherent in his nature, 
was eclipsed by these intellectual interests, and mani- 
fests itself indirectly and "unconsciously. But in these 
two paintings the sentiment is purely romantic, and the 


figures are constructed with a grace and daintiness in 
marked contrast to his usual robust, half savage type. 
In both there is something which suggests the idyllic 
sentiment of youth, to which the interest in physical 
strength is subordinate. It is true that in the Apollo 
his passion for seizing swift and transitory movement is 
revealed, but the picture is conceived in a spirit as 
romantic as a mediaeval poem. Later he would have 
seized the opportunity offered by the theme to represent 
Apollo as a nude athlete, and have laid stress on the 
action of the limbs and the play of muscle. Instead he 
is clad in the daintiest of costumes, painted with the 
love of Carpaccio for beautiful clothes, and the limbs 
beneath have no exaggerated development. There is 
more poetry than attempt at realism in the way the 
large bay-branches sprout from the fingers of Daphne, 
forming a sort of grove. Behind them stretches the 
Arno Valley, through which the river winds like a 
snake, and this characteristic landscape is treated with 
a mixture of realism and poetry which never varies 
in his paintings of scenery. 

The small panel is painted with the delicacy of a 
miniature. The colour is rich and dark, with warm 
crimsons and deep-toned greens, and has that gem-like 
glow and depth which must have been imitated from 
jewels. At whatever date it was painted Antonio had 
already little to learn in anatomy. The rapid move- 
ment of Apollo as he seizes the nymph is presented 
with his usual science, and the action is full of life and 
energy. It is probable, from its classic character, that 


it was painted at the commission of Lorenzo or 
Giuliano de' Medici, but its history is unknown.* 

Equally romantic in feeling is the small painting of 
David, No. 73A of the Kaiser Friedrich Museum, 
Berlin. (Plate V.) The youth stands with his slender 
legs firmly planted on either side of the giant's head, 
clad as daintily as the Apollo, in a coat of chestnut- 
coloured velvet, lined and trimmed with white fur, and a 
blue tunic brocaded with gold. The figure, vibrating 
with energy as it is, has none of the superficial manifes- 
tations of strength, and is certainly drawn from no atelier 
model. He is as delicately built as a woman, and has 
a woman's slender hands. Neither is there any attempt 
at realism in the accessories. He stands against a 
slate-gray wall, or screen, as in many of the portrait 
figures of the time, and, but for the sling and the head 
of the giant, might pass as the portrait of some young 
Florentine noble. And this is probably the case, for 
the sensitive face with the pale eyes and melancholy 
expression is very individual, and was certainly not 
chosen as representative of the young David, for which 
Donatello had already set the type in Florentine art. 
Nothing could be more different than this youth and the 
arrogant striplings of Donatello and Verrocchio. Like 
Judith, David was adopted by the Florentines as the 
symbolic personage representing the liberty of the 

* No 928 of the National Gallery. Its provenance is unknown. 
In 1845 it was in the collection of Mr. W. Coningham, and later in 
that of Mr. Wynn Ellis, by whom in 1876 it was bequeathed to the 
National Gallery. 

Graph. Geselhchaft, Berlin 


Face p. 64 


Republic, and it is not unlikely that a member of the 
Medici family may have chosen to be portrayed in 
that character. The face resembles strongly the 
portrait by Botticelli in the Uffizi of a young man in a 
red cap, who holds between his hands the medal of 
Cosimo il Vecchio. The features are identical. In 
both paintings we see the same delicate face with 
prominent cheek bones, the same heavy-lidded pale- 
gray eyes, the same shock of brown hair growing low 
on the broad forehead, the same curved melancholy 
mouth. The likeness is undeniable, but it does not 
aid in discovering the original, for the portrait of 
Botticelli has never been satisfactorily identified. At 
one time called the Portrait of a Medallist it now 
bears the name of Piero di Lorenzo de' Medici, although 
it has no resemblance to his face as portrayed by Bron- 
zino in the series of Medici portraits. Later critics 
have suggested a name equally unsatisfactory 
Giovanni, uncle of Lorenzo. But again, although there 
is some resemblance in colouring, in expression the face 
differs completely from that of the accepted portraits. If 
it be really Giovanni it could not have been painted from 
life, for he died at the age of forty-two, when Botticelli 
was only seventeen, and the portrait represents a man 
of at most twenty-five. It would be of interest could 
the features of the two portraits be identified, for the 
date of Antonio's painting would then be approximately 
fixed. The presence of the medal points to the 
probability that Botticelli's portrait represents some 
youth of the Medici family, or at least closely connected 


with it, but I have searched in vain among portraits 
and medals for the same features and expression. 

The David is officially ascribed to Piero, an unreason- 
able attribution, since, while it has everything in common 
with the best work of Antonio in energy, in form and 
in colour, it resembles in nothing the feeble work of 
Piero. The spare figure full of concentrated force, in 
which every bone is accentuated, whose feet, gripping 
the ground, are planted with the resolution of a warrior 
by Signorelli, differs completely from the puffy forms 
of Piero, which seem inflated with air and have as little 
weight and balance as a bladder. If a comparison 
between the work of the two brothers be desired, let the 
reader turn to the Altarpiece of S. Sebastian (p. 15), 
where in the legs of the foreground archer to the left, 
may be seen a precise copy of those of the David, 
apparently imitated either from this picture or some 
preliminary study. They are alike only in form how- 
ever, for in passing through the hand of Piero they 
have been robbed of all vitality. The David is a 
masterpiece of fine draughtsmanship and technical per- 
fection, of which Piero in his most mature years was 

The date of the two small panels in the Uffizi, 
(No. 1 153) (Plates Vl.and VII.) representing the Combats 
of Hercules with the Hydra and with Antaeus, is 
approximately fixed by their connection with the three 
large canvases, now lost, painted by Antonio for Lorenzo 
de" Medici in 1460. The letter in which he refers to 
these paintings, stating them to have been executed by 




Face p. 66 


himself and his brother in that year, has been already 
quoted (p. 17). It is certain that the share of Piero 
must have been limited to the most subordinate parts 
since he was only seventeen at the time. It is generally 
supposed that the small panels were painted as studies 
for the canvases, but considering the miniature-like care 
with which they are finished, and for other reasons that 
will be stated presently, they must hold an independent 
position, though it is most likely that they were painted 
about the same time. They belonged to the Medici 
Collection, probably to Lorenzo himself, and it may be 
that he valued them so highly as to order them to be 
copied on a larger scale. 

Of the perished canvases we have the following 
notices. Vasari, who evidently knew them well, writes 
of them thus : 

" In the house of the Medici Antonio painted for Lorenzo 
the three pictures of Hercules, five braccia high, in one of 
which he strangles Antaeus, a most beautiful picture, in 
which is actually seen the effort of Hercules in the 
squeezing, that the muscles and nerves of the figure are 
all concentrated in the effort to burst Antaeus ; and in the 
face of the said Hercules is seen the grinding of the 
teeth, corresponding with the other parts, which even to 
the toes of the feet swell with the effort. And with no 
less care is painted Antaeus, who, squeezed in the arms of 
Hercules, is seen to lose all his strength, and with open 
mouth yield up his spirit. The other, slaying the lion, 
places his left knee on its chest, and gripping the jaws of 
the beast with both his hands, clenching his teeth and 


straining his arms, tears them wide open by sheer might, 
although the lion to defend itself, scratches his arms 
horribly with its claws. The third, slaying the hydra, is 
certainly a marvel, especially the dragon, which is painted 
in a manner so vivid and precise, that it could not be more 
living. Here one sees so vividly the poison, the fire, the 
ferocity, the fury, that it is worthy of renown and to be 
imitated by the best artists." * 

The canvases were painted for the large hall in 
the Palace of the Medici in Via Larga, now Palazzo 
Riccardi. In the Inventory of the possessions of 
Lorenzo made after his death in 1492 they were thus 
catalogued : 

" In the large hall of Lorenzo .... 

" A Canvas enclosed in a gilded frame, 6 braccia square? 
with the painting of Hercules slaying the Hydra 20 
florins .... 

" A Canvas enclosed in a gilded fra me 6 braccia square 
with the painting of Hercules rending the lion 20 
florins .... 

"A Canvas of 6 braccia, enclosed in a gilded frame 
with the painting of Hercules strangling Antaeus ; all 
which labours of Hercules are by the hand of Pollaiuolo 
20 florins, "f 

* Vasari, iii. p. 294. 

f " Nella sala grande di Lorenzo. 

" Uno panno, cornicle intorno messa d'oro, di br. 6. per ogni 
verso dipintovi dentro Erchole ch' amaza 1'Idra f. 20 ... 

" Uno panno, cornicle intorno messa d'oro, di br. 6. per ogni 
verso dipintovi drento Erchole che sbarra el Lione. f. 20 ... 

" Uno panno di br. 6. chorniciato intorno e messo d'oro dipintovi 
Erchole che scoppia Anteo, tutte queste fatiche d'Erchole sono 


At the expulsion of the Medici in 1495, the canvases 
were appropriated with other of their possessions by the 
Signoria, and we find them decorating the Sala del 
Consiglio in the Palazzo dei Priori. Albertini 
(making the error of attributing them to Verrocchio) 
thus mentions them in his " Memorialed " In Palazo 
Maiore. In the old Council Hall is the picture of 
Philip " (Filippino Lippi) *' and the three large pictures 
on canvas of Hercules by Verrocchio." 5 

Finally we have Vasari's statement that they were 
copied by Ridolfo Ghirlandaio, at the commission of 
Giovanni Battista della Palla, agent of Francis I. to 
be sent to France, t 

This is the last notice we have of the paintings. It is 
strange that works of such dimensions having occupied 
a prominent place in so important a public building as 
the Palazzo dei Priori, should have so completely dis- 
appeared. The notice of Albertini proves that they 
survived the destruction of 1512, when the Palazzo was 
used as a caserma for the Spanish Troops. That Vasari, 

di mano del Pollaiuolo. f. 20." Muntz, Les Collections des Medicis 
au quinzieme siecle. Paris. 1888. The original inventory was 
copied, December 23, 1512, at the order of Lorenzo, Duke of 
Urbino, and it is from this copy that the above extracts are 

* " In Palazo maiore. Nella sala del consiglio antique la 
tavola di Philip e li tre q uadri grandi di Hercole in tela del Ver- 

f " Ritrasse poi " (Ridolfo Ghirlandaio) " le tre forze d'Ercole 
che gia dipinse nel palazzo de' Medici Anton Pollaiuolo, per Gio- 
vambattista della Palla, che le mando in Francia." Vasari, vi. p. 


who expresses such admiration for the paintings, should 
have allowed them to be destroyed when he redecorated 
the Palace in 1569, is incredible, and it is also incredible 
that, even at an age so unappreciative of quattrocento 
art as the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, works 
of such value should have been allowed to perish. It 
seems more likely that they were laid aside and for- 
gotten, and if that be the case, it is possible that they 
may one day be discovered. 

The small panels of the Uffizi, as representing the 
specific qualities of his art to perfection, take the fore- 
most place among Antonio's paintings. In spite of the 
obvious preoccupation with muscular movement and 
vehement action, they have much of the romantic 
beauty of the Apollo and Daphne in the landscape and 
detail. In colour and miniature-like delicacy of execu- 
tion they resemble it closely. 

In the sinewy, lean figures of Hercules is concentrated 
the highest pitch of physical force in violent action. 
Each muscle is strained to its limit of tension, and as 
we look, we feel our pulse quicken and our muscles 
tighten in unconscious imitation. The strains and 
efforts of the limbs are focussed in the distorted features, 
with the wrinkled brows, clenched teeth, and lips drawn 
down at the corners like a savage beast. No artist has 
ever concentrated in a human face so much passion and 
brute-force as in the tiny head of Hercules strangling 

In both paintings the nude is faultless. Every detail 
of the underlying structure is indicated with consummate 


science, the nervous force of the arms, the grip and 
pressure of the feet on the ground, the tension and 
elasticity of the strained muscles. In the combat with 
the Hydra the vehemence and rapidity of the movement 
takes one's breath away. Violence and passion have 
never been so vividly presented as in the hero's fierce 
rush on his prey, the swing of the club, and the clutch 
of the hand upon the neck. 

In the combat with Antaeus the action is collected in 
one supreme muscular effort, whose external manifesta- 
tions are comparatively tranquil. Only by the swelling 
of the muscles, the grip of the feet on the ground, the 
grimace of the features, is the immense effort expressed. 
The result of the combat in both scenes is inevitable. 
The onslaught on the Hydra is as irresistible as the 
squeeze of the iron arms that forces the breath visibly 
from the body of Antaeus. 

There are other preeminent qualities, besides this 
marvellous concentration of energy, in the tiny panels, 
by which they take rank among the supreme Master- 
pieces of art. The composition is superb, built up in 
pyramidal form, and notwithstanding the violence and 
transitoriness of the action, it is as final as though 
designed for some colossal monument. From the waist 
downwards the figures press upon the ground with 
immense weight, while the torso shoots upward free as 
the branches of a tree. 

The paintings offer good examples of Antonio's 
characteristic method of composition setting his 
figures well in the foreground upon a prominence, which 


hides the middle distance, whereby they gain grandeur 
and importance against the distant landscape. Not- 
withstanding that their actual dimensions are only a 
few inches high, they appear colossal, by contrast with 
the stretch of spacious landscape, against which they 
tower like huge bronze statues. 

His innate sense for beauty reveals itself, in spite of 
his evident preoccupation with the action of the figures, 
in the beauty of the line and of the landscape. The 
curves of the lion's tail, of the skin blown out like a 
wind-filled sail, and of the hydra's necks, have the value 
of an exquisite decorative pattern, against the pale blue 
sky. As is invariable in the landscapes of Antonio one 
has the sense of spaciousness and plein air in spite of 
the somewhat heavy colouring. It is extraordinary 
how, with no attempt at atmospheric effect, he realizes 
the values of distance with such precision that we know 
the number of miles we could wander by the side of the 
winding stream before reaching the town, and beyond 
that again to the sky line. 

The colour is of the same rich bituminous tone as the 
Apollo and Daphne a scheme of warm browns and 
greens, harmoniously fused, and suggestive of polished 
bronze and the glow of gems. The paintings, like the 
foregoing, are in excellent preservation and in all four 
the palette of Antonio can be well studied at the 

That the panels were executed as independent work 
and not as studies for, or copies of, the lost canvases, 
\vhich decorated the Palace of Lorenzo, seems probable 



Face p. 73 


for the following reasons. Among the engravings of 
Robetta are two scenes of the Labours of Hercules 
The Combats with the Hydra and with Antceus> 
(Plates VIII. and IX.) which, while resembling the 
paintings in the principal figures, differ completely in 
the backgrounds and other essential points. They are 
generally accepted as copies from the small panels, but 
it seems more likely that they are more or less faithful 
reproductions of the lost canvases, the variations being 
so important and so much in the manner of Antonio's 
own work as to suggest that they originated, not with 
Robetta, but with him. Robetta, with the timidity of 
the inferior artist, would hardly have dared to alter so 
completely the background of the Combat with the 
Hydra, by adding the cave and rocks in the middle dis- 
tance, still less have had the audacity to insert in the 
Combat with Antaeus the strange figure of the child in 
the foreground, presumably representing the Infant 
Hercules strangling the serpents. This figure is con- 
structed in Antonio's manner, and recalls vividly his 
pen study of a child blowing a trumpet on the sheet of 
nudes in the Uffizi, (Cornice 42. No. 246) as well as the 
child Cain who leans against the knee of Eve in the pen 
drawing (Cornice 31. No. 97f. Plate XXVII.) More- 
over the cave in the Combat with the Hydra resembles 
precisely that in Antonio's Altarpiece The Communion 
of S. Mary of Egypt in Staggia. (Plate XXXIV.) 
Another important difference is that in Roberta's en- 
graving the club of Hercules breaks out in flame, which 
occurs also in Antonio's own drawing in the British 


Museum, of which we shall presently speak, but not in 
the Uffizi painting. The hand of Hercules also has not 
yet grasped the Hydra's neck, as in the painting, but 
is stretched out towards it, as in the drawing. These 
important variations, Robetta, feeble and imitative 
artist as he was, was incapable of inventing, and even 
were he capable, it would be difficult to find his reason 
for so changing the original. There are besides, other 
variations of minor importance. The Hydra of Robetta 
has six living heads instead of two, and their necks have 
not the same curve. The club is swung at a higher 
level, and the foot of Hercules is not set upon the 
severed head, but at some distance from it. It is 
unnecessary to give importance to the small buildings in 
the background or the birds in the sky, which are 
stylistic, and may well have been added by the engraver.* 
In the Combat with Antceus the principal figures are 
similar, except that the head of the lion's skin worn by 
Hercules, hangs down below his thigh, and that the 
outstretched leg of Antaeus is less foreshortened. 
Finally, while in the Uffizi paintings the shape of the 
Combat with Antceus differs from the other in being much 
narrower, in the engraving it is of the same proportions 
as the Combat with the Hydra, that is to say nearly 
square. It will be remembered that according to the 
Inventory, the lost canvases were square. 

On one of the sheets of the so-called Verrocchio 

* An earlier impression than that in the British Museum, from 
which the reproduction is made, exists in the Albertina Collection, 
Vienna. It is without the clouds. 




Face p. 74 


Sketch-Book in the Louvre Collection, is a pen- 
drawing of Hercules slaying the Hydra, accepted as a 
copy of the Uffizi painting, but which follows more 
closely the engraving of Robetta. The hand, as there, 
has not yet grasped the Hydra's neck, but is stretched 
towards it, and resembles precisely that of Robetta, 
while the tail of the lion's skin instead of flying out 
behind, as in the painting, hangs down between the 
legs, as in the engraving. 

Taking into account the resemblance between the 
drawings of Antonio, of the anonymous author of the 
Sketch-Book, and of the engraving, and the Pollaiuolo- 
esque character of Robetta's variations, it seems 
probable that these engravings were copied more or 
less faithfully not from the small paintings of the 
Uffizi but from the lost canvases painted for Lorenzo. 
In the so-called Raffaelle Sketch-Book in the Acca- 
demia, Venice, is another sketch, in the style of Antonio, 
of the Combat with the Nemcean Lion, which may 
possibly be a study from the third. The paintings 
must certainly have been well known, occupying as 
they did important positions, first in the house of 
Lorenzo and after in the Palazzo dei Priori, and it is 
more likely that Robetta and the author of the Sketch- 
Book should have known and copied them, than the 
small panels secluded in the Medici private rooms. 

To return to the pen-sketch by Antonio in the 
British Museum, which represents Hercules swinging 
his club in act to slay the Hydra. It corresponds in 
action with the painted figure, but has the important 


differences that the point of the club breaks out in 
flame and that the hand has not yet grasped the 
Hydra's neck. These variations, resembling as they do, 
those in Robetta's engraving, suggest that it was a 
study, not for the. small panel, but for the lost canvas. 
It is a magnificent sketch, rapidly touched in with 
clean decisive strokes, as spirited and full of fire as a 
drawing by Leonardo. For energy of action it is quite 
equal to the painting, but the proportions of the figure 
are not so faultless, the arms being somewhat too small 
and the legs too large for the body. It is a study of 
action rather than of form.* 

The two engravings attributed to Antonio by 
Bartsch, one representing the Combat with Antaeus, the 
other Hercules fighting the Giants are neither executed 
by him. A fragment however by his own hand of a 
cartoon for some painting or wall decoration from 
which the latter must have been copied, exists in the 
Collection of the Earl of Pembroke, Wilton House. 
It is in pen and sepia, the figures being relieved against 
a dark washed background. Full of energy and 
vibrating with fury they fight with bow and sabre. 
Only three entire figures remain, but parts of others are 
to be seen, and from these fragmentary parts a 
shoulder, fluttering ribbons, feet we are able to 
reconstruct the action of the complete body. The 
energy and ferocity concentrated in the face and 

* It was first attributed to Antonio by Morelli, having before 
passed, most unaccountably, under the name of Ridolfo Ghirlan- 
dajo. See Morelli, "Die Galerie zu Berlin," p. 30, Note 2. 


gesture of the soldier drawing his bow, and the grip on 
the sabre of the other's hand, are as well presented as 
in the Hercules panels. 

It was probably the fame of the large Medici canvases 
which made the Labours of Hercules so favourite a 
theme in the art of the fifteenth century. The subject 
appealed to the realistic and dramatic tendencies of 
the artists, as affording scope for the display of the 
nude in violent action, and pleased the tastes of the 
commissioners, grown classic under the influence of the 
Medici. They figured in the most incongruous sur- 
roundings, as decoration for the thrones of Madonnas, 
for marriage chests, for saloons, and even in the 
ornamentation of the Tomb erected by Charles VIII. 
in the Cathedral of Tours, to the memory of his 
children, who died when they were merely infants ; and 
all the representations show the influence of Antonio.* 

Antonio is at his best in treating this subject, which 
lent itself to his special interests in representing the 
nude in violent action. We have from his brush 
another painting, which although not entirely by his 
own hand, nor of equal merit with the Uffizi panel, is 
yet one of his most important and characteristic works. 

* M. Reymond thinks it possible that Antonio might himself have 
furnished designs for the reliefs of the Tours Tomb, which repre- 
sent three of the Labours of Hercules, Hercules supporting the 
pillars of the earth, the Combats with the Hydra and with Antaeus 
and three from the life of Samson. The Tomb is conceived in 
the style of that ofSixtus IV. in S. Peter's and is obviously imitated 
from Antonio. See Reymond, "Le Buste de Charles VIII.," 
("Bulletin Archeologique du Co mite des Travaux Historiques et 
Scientifiques," 1895, p. 242.) 


This is the Hercules and Nessus now in the Jarves 
Collection, New Haven, U.S.A. (Plate X.) The date 
of this picture cannot be far distant from the Uffizi 
panels, for in the collection of Sir Frederick Cook, 
Richmond, is a Florentine Cassone, on the ends of 
which are painted copies of it and of the Combat with 
the Hydra. This Cassone dates in all probability from 
1467, since it bears the united arms of the Carnesecchi 
and the Lanfredini, and the intermarriage of these 
families took place in that year, between Giuliano Car- 
nesecchi and Cassandra Lanfredini.* Antonio^s paint- 
ing must therefore have been in existence at that date, 
but considering the greater maturity shown in Piero's 
share of the work, than in the Altarpiece of S. Miniato, 
painted about 1465, it can hardly be placed before that, 
and we may accept 1467 as about the date of the 
painting, as well as of the Cassone copy. It was 
originally painted on wood but is now transferred to 
canvas, and has suffered much from cleaning and 
repaint. When bought for the collection the Deianira 
was painted completely out, the body of the horse and 
the landscape being continued over the figure. This 
over-painting seemed contemporary, and it is suggested 
by the compiler of the Catalogue that it may have 
been done by one of the Pollaiuoli, at the time of 
Savonarola's attack on the nude. This however seems 
improbable since it is incredible that even a Piagnone 

* See Herbert Cook, " The New Haven Pollaiuolo," " Burlington 
Magazine," 1906, p. 53. 


could find indecency in this draped figure, which 
resembles a puppet rather than a human being. 

Antonio's share in the painting is confined to the 
Hercules, and to the beautiful landscape which stretches 
away into the sky with a spaciousness and effect of 
distance even more successful than in the Uffizi panels. 
It is the finest of his landscapes, one of the truest 
portraits of Florence and the Arno valley that exists. 
It shows all the important buildings with the fidelity 
of a photograph, the Duomo, the Campanile, the 
Baptistry, Or S. Michele, and the Signoria, can all be 
discerned enclosed in the oval curves of the walls. The 
lean sinewy figure of Hercules is of the same build as 
those in the Uffizi paintings, and equally well con- 
structed, if somewhat less fine in action. If offers in its 
energy and splendid modelling a sharp contrast to the 
weak, ill-constructed figures of the Centaur and 
Deianira, whose actions are as awkward and trivial as 
those of a mechanical toy. The head and body of 
Nessus seem to have been repainted and to have lost 
much of their quattrocento character, but in the Deianira 
we have a good example of Piero's early work, since, 
thanks to the care with which the overpainting was 
removed, it is the least injured part of the picture. It 
would be difficult to conceive action more constrained 
and awkward than in these two figures, with their heads 
and limbs stretched in different directions. The ill- 
constructed body, sentimental expression and puffy 
modelling of the Deianira is characteristic of Piero's 
work at this epoch. 


That the painting was well known is proved by the 
fact that Diirer imitated, with but little variation, the 
figure of Hercules in his picture dated 1500 The 
Combat ivith the Stymphalides now in the German- 
ischen Museum, Niirnberg.* Attitude and gesture are 
copied almost exactly, but where the Hercules of 
Antonio vibrates with energy in every muscle of the 
supple body, that of Diirer, loosely jointed and flaccid, 
seems heavy and inert. 

In the Collection of Herr von Beckerath, Berlin, is 
a pen-sketch pricked for transfer, attributed to Antonio 
himself, representing the Hercules of the New Haven 
painting. The figure varies little from the original, of 
which it is obviously a copy. It stands in the same 
attitude, drawing the arrow to the head, but it is ill- 
balanced, the legs are too long, and the feet have no 
grip on the ground. Mr. Berenson thinks that Durers 
acquaintance with the Hercules was probably derived 
from this drawing, and if this be so the lack of energy 
in his figure would be less remarkable. It is to be 
noticed that in his study for the picture, which exists in 
the Ducal Palace, Darmstadt, the figure is far less 
Pollaiuolesque than in the finished painting. 

Before leaving the group, attention may be drawn to 
a little known, but exceedingly powerful sepia study of 
a male head in the Santarelli Collection in the Uffizi, 
which resembles so much the Hercules of the foregoing 
pictures as to suggest that it was drawn from the same 

* Not exposed. Officially attributed to an unknown artist of the. 
fifteenth century. 


All nar i 


Face p. 81 


model. The face is in repose, but in its bony construc- 
tion and the arrangement of hair and beard, it is 
exactly similar, while the flattened nose which looks as 
though it had been broken, suggests that it was an 
atelier study from the life. The connection of the 
drawing with Antonio is due to Mr. Berenson, who 
however, considers it to be merely a copy. To me it 
seems to have the quality of his own work. The 
face is admirably modelled with his peculiar feeling 
for bone, and the touch has energy and decision. 

In sculpture, out of the numerous statuettes and reliefs 
of the Hercules subject attributed to Antonio, but 
three can be accepted as genuine. These are the small 
bronze group of the Combat with Antaeus^ (Plate XI.) 
and the two reliefs on the breastplate of the Young 
Warrior, both in the Museo Nazionale, Florence. 
Statuette and bust are evidently early work. The 
former was in the collection of the Medici, and was 
probably executed for Giuliano, for in the Inventory of 
their possessions, made in 1495, it is catalogued as 
being in his private apartment.* Full of force and 
energy as they are, the figures are not equal either in 
construction or action to those of the paintings. It is 
but a rough sketch in bronze, left unchiselled as it 
issued from the mould, and the details are merely 
suggested, the hands and feet, the features and the 

* " Uno Erchole che scoppia Anteo, di bronzo tutto, alto br. \. 
f. 2. Nella chamera che risponde sulla via chiamata di Monsignore 
dove sta Giuliano." Miintz, "Les Collections des Medicisau XV me 
Siecle," Paris, 1888, p. 85. 



tortoises on which the pedestal rests, being very roughly 
indicated. The face of the Hercules, powerful as it is, 
verges on caricature, with its huge nose and flattened 
skull. Yet though it would be unfair to compare the 
group with the highly finished paintings of the Uffizi, 
in concentration of energy it falls short hardly at all 
of these.* 

The two groups carved on the breastplate of the terra 
cotta bust of a Young Warrior, No. 161 of the Museo 
Nazionale, (Plate XII.) are worked so elaborately that 
they may be considered among this series as in- 
dependent reliefs, apart from the bust they decorate. 
On one side Hercules slays the Stymphalian bird, 

* It is perhaps hardly necessary to refute the attribution to 
Antonio of the bronze statuettes, called " Marsyas," exhibited in 
the same cabinet as the Hercules, for they have no resemblance 
whatever to his style, and seem to be copies from some antique 
original. There are four of these figures, each slightly varied. 
Two are entered in the Inventory of the Medici possessions, made 
by the Grand Duke Ferdinand in 1589, as follows. " Una figurina 
di bronzo moderno delta una paura, alta soldi 1 1 posa sur una base 
ornata di legname colorita di mistio" ..." Una figura di bronzo 
antico intera igniuda d'una paura posa sur una basa di bronzo alta 
braccia ." And again in the Inventory of 1684. " Una statuette 
di bronzo alta soldi undici di un giovane che ha intorno alia boccha 
una fascia e fa atti con le mani " . . . "Una figurina tutta di 
bronzo che fa atti con le mani e pare che abbia una fascia alia 
poccha e posa sopra una basa lunga pure di bronzo, il tutto alto 
fin circha." Other more detailed descriptions are given in later in- 
ventories. The other two statuettes were bought in 1769. (See 
Catalogo del R. Museo Nazionale, 1898, p. 386.) Other copies 
exist in the Berlin Museum, in the Louvre, and in the Collection of 
Mr. Pierpont Morgan. In the so-called Raffaelle Sketch-Book are 
studies of the figure drawn from several points of view. 




Face p. 82 


gripping its throat with the same energy as in the 
Combat with the Hydra, in the other he strangles the 
serpents. So vigorous in action are the figures, so con- 
centrated in effort, that the eye involuntarily rests first 
upon them, diverted somewhat unduly from the face 
above. As the bust dates most likely from the same 
period as the early paintings of Antonio, it may be 
considered here. It is probably a portrait of one of the 
Medici, whose type of face and arrogant bearing it 
resembles closely. It is evidently modelled with the 
intention of casting in bronze, and the clay has been 
painted in imitation, either by Antonio himself or sub- 
sequently. This paint has cracked in places and peeled 
off to the great damage of the delicate modelling. It 
has suffered much in other ways, the arms having 
apparently been broken from the shoulder, which gives 
it a curious jar-like look. The dragon-shaped helmet 
is also much broken, little remaining but the legs of the 
beast. Yet in spite of all this damage, the bust seems 
to fill the room with its buoyant, vivacious life. In 
expression the face has something of the audacious 
insolence of the David and *$*. Lorenzo of Donatello, 
but the audacity is mixed with charming boyish frank- 
ness, and the curled lips are as sensitive as a girl's. 
The face is exquisitely modelled, with a realism as 
absolute as any modern portrait, and there is no trace 
of convention in conception or treatment. Putting 
aside the over-elaboration of the breastplate, in itself a 
superb piece of goldsmith's work, the bust is one of the 
freest and most modern sculptures of the epoch. 


In the possession of Mr. Berenson, Settignano, is a 
fine terra cotta group representing the Combat with 
Antaeus, which seems to be a copy from some original 
by Antonio's own hand. It has been gilded, which 
gives it at first sight a somewhat meretricious appear- 
ance at variance with the severity of the work itself. 
The modelling of the nude bodies, especially that of 
Antaeus, is admirable, the muscles are well indicated, 
but the figures lack the concentrated energy of his own 
work, and seem to be copied by some follower able to 
reproduce his forms but not his spirit. The usual types 
have been reversed, the Antaeus being of the lean 
sinewy build of the Hercules in the foregoing works, 
while the hero himself is more stoutly and heavily 
built. It is, however, a type we shall see frequently in 
his nudes, indicative of great physical strength and 
somewhat recalling Michelangelo.* 

It is impossible to notice every painting and sculpture, 
representing the Labours of Hercules, which are attri- 
buted to Antonio, and which show for the most part 
undoubted traces of his influence, but the most 
important of these imitations are the following. In 
the Berlin Museum is a small lead statuette of a nude 
athlete, probably a Hercules, so close tq his style that 
it is possible it may be a copy of some lost original. 
It is roughly modelled and seems a mere sketch. In 
spite of the disproportion between the large head and 

* In the Collection of the Comtesse de Beam, Paris, is a bronze 
group closely resembling it, for which it has been suggested it may 
have been the study. It is unknown to me even by photograph. 


hands and the rather puny body, and the lack of balance 
which may be due to injury suffered by the metal, the 
figure is energetic, and the lean face with its corrugated 
brows and compressed lips has concentration and force. 
It is the best of all the many statuettes attributed to 

It is impossible to accept as more than mere atelier 
work the small bronze figure of Hercules in the collection 
of Mr. Pierpont Morgan, at present in the Victoria and 
Albert Museum, London. He stands with one foot on 
the head of an ox, nude except for the lion's skin thrown 
over the shoulder. The pedestal is Pollaiuolesque in 
design, with rams 1 heads and acanthus leaves decorating 
the corners. 

In the Museo Nazionale, Naples, is another bronze 
statuette of a nude figure, with long hair and pointed 
beard, wearing a kind of turban, which according to the 
authorities represents David, but which has enough 
analogies to be included in this group. It is attributed 
in the Museum and by several critics to Antonio, but 
appears to belong to a generation later, more influenced 
by the works of Michelangelo, though bearing indications 
of his influence. 

The attribution to Antonio of the vulgar statuette 
of Hercules in the collection of Mr. Alfred Beit, London, 
is unjustified either by the style or the quality of the 
work. The swaggering attitude, the exaggerated 
muscular development, particularly of the swollen 
thighs, recalls rather the work of Bandinelli or some 
more mediocre follower of Michelangelo. 


Lastly, among the representations of Hercules 
erroneously attributed to Antonio, may be mentioned 
the frescoes of the Palazzo Venezia, Rome, representing 
eight of the Labours, and other decorative figures and 
designs. It is astonishing that such poor work could 
have been seriously attributed to him.* The scenes are 
tamely conceived, the figures are badly constructed, and 
have neither energy nor any other quality that could 
warrant the attribution. They are considered by Mr. 
Berenson to be probably the work of Girolamo da 
Treviso the Elder. 

* The attribution is that of Dr. Ulmann. Sec "Die Thatendes 
Herkules, Wandgemalde im Palazzo di Venezia zu Rom." Miin- 
chen, 1894. 



Or the same year in which Antonio painted the three 
Labours of Hercules for the Medici Palace we have 
notice of some goldsmith's work, which however is no 
longer in existence. In 1460 he made, while in partner- 
ship with Maso Finiguerra and Pietro Sali, a Tabernacle 
of Silver at the commission of the monks of S. Pancrazio, 
to contain the arm of the patron saint, which had been 
presented to the monastery by Pius II.,* and about the 
same time he was executing with Finiguerra some jewels, 
ordered by Filippo di Cino Rinuccini, for which he 
received payment in 1461. These jewels were a girdle 
wrought of silver in open work, decorated with niello 
and two chains of gilded silver, which Filippo presented 
to his wife Ginevra Martelli. (See Doc. XI., p. 260.) 

His next dated work is the decoration of the Chapel 
of the Cardinal of Portugal, S. Miniato, and consists of 
frescoes of Angels executed entirely by his own hand, 
and the Altarpiece representing SS. James, Eustace and 
Vincent, now in the Uffizi,f (Plate XIII.) the greater 

* Vasari, III. p. 298, Note i. t No. 1301. 


part of which he left to Piero. This is the first 
existing painting in which the hand of Piero is visible. 
As the Chapel was dedicated in 1466 the completion of 
the Altarpiece may be placed about that time, thus 
when Piero was twenty-three. Considering the medio- 
crity of his talent, it is improbable that before this age 
he should have been entrusted with more than subor- 
dinate work. The parts executed by him are feebler in 
drawing and show less experience than any other of his 
paintings, and the Altarpiece may be taken as the start- 
ing-point in the study of his development, and as repre- 
senting the earliest joint work of the two brothers. 

Vasari's account of the paintings in the Chapel is full 
of errors. 

" They executed for the Cardinal of Portugal an oil 
painting in S. Miniato al Monte, outside Florence, which 
was placed on the Altar of his Chapel ; and thereon they 
depicted S. James the Apostle, S. Eustace, and S. Vincent, 
which have been much commended, and Piero in particular 
painted on the walls some Prophets in oil, (which he had 
learnt from Andrea dal Castagno) in the spaces of the 
angles below the architrave, where are the lunettes of the 
arches ; and in a mezzo tondo, an Annunciation with three 
figures." * 

The Annunciation contains but two figures the 
Virgin and Archangel and is by the hand of 
Alesso Baldovinetti, as also are the Prophets below the 
vaulting. The only part executed by Piero is a share 
in the Altarpiece, designed, and in part painted, by 
* Vasari, III. p. 291. 




Face p 


Antonio. By the hand of Antonio are the two 
frescoed Angels over the Altar, which are un- 
noticed by Vasari, and but little known to the 
general public, thanks to their ill-lighted position on 
the wall.* 

The Chapel dates from 1461! and was erected two 
years after the death of the young Cardinal,! who 
passing through Florence from Rome on a papal mission 
to "Germany, was taken ill and died there in 1459, at 
the age of twenty-six. The most renowned artists of 
the day were employed in the work, and even in its 
present ruined state, the Chapel remains one of the 
most perfect and representative monuments of the 
older masters of the fifteenth century. It was designed 
by Antonio Rossellino, by whom also is the Tomb 
itself with the recumbent statue, which covers one 
entire wall. Opposite is a marble throne of beautiful 
proportions, inlaid with porphyry and green serpentine, 
and above is the Annunciation, attributed by Vasari to 
Piero, in reality by Baldovinetti. The roof is of 
glazed terra-cotta, with medallions by Luca and 
Andrea della Robbia, and the frescoes below a frieze 
formed by the stemmi of the Cardinal, and lunettes 

* Attention was, I believe, first drawn to these frescoes by Dr. 
Ulmann, who however attributed them to Piero. It was Mr. 
Berenson who first gave them to Antonio. 

t " La sepoltura del Cardinale di Portugallo fu data a fare ad 
Antonio Rossellino 1'anno 1461 per il prezzo di 425 fiorini d'oro." 
Note of Gaetano Milanesi, Vasari, III. p. 95. 

J Jacopo, of the royal house of Portugal, Archbishop of Lisbon 
created Cardinal with the title of S. Eustachio by Calisto III. 


containing half figures of Prophets and Church Fathers 
is also by Baldovinetti. 

The Altarpiece of Antonio and Piero has been 
replaced by a worthless painting of a later date, but its 
original frame remains, and above this are the Angels 
frescoed by Antonio.* The reason that the frame was 
allowed to remain when the Altarpiece was removed, is 
probably that Antonio has so utilised it that it forms 
an integral part of the fresco, the Angels being painted 
as standing upon it, and withdrawing curtains on 
either side to expose the picture. They are painted 
with a realism so deceptive that it amounts to a tour de 
force, for, while the feet push energetically against the 
frame, the heads, shoulders, and knees seem to project 
far bsyond it into the Chapel, as though in free relief. 
In treatment and form they closely resemble the Angels 
on the Silver Cross of S. Giovanni, robust and vehement, 
with the same large scythe-like wings. They wear 
short tunics which leave their muscular arms and legs 
bare, and except for their jewelled diadems and wings, 
resemble nothing less than the traditional angel. The 
hands grip the curtains strenuously, the feet press 
downward against the frame with characteristic energy. 
The legs are bent, as is usual with Antonio when 
desiring to express sinewy strength, and the bones of 

* Unfortunately I am unable to give a reproduction of these 
frescoes, which owing to their position and the exceedingly bad 
light are difficult to photograph. Excellent photographs have how- 
ever been published by Dr. Schmarsow, " Kunsthistorische Gesell- 
schaft fur Photographische Publikationen. Achter Jahrgang," Leip- 
zig, 1902. 


these and of the arms are strongly accentuated. The 
nude parts are superbly drawn, the hands and feet 
being of special beauty. Unfortunately this Master- 
piece of Antonio's painted work is much damaged, the 
colour in places having completely peeled off. The 
draperies and curtains have especially suffered and are 
almost obliterated. This is due chiefly to the method 
of fresco employed, which is the same as that of Alesso 
Baldovinetti, a mixture of tempera and oil painted on 
the dry plaster, strictly speaking not fresco at all. To 
the use of this method is due the loss of Baldovinetti's 
work, and Antonio's adoption of it offers further 
evidence in favour of his having learnt painting in his 

The Altai-piece, now in the Uffizi, represents the 
three patron saints of the dead Cardinal James, 
Eustace, and Vincent. The characteristic composition 
is certainly due to Antonio. Here, as in the Hercules 
panels, the figures occupy the foreground, seeming far 
larger than they actually are by reason of their promi- 
nent position against the stretch of landscape, with no 
middle distance. The actual painting seems about 
equally divided the whole of S. James and a great 
part of S. Vincent being by Antonio, the rest by Piero. 
The contrast between the powerful S. James and the 
weak, almost childish S. Eustace is most striking. In 
the former we have the characteristic strongly-built 
frame, the square face with prominent bones, broad 
low forehead and deep-set eyes, (closely resembling the 
head of Goliath in the David of Berlin) and the bony 


powerful hands of Antonio. The figure, well planted 
on the ground, stands like a Hercules between the 
others. There is much of Antonio's own work also in 
S. Vincent, and the feeble touch of Piero has not 
entirely spoilt the fine drawing of the face, although 
the absence of modelling and weak expression betray 
his hand in the execution. In this figure the brushwork 
of Antonio seems confined to the velvet robes which 
hang in the long straight folds peculiar to him at this 
epoch, and which, thick and richly decorated as they 
are, do not conceal the good proportions and easy pose 
of the form beneath. The fine painting of the robes 
of S. Vincent and S. James, with their deep rich colour 
glowing like gems, and the realistic imitation of the 
texture of the velvet, of its weight and softness, must 
certainly be the work of Antonio. Admirably painted 
are the jewelled embroideries, the gold-brocade, and 
the fur hat surrounded by a diadem, which lies at their 

The drawing as well as the painting of S. Eustace 
must have been left entirely to Piero. It has all the 
defects of his style, the badly constructed form, the 
puffy unmodelled flesh, the want of balance, the puppet- 
like action. It stands like a burattino suspended by 
the head, the legs seeming to dangle limply from the 
body. The structure beneath the clothes is badly 
indicated, the thighs and arms are ill-connected with 
the trunk. The face is boneless, and its unbroken oval 
adds to the foolish expression of the weakly drawn eyes 
and mouth. The figure has a superficial resemblance 


in type and costume to the David of Berlin, and it is 
possible that Piero in designing it had it in his mind. 
The position of the hand stuck in the belt, the little 
finger widely separated from the rest, the short velvet 
tunic, the white fur, the vest embroidered with gold, 
all superficially recall the David, but the contrast is 
sharp between this feeble puppet and the energetic 
youth of Antonio. It is the weakest of Piero's 
paintings, and represents him at the lowest point of his 
artistic development. We shall see a gradual improve- 
ment and a nearer approach to the characteristic forms 
of Antonio, but here the imitation of his style is merely 

The landscape, which represents, like those of the 
Hercules pictures, the Arno valley, has the characteristic 
spaciousness of Antonio, but the painting of the pave- 
ment with its crudely contrasted colour, hard lines and 
bad perspective must be the work of Piero. The 
absence of shadow, which should be cast by the figures, 
gives them a hard unreal look, and detracts from the 
solidity arid balance even of the S. James. 

In colour the work has the rich dark tones, the deep 
peacock-blues, moss greens and crimsons, the glowing 
rubies and amethysts of Antonio's palette, and even in 
the parts executed by Piero the depth and richness is 
maintained. It is in form and modelling, rather than 
in his imitation of Antonio's colour, that the weakness 
of Piero betrays itself. 

Very close to this Altarpiece in style, and probably 
of about the same date, is the large painting represent- 


ing The Journey of Tobias, No. 117 of the Turin 
Gallery (Plate XIV.). The picture is mentioned by 
Vasari as having been painted by the two brothers to 
decorate a pilaster in Or S. Michele.* According to a 
note of Carlo Milanesi it was transported thence to the 
Assembly Hall of the Capitani of the Church, and at 
the suppression of that tribunal, the hall being devoted 
to other purposes, it was removed and lost sight of, 
until it was found in the house of the Tolomei, who 
brought it from Maiano. The Tolomei had it for some 
time in their house in Via de' Ginori, Florence, but took 
it later to their Palace in Siena. From thence it passed 
to the Collection of Baron Garriod and in 1865 to the 
Turin Gallery. The only objection raised against the 
identification of the picture with that mentioned by 
Vasari, is that he states it to have been painted on 
canvas, whereas the Turin painting is on panel,f but 
the objection is of little weight and there seems no 
doubt but that it is the work which once decorated the 
pilaster in Or S. Michele. Like the Three Saints of 
S. Miniato, the work shows the design of Antonio and 
the execution of both brothers, though Antonio^ 
share in the actual brushwork is less. As usual the 
figures are placed upon a prominence, which by con- 
cealing the middle distance, adds to the impression of 

* " Dipinsero ancora in S. Michele in Orto, in un pilastro in tela 
a olio un Angelo Raffaello con Tobia." Vasari, III. p. 291. 

t A close examination of the surface reveals however in certain 
lights rectangular lines as of the fine texture of linen beneath the 
paint, as though the canvas had been stretched upon a wooden 
background for protection. 




Face p. 94 


their size. The seizure of the transitory action is very 
characteristic. So illusive is the impression of the swift 
movement of the two figures, as to partake of the 
nature of a tour deforce. They seem to walk so rapidly 
across the panel that one is conscious of the un- 
obstructed landscape when they shall have passed 
beyond. Were the actual execution equal to the 
grand conception, we should have in the Archangel one 
of the noblest figures of quattrocento art. The strongly 
built athletic frame, clad in the amethyst velvet robes, 
with large wings that seem to cut the air, has great 
distinction and beauty. The square-shaped head is of 
the same construction as that of S. James, but the poor 
modelling and vacuous expression betray the hand of 
Piero in the execution. The robes have the straight 
angular folds of Antonio but suggest little solidity in 
the form beneath. The best painted parts of the 
figure, in which alone the brush of Antonio is visible, 
are the wings, and to the crisp energy of these, their 
feathery quality and cleaving power, is due in great 
part the elan of the movement, which if we cover them, 
seems comparatively tame. The Tobias, on the other 
hand cannot have been more than suggested by him, so 
ill-constructed is the figure, so full of faults of anatomy 
and of drawing. It is a fit companion to the S. Eustace 
of the S. Miniato Altarpiece, and only in a better 
realisation of bone does it show any advance upon it. 
The face is weak, with the characteristic insignificant 
features of Piero, and is, as usual at this early period of 
his development, ill-modelled. The folds of the tunic 


are arranged with the utmost stupidity. The drawing 
of the right leg, and especially of the foot, is so 
faulty that it is a mystery how Antonio could have 
allowed it to pass. That the figure has buoyancy and 
movement in spite of these faults proves the power of 
Antonio in depicting action, for it is certain that in 
such sketch as he may have given for it, little but the 
movement could have been indicated. 

But if nearly the whole of the painting of the figures 
is Piero's, the beautiful spacious landscape must be the 
work of Antonio. It is the usual Arno valley through 
which the stream winds like a snake till it is lost in the 
pale blue of the sky. The city with its cupola and 
towers is visible between the arms of the figures. The 
colour is pitched in a higher key than either of the 
foregoing paintings, and the tints of pale blues and 
greens in landscape and sky are exquisite. 

The Journey of Tobias was a favourite subject with 
the Florentine merchant and was often dedicated as a 
votive picture on the departure of his son for foreign 
countries. Thus the connection with the Merchants' 
Church of Or S. Michele is obvious. Like the Labours 
of Hercules, Antonio has made the theme his own, 
either through this or some lost painting, for most of 
the pictures of the subject show traces of his influence. 
Among the best of these is the fine panel Tobias 
with the three Archangels No. 24 of the Accademia, 
Florence, officially attributed to Botticelli and by later 
criticism to Francesco Botticini, which, though the 
figures bear equal traces of Verrocchio's influence, shows 


in the composition and landscape the strongest 
reminiscence of the Turin painting. Another work 
showing the influence of both Masters is the panel No. 
781 of the National Gallery. The left hands of the 
Archangel and Tobias might have been copied from 
those in the Turin painting, and have the structure 
peculiar to Piero broad in the palm with the thumb 
inclined to curve backward. 

A very unequal work almost entirely by the hand of 
Piero is the Annunciation, No. 73 of the Kaiser 
Friedrich Museum, Berlin * (Plate XV.). Judging by 
the superiority of the painting it must be placed at a 
later date than either of the foregoing, probably nearer 
to 1470, the year of the Mercatanzia Virtues, which it 
closely resembles. In the Catalogue it is attributed to 
Piero alone, yet it is probable that Antonio furnished 
part of the design, and that he aided his brother in the 
beautiful and characteristic landscape. The painting 
was most likely executed at the commission of Lorenzo 
de' Medici for the Chapel of Careggi, for the view of 
Florence is that seen from the Villa, and so much 
emphasis is laid on the decoration of the hall, as to 
suggest that it represents one of the rooms. It seems 
as though the composition has been patched together 
from separate studies, for the background has two 
points of view. The gallery behind the Archangel has 
its own vanishing-point, and is in admirable perspective, 
the depth of space being rendered with Antonio's usual 

* It was bought from the Solly Collection, where it was attributed 
to Antonio. 



science, but we may seek in vain for the vanishing-point 
of the room behind the Virgin, the perspective of which 
is in defiance of all laws. The placing of the figures 
well in the foreground is characteristic of Antonio's 
composition, and the unconventional and easy attitude 
of the Archangel points to his design, but the awkward 
pose and bad proportions of the Virgin, and the childish 
drawing of her chair, prove that with this figure he had 
nothing to do. In type, structure, and brushwork, the 
Virgin is very characteristic of Piero at the date of the 
Mercatanzia Virtues, with her long swollen body and 
legs, her narrow shoulders, her puffy ill-modelled face 
and her broad lifeless hands, so different to the bony 
energetic hands of Antonio. The draperies are also 
characteristic, with their badly arranged folds, which 
seem inflated with air, ending in sharp hard lines on the 
floor. It is a peculiarity of Piero 's female figures that 
they seem at once meagre and swollen, and of his flesh- 
painting that it is at the same time solid yet unreal. 
The execution of the Archangel must also be by Piero. 
Fine in attitude, even noble in gesture, it is robbed of 
its dignity by the heavy bourgeois face, badly drawn and 

The background with its over-elaborated decoration 
is made still more ponderous by the hot heavy colour, a 
crude imitation of Antonio's, but lacking his fusion and 
harmony. The figures, placed against these coarsely- 
coloured marbles, lose the importance their fine group- 
ing and position against the depth of space might 
otherwise have lent them. The beautiful landscape seen 


through the windows has the delicacy of a miniature, 
and the view of Florence and its buildings is even more 
detailed than in the Hercules and Tobias paintings. 

These four pictures are the only joint work by the 
two brothers that can be placed within this decade. 
The rest, judging by the development of Piero, must 
belong to a date subsequent to the Mercatanzia Virtues. 


OF S. GIOVANNI. 1466. 

IN tracing the development of Piero and his share in 
Antonio's paintings, the chronological order has been 
slightly neglected, and we must now retrace our steps 
from the Berlin Annunciation to the work which followed 
directly upon the S. Miniato Altarpiece the designs 
for embroideries, executed between 1466 and 1480. 
Of these Embroideries Vasari writes at length. 

" From Antonio's designs were made for S. Giovanni in 
Florence, two tunics, a chasuble and cope, woven of one 
piece without join, and for the border and decoration of 
these were embroidered scenes from the life of S. Giovanni, 
with most delicate mastery and art, by Paolo da Verona, 
divine in that craft, and excelling every other master ; * in 
these the figures were executed no less excellently with 

* Paolo di Bartolommeo di Manfred! da Verona came to work in 
Florence shortly after 1465, and carried on his craft of embroiderer 
with Antonio di Giovanni di Piero and Galliano di Michele in his 
bottega in the parish of S. Frediano. Besides those for S. Giovanni 
he executed other important embroideries for the Badia in 1480. 
(See Note of Milanesi. Vasari, Hi. p. 299.) 


the needle than if they had been painted by Antonio with 
a brush ; for which we are indebted in no small measure 
to the skill of the one in designing and the patience of the 
other in embroidering. Twenty-six years were employed 
in the work and this good fashion of embroidery done 
with close stitches, which besides being more durable 
appear really to be painted with a brush is almost lost, 
the custom in our day being to use larger stitches, which 
are less durable and less beautiful to see." * 

The embroideries, now detached from the vestments 
which time had decayed, are to be seen framed and 
glazed in the Museo dell' Opera del Duomo. Vasari's 
praise of the needlework is not exaggerated, for with so 
much skill have the designs been followed, that they do 
actually seem as though painted with the brush. The 
designs vary considerably in quality, some having 
evidently been left to the hand of assistants, and it is 
noticeable that the best and most characteristic of the 
compositions are also the most skilfully and delicately 
stitched. In these the character of Antonio's work, 
the energy of his line, the values of distance, the very 
expression of the faces, have been preserved so success- 
fully that his style can be studied as accurately as in his 
paintings. The thirteen designs by his own hand form 
a group as important as the Hercules pictures and the 
bronze reliefs on the Tomb of Sixtus, in judging the 
qualities of his art. 

They are stitched in silks of bright colours upon 

* Vasari, iii. p. 299. 


finely woven canvas, with gold threads worked in 
horizontally in such quantity, that in certain lights the 
embroideries gleam like plates of pure gold. The 
colours seem little faded. Like the designs the quality 
of work varies, some being much less finely stitched than 
others. Some also are in a state of almost perfect 
preservation, while from others the silks are worn away 
and allow the design beneath to be seen. 

How much value the Florentines set on the beauty of 
their Churches at this epoch of their prosperity, is 
proved by the time and money spent on these unique 
embroideries. No less than eleven Master- Craftsmen 
from different countries were occupied for fourteen 
years in the work, the total cost of which was 3179 
florins, 7646 lire, 10 soldi, 8 denari. The commission 
was given by the Arte della Mercatanzia, whose stemma 
the eagle on the woolsack occurs constantly in the 
designs. A series of entries in the Account Books of 
the Guild tell the dates of execution and the names of 
the embroiderers. (Doc. XII. p. 261.) 

They were begun in 1466, the first entry recording 
the deliberation being dated Aug. 5 of that year. It is 
probable that Antonio received the commission for his 
designs even earlier, since, as this entry records the 
choice of the embroiderers, some of the designs must 
have been already prepared. Four Master- workers are 
mentioned, one of whom was a Venetian, one from 
Antwerp, one from Navarre. In a later deliberation of 
Dec. i. two others were chosen, a Florentine and a 
master from Perpignan. The name of Paolo da Verona, 


the celebrated embroiderer mentioned by Vasari, does 
not appear in the documents till 1470.* 

Antonio's name is not mentioned until 1469 in which 
year he received payment of ninety florins for his 
designs. In 1480 he received another ninety, and 
by July of the same year the embroideries must 
have been completed, for the vestments they were to 
adorn were ordered. These were of pure white, 
and of so rich a material that it cost twenty florins 
the braccia. 

Cavalcaselle considers the execution of the designs, as 
well as the colouring, to have been by Piero, from 
sketches furnished by Antonio, and it is possible that to 
Piero are due the inferior compositions, although his 
name is nowhere mentioned in the documents. Some of 
them show a feebleness in drawing for which certainly 
Antonio is not responsible, and which contrasts sharply 
with those evidently by his own hand, which are as 
energetic and as technically perfect as any of his best 
work. Out of the twenty-seven scenes thirteen are 
entirely executed by him, while the remaining fourteen 
show the intervention of assistants. The embroideries 
are divided in the Museum into four groups, determined 

* The names of the embroiderers are of interest as showing the caie 
with which they were chosen from other countries and provinces of 
Italy. They are eleven in number. Coppino di Giovanni da 
Melina di Fiandra, Piero di Piero da Venezia, Paolo d'Anversa, 
Janiscuro di Navarra, Antonio di Giovanni da Firenze, Gianpaolo 
da Perpignano, Giovanni di Jacopo, Giovanni di Morale, Giovanni 
di Pelaio di Prignana, Paolo di Bartolommeo da Verona, and Nic- 
colo di Jacopo di Francia. 


by their different dimensions, and in this order and not 
of subject, they will be described. 

The first group, the largest in size (51 centimetres 
by 30) is the best and most important, all the designs 
being by Antonio's own hand, and nowhere has he 
given better proof of his skill and science in the seizing 
of transitory movement, the rendering of depth of 
space, in faultless composition and perspective, than in 
these tiny scenes designed merely as a decorative border. 

The first scene (Plate XVI.) represents S. John 
baptising the multitude, an admirably composed group, 
whose only defect is the ill-balanced conventional figure 
of the Baptist himself. This defect in the principal 
figure is all the more curious that the rest are treated 
with a realism almost crude in its truth to nature. It 
is a repetition of the Baptist in the relief of the Silver 
Cross, equally conventional in action, and not faultless 
in anatomy. It would be of interest to know why, in 
nearly all these scenes, otherwise treated with so much 
originality and realism, the Baptist only should be 
presented in the stiff and conventional trecento 

It is wonderful how little the design has suffered 
from the mechanical process of stitching, for the 
spontaneity of gesture, the modelling of the nude, the 
values of distance and spaciousness of the landscape, 
are so well reproduced as to seem actually from the 
brush of Antonio. The most subtle expressions are 
given to the faces, so that the individuality of the 
different persons and their attitude towards the cere- 


mony, can be appreciated. Some remain thoughtful 
and unconvinced, and seem to weigh the value of the 
new doctrine ; some are openly antagonistic and argue 
with conviction : others are fervidly devotional. Each 
figure in the scene is worth special attention as a 
realistic study of character, and for its fine pose and 
expressive action, caught at the most significant point. 
Nothing could be more natural than the gesture of the 
two personages, one standing, one kneeling, who are 
being stripped by their pages ; nothing could be better 
than the anatomy and action of the three figures 
academic studies of the nude though they be who 
kneel to receive baptism. The contrast between 
these and the Baptist is most striking. 

The landscape, with the stretch of Arno valley 
through which the river winds, is also treated with the 
utmost realism, and the values of distance are wonder- 
fully reproduced. It is the same landscape we have got to 
know so well, with the city of Florence enclosed in its 
almond-shaped walls, the Duomo, the Campanile, the 
Palazzo Vecchio, and all the principal buildings plainly 
visible. It resembles most the background in the 
Altarpiece of S. Sebastian in the National Gallery. 

In the next scene (Plate XVII.) the Baptist stands 
preaching before Herod and the High Priest. It is 
treated in a manner equally realistic, and here the 
Baptist also is well proportioned and good in action. 
He is engaged in energetic argument with Herod, who 
is seated with Herodias, sullenly silent, on one side, 
and Salome, ostentatiously indifferent, on the other. 


Opposite are the High Priest and other dignitaries, 
vehemently antagonistic, and all round nobles and 
burgesses listen and dispute with animated gesture. 
Here again, so natural and expressive are the faces, so 
significant is the gesture, that the attitude of each 
person in the argument is clear. No character-study 
by Hogarth presents a scene more dramatically. As 
illustrations these designs of Antonio are perfect. The 
fine half-figures of soldiers on either side of the fore- 
ground should be noticed, superb energetic figures that 
add solemnity to the somewhat banal scene. The 
perspective of the hall is, as in all these interiors of 
Antonio, admirable, and has been wonderfully preserved 
by the embroiderers. 

The third of the group represents the Feast of 
Herod (Plate XVIII.), and in composition resembles 
the above. Two episodes are comprised in the scene. 
To the left stands Salome, gazing with a deprecatory 
gesture at the Baptist's head, which a young soldier 
holds before her. To the right the same soldier bears 
it swiftly to the banquet table, where Herod and 
Herodias are seated. At the back are the guests to 
whom a page runs hastily forward. Antonio has never 
rendered rapidity of movement more successfully than in 
these two central figures, which fill the otherwise 
tranquil scene with life and motion. Balancing Salome 
on the other side, half out of the composition, stands 
the executioner, a superb athlete, splendid in pose and 
gesture, whose calmness gives stability to a scene which 
might otherwise be too vehement in action. 




These three embroideries are in a state of almost 
perfect preservation, a few places in the background 
of the last only having suffered. As character-studies, 
as well as for fine rendering of movement, faultless 
perspective and composition, the designs rank among 
the most important of Antonio's works. 

The second group is of different form and measure- 
ments being thirty-five centimetres high by twenty-four 
broad. It comprises six scenes, several of which are 
inferior to the rest, and show the hand of assistants. 
All are less finely worked. The first represents the 
Circumcision of the Baptist, and has the characteristic 
composition and fine perspective of Antonio, but the 
stitching is coarse. The architecture of the Temple is 
decorated with a medallion bearing the stemma of the 
Arte della Mercatanzia, supported by two vehement 
angels, which resemble those over the Altar of 
S. Miniato. 

The second the Institution of Baptism shows the 
hand of assistants in some parts, but the nude youth 
kneeling to receive the sacrament, and the Pharisees 
who stand round arguing emphatically, must certainly 
be designed by Antonio himself. 

The composition and perspective of the third the 
Baptist rebuking Herod for his marriage with Herodias 
are good, and point to the design of Antonio, but the 
figures are weakly posed and tame in action, and cannot 
have been more than roughly indicated by him, unless 
indeed one must lay the defects at the door of the 
embroiderer. The stitching is much less fine than in 


the scenes of the first group, and a somewhat Northern 
angularity of gesture, verging on the grotesque, in this 
and several other of the embroideries, suggests that 
they were worked by one of the Flemish craftsmen, who 
visualised rather after the manner of his own school 
than of the Florentine. So faithfully are the scenes of 
the first group rendered, that the character of Antonio's 
work is reproduced exactly, but it is possible that the 
inferiority and strange Northern style of some of the 
figures in the rest, may be due to the intervening person- 
ality of a craftsman less conscientious and less skilful. 

This suggestion of Northern art is even more 
perceptible in the next the Baptist preaching to the 
Multitude which, as regards the greater part of the 
figures, might have been designed by a Fleming. 
Especially Flemish is the man seated in the centre, with 
crossed knees and folded arms, and another to the 
extreme right. The composition is good, but the 
values of distance between the figures has been lost, 
giving the scene an overcrowded appearance. The 
landscape with its sharp rocks and conventional shrubs, 
is treated in the traditional trecento style such as we see 
in the early reliefs of the Silver Altar, and can hardly 
have been designed by Antonio. 

The fifth the Baptist interrogated by the Messengers 
of the High Priest is comparatively coarsely stitched, 
and very much worn. In action and construction the 
figures are poor, and the design seems to have been left 
chiefly to assistants. It has the same suggestion of 
Flemish influence as the above. 


Lastly we have an exceedingly fine composition the 
Reception of Herod by the Baptist. The Tetrarch 
has dismounted from his horse, which is held by a page 
in the background, and stands talking to S. John. 
Around are five mounted knights, and behind stretches 
the Arno valley. The stitching is much coarser than 
in the first series and the faces have little expression, 
but the grouping is so fine, the horses and their riders 
are so well drawn, and the landscape is so characteristic 
that it must certainly have been designed by Antonio 

The third series measures 2 1 centimetres high by 36 
broad. It comprises also six scenes, three of which are 
much inferior to the rest, while all show the hand of 

No. i. The Meeting of Christ with the Baptist is 
poor. The figure of the saint is badly drawn, and 
there is much disproportion in the sizes of the surround- 
ing persons. This is a defect noticeable in several of 
the inferior designs, and can hardly be due to the 

No. 2. Christ baptising the Baptist is better 
than the above, but seems to be chiefly the work 
of assistants, while the stitching also is somewhat 
coarse. The reversion of the Biblical narrative, in 
which it is the Baptist who baptizes Christ, is a curious 

No. 3. The Descent of Christ into Limbo. This 
scene is very unequal, the figures on the right being 
evidently designed by Antonio, while those on the left 


show the hand of assistants. The group of four female 
saints to the right are exceedingly fine, the two who 
stand behind being superbly posed. The S. Mary of 
Egypt who kneels in the foreground has a special 
interest, for she resembles closely the same Saint in the 
recently discovered Altarpiece of Staggia of which 
we shall speak presently. (Plate XXXIII. p. 161.) 
The figures on the other side, including Christ and 
Baptist, are among the weakest of the series, their 
relative proportions are bad, and the attitudes and 
gestures poor. They cannot be by Antonio's own 

No. 4. The Dance of Salome is entirely by Antonio 
and is one of the most successful of this series, although 
the stitching is much less delicate than in the first 
group. That the embroiderer has not reproduced the 
original design so faithfully, is evident from the vacant 
expression of the faces and the rather tame action. 
The attitudes and gestures are however easy and 
natural, and no hand but Antonio's could have 
designed the figure of Salome, seizing so cleverly the 
transitory movement of the dance, presenting so real- 
istically the supple twisting of the body. It seems 
however even here as though something of the rhythm 
of the original action has been lost in the process of 
embroidering, which cannot be by the same skil- 
ful craftsman who executed the first group. 

No. 5 the Baptist pointing out Christ to the 
Multitude is of slight interest and seems to be chiefly 
the work of assistants. 


No. 6. The Announcement to Zaccharias of the 
birth of a son must have been entirely designed by 
Antonio. The composition is noble, the complicated 
perspective is good, and the figures which stand on 
either side, like heraldic supporters, are grandly posed. 
It is seldom Antonio foregoes his interest in movement 
and gives us figures so statuesque and motionless. 

The last group consists of twelve scenes measuring 
30 centimetres high by 22 broad. Like the foregoing 
they vary in quality, but for the most part seem to 
have been designed by Antonio himself. 

No. i. The Expulsion of Zaccharias from the 
Temple. There is much vigorous action in the figure 
of Zaccharias, who is precipitated from the door of the 
Temple as though by some irresistible force. In the 
foreground four heraldic figures raise their hands in 
astonishment. One of these the youth in short tunic 
and hose is finely proportioned. The stitching is 
coarse but the design must be by Antonio's own hand. 
This scene has been copied in ink by some follower of 
Antonio (Uffizi, Cornice 40, No. 98) and is erroneously 
ascribed to the Master himself and accepted as the 
original design for the embroidery, whereas it is in all 
probability copied from the embroidery itself.* 

No. 2. The Visitation is a fine composition, but in 
detail unworthy of Antonio's hand. The central figures 
are well posed and their draperies broadly treated, but 

* The same may be said of the pen-drawing representing the 
Baptist preaching to the Multitude in the Collection of Herr von 
Beckerath, Berlin. 


the faces are trivial and the action of the clasped 
hands is especially weak. The figure of Joseph is 
out of all proportion to that of the handmaid on 
the same plane, and the childishly composed landscape 
and seraphim in the sky can hardly have been designed 
by him. 

The scene that follows The Birth of the Baptist 
(Plate XIX.) is one of the best of the whole series, 
and ranks next in merit to those of the first group. It is 
noteworthy that the best designed and stitched of the 
embroideries are also the best preserved, as though they 
had decorated a vestment that was but little worn. 
Not only for beauty of composition and admirable 
perspective is this design of value, but as a genre 
picture, illustrating Florentine domestic life of the 
fifteenth century. In a richly decorated room, whose 
walls are hung with blue brocade embroidered with 
gold, S. Elizabeth lies in a low bed, which a maid 
behind bends over holding a tray of refreshments. 
The panels of the coffered ceiling, the brocade of the 
walls, and the draperies of the bed, are executed with 
extraordinary realism, and it is marvellous that the 
embroiderer has been able so successfully to reproduce 
the depth of interior space across the room and down 
the corridor beyond, keeping the values of space between 
the figures. At the foot of the bed is seated a charming 
youthful figure asleep. In the foreground is the child 
on its nurse's knee, which other women prepare to 
clothe, one warming the little shirt at a portable stove, 
the other bending over it admiringly. No more charm- 


A linari 


Face p. 112 


ing and realistic scene of a Florentine interior exists in 
contemporary art. 

No. 4 Zaccharias naming the Child is not so 
delicately stitched. The composition has Antonio's 
pyramidal grouping and the architectural perspective 
is good. The scene is treated in the same intimate 
manner as the above, and the figures of the nurse 
holding the Child and of Zaccharias, who writes in a 
cramped position, with the scroll upon his knee, and 
the inkpot in his hand, are as crudely realistic studies 
as one could find in a painting by Teniers. The woman 
who stands behind, wrapped in toga-like draperies, is, 
on the other hand, noble and statuesque. 

After this follow three scenes which seem to be 
almost entirely the work of assistants. First, the 
Baptist preaching in the desert, surrounded by seven 
figures, all tame and feeble. Second, the Arrest of the 
Baptist, which is poor in action, with the exception of 
the soldier striding forward with drawn sword, whose 
energy contrasts sharply with the slackness of S. John 
and the rest. In the third the Baptist conducted to 
prison no sign of Antonio's hand is perceptible. The 
Saint is ill drawn and walks with a mincing gait, and 
the other figures are equally feeble. In all these 
the landscape is treated in the conventional trecento 

In the scene representing the Baptist receiving the 
disciples in prison, there is something that recalls 
Signorelli in the foreground figures with their grand 
pose and sweeping draperies. The design must certainly 


be Antonio's, but the stitching has not the delicacy of 
the first group, and in passing through the craftsman's 
hand the original drawing has obviously suffered. It is 
besides one of the most damaged of the series. 

The next the Decollation of the Baptist (Plate XX.) 
is composed in Antonio's most characteristic style. In 
spite of the injuries to the embroidery, the figures have 
preserved the energy and force of the Hercules paintings, 
especially the executioner, whose spare sinewy frame and 
concentrated ferocity closely resemble them. The 
soldiers too are finely posed, but the Baptist is more 
commonplace and conventional. The perspective of the 
prison courtyard and the loggia is admirable. 

No. 10 of this group Salome presenting the head of 
the Baptist to Herodias, (Plate XXI.) is again very 
characteristic of his love of swift movement. Salome 
whirls into the room with the impetus of the wind. It 
is an original and strange conception of the scene 
Herodias seated like some barbaric Idol in its niche, 
and the childish figure of her daughter, who shows the 
head with a child's delight in a new toy. The 
quattrocento conception of Salome was certainly not 
that of our own day. 

With this ends the work of Antonio himself. The 
remaining scenes The Bearing of the body to the 
Sepulchre and the Entombment seem to have been 
left entirely to assistants, and have little merit either in 
the treatment of the figures or of the landscapes, which 
are purely conventional. 

In spite of the seriousness of the subject and of the 




Face .11 


science with which composition, perspective, construction 
and action of the figures, are handled, there is in the 
whole series a touch of naivete^ almost of humour. 
Antonio seems to have conceived the scenes in a vein of 
gaiety, almost as though he were illustrating a fairy- 
story for children. In this they recall Carpaccio's Story 
of S. Ursula, but while this levity is in harmony with 
the temperament of the Venetian, it is a curious 
departure from the usual severity of Pollaiuolo. 



No documentary record exists of other work executed 
by Antonio during the years in which he was occupied 
on the designs for the embroideries, yet it is unlikely 
that these took up much of his time or were even the 
principal work on which he was employed. These were 
the years of his full maturity, and it may be presumed 
that a great part of them was devoted to his special 
interests and studies of the nude in action. A superb 
example of this may by inference be placed about this 
time the frescoes discovered in 1897 ^ n the Villa della 
Gallina in the grounds of the Torre del Gallo, Arcetri, 
near Florence.* The frescoes decorate one wall of a 
room on the ground floor of the Villa, and represent a 
Bacchic Dance of nude figures, two-thirds the size of 
life. At the date of their discovery they were supposed 
to be by Botticelli, and it was Mme. Mary Logan who 
first attributed them to Antonio.f 

* Formerly in the possession of Count Galletti, now of Signer 

i Mme. Mary Logan, "Decouverte d'une Fresque de Pollaiuolo," 
" Chronique des Arts, 1897," p. 343. 




Face p. 117 

The Villa belonged to the Lamberteschi, but in 1464 
it was bought by the brothers Jacopo and Giovanni 
Lanfredini, the latter of whom was the intimate friend 
of Lorenzo de" 1 Medici and filled the post of Florentine 
Orator at the Papal Court. It is probable that they 
commissioned Antonio to decorate the hall at the time 
of their purchase of the Villa, and in any case we may 
take these figures as the centre of a group of nudes in 
action, which must certainly date from his most mature 
and self-expressive years. 

The frescoes are in a state of the utmost ruin. In 
their present condition the visitor to the Villa sees, not 
the work of Antonio, but of the restorer, who, shortly 
after they were discovered, repainted the whole of the 
figures, coarsening the delicate outline, which was nearly 
all that remained, and adding a coloured background in 
order to give them prominence. The author had the 
good fortune to study them at the time of their discovery, 
when the wash with which they were covered had been 
just removed. At first sight nothing but a few lines and 
patches of faint colour were visible, but gradually the 
beautiful forms took shape, and detached themselves from 
the stains and broken surface of the wall. The outlines 
were slightly incised in the plaster, and were of the utmost 
beauty and delicacy. Here and there were faint traces 
of colour a touch of yellow in the hair, of pink in the 
flesh, of green in the garlands, and ochre in the architec- 
tural designs. The frescoes represent a dance of five 
nude figures, male and female, linked together by 
garlands, which they hold high above their heads. 


Their movements, alternately rapid and rhythmic, are 
exquisitely harmonious and graceful, the transitory 
attitudes being seized with Antonio's peculiar skill. 
To form a continuous frieze of interwoven action was 
his evident intention, and from the decorative point of 
view the result is worthy of the sculptor of the Parthenon 
reliefs. In detail the figures are some of the most perfectly 
proportioned and beautiful nudes of modern art. Who- 
ever may have commissioned the frescoes it is evident that 
here at least Antonio was allowed free play for his special 
interests in the body and its movements.* 

The first figure is of a youth (Plate XXII.) whose hair 
is bound with fluttering ribbons, a motive constantly 
employed by Antonio, possibly to add rapidity to the 
movement. He seems to have just leapt lightly into the 
dance, and to have seized the garland, which he holds 
above his head, while he balances his body with the hand 
below. This action is very characteristic, and occurs 
several times in other nudes presumably of the same date. 
Next, bending her body towards him with the supple 
twisting of an Eastern dancer, is part of a beautiful 
female figure. The face is exquisite, with its delicate 
features, laughing mouth and thick cloud of hair. 
Nothing but the head and the upper part of the body 
remain, but as with a fragment of Greek sculpture, we 
are aware of the entire figure and its action, which must 
have been the same as that of the youth, but seen in front 

* The following notes were made from the frescoes before the 
repainting and the past tense should perhaps therefore have been 


instead of in profile. She wears a kind of crown in which 
are traces of red and green, probably remains of flowers. 
A door is cut through this and the following figure, and 
in the spandril of the vaulted roof above, are the remains 
of what was probably a stemma, surrounded with fruits 
and foliage retaining vague traces of colour. A scroll 
below these fruits runs round the wall above the figures, 
on which elaborate letters of curious character are 
perceptible, too much damaged however to be legible. 

On the other side of the door is another youth, seen 
full front, who dances somewhat with the gesture of the 
Faun of the Tribuna. The right arm is lost, but seems 
to have balanced the body with the same action as the 
foregoing, while the left holds up the connecting 
garland. The head, with its thick curling hair and 
laughing mouth, is full of careless gaiety. It is 
slightly foreshortened and is bent gracefully towards 
the shoulder. On the flesh are slight traces of colour. 

The next is again a female, this time in repose. The 
head is completely destroyed, but other parts the 
advanced foot especially are well preserved, and of 
the utmost beauty. The figure bears a strong 
resemblance to the Flora in the Primavera of Botticelli, 
the legs and feet being in almost exactly the same 

The last figure is the best preserved, the whole form 
being perfectly visible, and it retains traces of yellow in 
the hair and of pink in the flesh. It is a youth, seen 
nearly full front, poised on one leg, his body swung 
round lightly and rhythmically. The beautiful shape 


of body and limbs and the modelling can be appreciated. 
The group seems to have ended with this figure, whose 
gesture completes the composition, thrown backwards 
towards the rest as the first is thrown forwards, the 
two seeming to enclose those between. 

The beauty of the composition considered as decora- 
tion is as great as is the science shown in the gestures 
and actions of the individual figures and in the seizure 
of the momentary attitude. The nude is differently 
constructed to the Hercules or gladiator type, more 
gracefully built, yet exceedingly muscular and with the 
bone well emphasised. With the abandon of Donatello's 
putti the figures combine the rhythmic dignity of an 
antique frieze. 

Beneath are remains of architectural designs, deep 
arches and windows, and winged putti, in all of which 
faint traces of colour are visible. Above the fireplace 
on the other side are fragments of foliage, fruits, and 
flowers. It is uncertain whether the dancing figures 
were continued round the other walls, but no trace of 
them has been discovered. 

Signer Guasti* is of opinion that the frescoes were 
washed over at an early date, since, he considers, 
paintings of such beauty and importance would 
certainly have been mentioned by Vasari, Albertini, or 
some of the early writers, had they been known to them. 
He suggests that they were covered over at the time of 
Savonarola's onslaught on so-called licentious works of 

* Gaetano Guasti, " Gli affreschi del secolo xv scoperti in una 
villa ad Arcetri," " Rassegna Nazionale," February i, 1900. 


art, as one of the Lanfredini was a Piagnone. It seems 
however likely that, had they really been washed over at 
so early a date, they would have been better preserved. 

Very different in subject, yet closely connected to 
these frescoes by its decorative character and har- 
monious combination of movement, is the engraving 
called The Battle of Ten Nudes of which the best 
example exists in the Collection of Prince Lichtenstein 
at Feldsberg* (Plate XXIII.). As the plate has 
already been considered from the technical point of 
view (p. 34) the following notes refer only to its artistic 
qualities. It is signed on a cartello attached to a tree 
existing engraving that can be attributed to his hand. 
In the shading of the background, by which the figures 
are thrown into relief, it recalls the technique of the 
niello-worker and this peculiarity has great decorative 
value. The engraving, taken as a specimen of Antonio's 
power in representing the nude in violent action, as well 
as for its decorative beauty, is one of the most impor- 
tant of his works. 

The group is composed of ten nude soldiers, engaged 
in fierce combat with sabre and battleaxe, against a 
background of vines and Indian corn. The theme is 
employed merely to display the body in a variety of 
movements, more or less violent, but with his innate 
sense for beauty, Antonio has interwoven the bodies, 

* There are several impressions in various collections. The best 
known that in the Uffizi, from which the reproduction is made 
is not a good impression, the plate having been much worn. 


limbs, and weapons into a pattern of such subtle 
harmony, that in spite of the brutality of each indi- 
vidual figure, the impression we receive from the whole 
is graceful and rhythmic. Considered as decoration the 
composition is superb, and has close connection with 
the frescoes of Arcetri. For masterly treatment of the 
nude it is unrivalled even among his own works. The 
anatomy is faultless ; the short thickset figures differ in 
construction from the more meagre type of the Hercules, 
but embody no less the climax of physical strength. 
The action is full of energy, and has been seized at its 
most significant point, so skilfully that we are as aware 
of the previous and succeeding movements of the limbs 
as of those actually presented. The weight of the 
bodies, the muscular efforts and pressures, the grip of 
the feet on the ground, the free swing of torso and arms, 
and the concentrated ferocity of the faces, are given 
with the utmost truth and realism. 

In detail the design separates itself into four groups, 
each of which is a masterpiece of composition. The 
most violent action is centred in the two nudes who 
seem to be struggling for a chain in the middle. We 
feel the swell and tension in each nerve of our own 
bodies, and so concentrated are the energy and fury that 
it is impossible to look at these figures without emotion, 
without the muscles stiffening and the teeth clenching 
in involuntary imitation. The result of the combat is 
inevitable. The strength of the soldier to the left is 
failing, and in another instant his opponent's sword 
will be plunged in his heart. This certainty as to the 


result of each struggle is the highest tribute to Antonio's 
power in depicting movement. 

To the right the group is composed in characteristic 
pyramidal form, and in spite of its vehement action has 
the monumental stability of the Hercules and Antaeus. 
One combatant has received his death-stroke and lies in 
agony, his limbs not yet relaxed. His face is of interest for 
it resembles exactly that of the Baptist in Antonio's pen 
drawing in the Uffizi (Cornice 31, No. 357), and appears 
to be drawn from the same model. His assailant digs 
his dagger furiously into his breast, while above another 
swings a battleaxe, concentrating his entire forces in the 
blow, which will descend with smashing weight on the 
head of the foe. 

Balancing these on the other side, two figures writhe 
struggling on the ground. Again the result of the 
combat is inevitable, and the victory will not be for 
him now uppermost, who has lost his balance in the 
surprise of the arrested blow, but for him lying beneath, 
who, with one foot pressed hard against his thigh will 
drive his dagger through his brain. Another instant 
and he will fall forward dead on the body of his 

Behind is another group of three. One rushes 
swiftly forward, arresting with his hand the battleaxe 
swung by his foe, while behind the third with furious 
grimace draws his bow to the arrow head. This last 
figure is in almost exactly the same position as the 
Hercules in the Combat with the Hydra. 

Precisely at what date to place the engraving would 


be difficult to say. It bears much resemblance to the 
Hercules paintings and to the Arcetri frescoes, and 
must certainly be the production of his most mature 
years. It is in some respects the most personal of the 
works of his Florentine period. 

Another work of the same kind, treated in the same 
decorative fashion, is the pen and sepia drawing in the 
British Museum representing a Prisoner brought before 
a Judge (Plate XXIV.). The figures are arranged, 
like the foregoing, in the manner of a decorative frieze, 
all combined in one continuous movement, and it is 
possible that the design may have been intended for 
some such wall decoration as the Arcetri frescoes, with 
which in style it is closely connected. It is composed 
of eight nude figures on the same plane, outlined in 
pen and slightly washed with sepia, and the background 
is coloured dark, so that they stand out in decorative 
relief something in the manner of niello. 

To the left is seated the Judge, whose fat figure 
contrasts sharply with the sinewy athletes before him. 
Two accusers stand by, one pointing with a baton to 
the prisoner, who is led before the throne by a gaoler, 
his hands bound behind him with cords. Behind, 
another nude swings a sabre as though in act to defend 
the prisoner, while behind him again are two others, 
one of whom, a negro-like figure, whose hair is bound 
by fluttering ribbons, grasps his arm as though to 
restrain him. What the scene illustrates is unknown 
to me, but a somewhat similar group is carved on the 
Triumph Arch in the Martyrdom of S. Sebastian. 

O Q 


Q D 



The scheme of composition is the same as in the fore- 
going, the most vehement movement concentrated in 
the centre, framed in and balanced by the more tranquil 
figures at either end. The movement is continuous and 
rhythmic, and caught up from one figure to the other 
as in the Arcetri frieze. The drawing falls into its 
place between the fresco and the engraving like the 
connecting link of a chain, for while the gaoler and his 
assailant resemble in face, form, and gesture the 
fighting nudes, the two figures to the extreme right are 
almost exactly like those of the Arcetri frieze, especially 
the negro, with his half dancing attitude and the palm 
of his hand turned down with precisely the same 

Another scene of the same kind may find a place 
here, although it must have been executed at a much 
later date, probably after Antonio's departure for 
Rome. This is the gesso relief called Discord in the 
Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington, there 
attributed to Leonardo, but which has all the character 
of Antonio's work* (Plate XXV.). It is to be regretted 
that its position in the Museum, difficult to find, and 
when found, impossible to study to advantage, should 
prevent its being better known and appreciated, for it 

* I must plead guilty to having, in my book on Verrocchio, attri- 
buted the relief to that artist, while recognising however the strong 
influence of Antonio, and especially of the Battle of the Nudes, 
shown in the conception of the theme and the construction of the 
nude. A closer study of Antonio's work has forced me to revoke 
this too hasty judgment, and to recognise in the relief one of the 
most characteristic works of Antonio himself. 


is one of the most important works of the fifteenth . 
century, for the admirable compositition and manage-^ > 
ment of the relief, and for the beauty and fine action ^ 
of the figures. 

Like all the foregoing scenes the subject represented ' 
has never been satisfactorily explained, and seems $ 
chosen chiefly with the object of displaying the nude 
in violent action. In the official catalogue it is called 
The Genius of Discord, but the title is hardly definite 
enough, for it will be remarked that in each combat^ 
it is a male who slays or dominates a female. In the 
centre foreground rushes with furious gesture a gaunt 
hag (Discord ?) who seems to be inciting the males 
to the onslaught. On either side of her struggle a man 
and a woman, the one to the left has already slain his 
victim, and kneels over her corpse vehemently gesticu- .,; 
lating, the one to the right has clutched the hair of his ' 
prey in act to strike off her head, as she grasps the 
flying draperies of the hag. On either side is seated 
tranquilly, half outside the frame, a classic looking 
figure like a river god, which from the statuesque 
treatment points to the influence of Roman sculpture. 
A youth to the right stands also indifferently watching 
the carnage. Within a loggia beyond him is seated 
a judge apparently ordering the ejection of a hideous 
female, who unwillingly descends the steps, casting 
venomous looks behind her. Opposite is an oval 
building of classic architecture, with balcony and open 
portico, in which stand nude youths in superb attitudes, 
recalling antique statues. One in the background 


seems to be refusing admittance to a young woman, at 
whose feet are stretched two corpses, while on the other 
side is a group fiercely struggling males against 
females one of whom is in the act of striking off the 
head of a fat and repulsive hag. A wall in the middle 
distance divides the scene from the background, which 
represents, in Donatellesque low relief, a street of 
classic buildings vaguely recalling Rome, in which 
other figures are seen swiftly walking, standing, and 
seated. The perspective of this street and the depth of 
space presented, are most admirable, for the last build- 
ing seems a quarter of a mile away, and the values of 
distance between each are well rendered. It is to be 
noticed that while nearly all the males are young 
athletes, superbly built, the females are for the most 
part hideous and old, and of a construction which recalls 
the nude women of Diirer and the German schools. It 
seems certain that in the subject, allegorical or historic, 
lies some misogynistic meaning. 

Technically the relief is one of the finest of Antonio's ( 
works, a masterpiece of splendid modelling of the nude, j 
of free action, and fine management of perspective. 
The male figures seem imitated from Greek statues, 
one the youth who stands within the second arch of 
the portico seeming as though copied from the 
Doryphorus. From this treatment of the nude and 
the classic architecture it may safely be placed after 
his visit to Rome, among the latest of his works. In 
freedom of action and gesture also, the figures show a 
marked advance over the nudes of the engraving. If 


less concentrated in force, they reveal a facility of 
technical manipulation, which suggests the baroque art 
of the following century. 

It is just possible that it may have been one of 
those gesso reliefs of which Vasari writes as follows : 
" Antonio executed in low relief in metal a Battle of 
Nudes, very beautiful, which was sent to Spain ; of 
which there is a cast in gesso in the possession of all 
the artificers in Florence." * That it was intended to 
be executed in metal the style of the relief shows, and 
the number and variety of action of the figures would 
make it an invaluable model in an atelier for the study 
of the nude. 

Of nude studies by Antonio we have several fine 
examples. On a sheet in the LTffizi (Cornice 34, No. 276) 
are seven drawings of male figures, four in ink and 
three in chalk on a larger scale, the latter so rubbed as 
to be almost obliterated, and not visible at all in the 
photograph. They are however the most important on 
the sheet, and are magnificently constructed and posed. 
To the right stands a man, firmly planted, with legs 
widely separated in the grand attitude Signorelli 
adopted and made his own. His arms are outstretched 
and his hair is bound with fluttering ribbons. To the 
left is another with bald head, seen in profile, and 
between them a third, almost effaced. In ink are four 
of a smaller size, disconnected studies of a male nude, 
one of an archer without head or arms, two sketches of 
the same model from different points of view, and a 
* Vasari, iii. p. 296. 


study of a torso. A sheet full of interest as an 
example of Antonio's atelier studies from the nude 
model, dashed in with characteristic energy. 

In the collection of M. Bonnat, Paris, is a pen drawing 
washed with sepia, of a young man standing in a defiant 
attitude, his arms folded on his chest. The expression 
of the face is concentrated, and the figure, most 
realistically treated, vibrates with energy. It is another 
atelier study from the life. The pen touch has not the 
flashing Leonardesque quality of Antonio's best draw- 
ings, but it is sharp and decisive enough to warrant the 
attribution to his own hand. 

In connection with the classic nudes of the " Discord " 
may be noticed four fine studies of a Herma in the Uffizi 
Collection (Cornice 34, No. 267). As in the nudes of 
the stucco relief, there is something that anticipates the 
athletes of Michelangelo in the muscular torso, which is 
repeated four times in different positions. Here also 
the influence of the Roman antique is evident, and the 
drawing may be placed at as late a date as the relief. 
On the back of the sheet are two male nudes standing, 
and a draped seated figure. 

Another study in the same collection (Cornice 42, No. 
246) is very characteristic of his interest in violent 
action. A male figure seen from the back strides 
forward as though in amazement, his hands outstretched 
towards another, who, seated, gazes at him with horror, 
Whatever the scene may have been intended to illustrate, 
it is in the highest degree dramatic. To the left, but 


apparently a detached study, a nude child marches 
rhythmically, blowing a trumpet. 

Lastly in this group of nude studies by Antonio's own 
hand, we have the curious pen drawings of Adam and 
Eve in the Uffizi Collection* (Plates XXVI. and 
XXVII.), (Cornice 31, Nos. 95 and 97 F.), curious, 
because, while the technical qualities of drawing and 
modelling, and certain mannerisms of construction, do 
not permit the rejection of them as his authentic work, 
there is, in the type of face, in the heavily built forms, 
in the stiff angularity of pose, and in the treatment of 
the detail, a certain Northern crabbedness which suggests 
Dlirer and the German schools which influenced him. 
Mr. Berenson finds analogy between the Adam and the 
work of the disciples of Domenico Veneziano, and draws 
attention to its resemblance to the man leaning on a 
staff in a similar pose, in Piero dei Franceschi's fresco of 
the Death of Adam in Arezzo, and while accepting the 
drawings unhesitatingly as the work of Antonio, remarks 
on their Northern character, "which suggests Sluter 
and the sculptors of Burgundy.' 1 This trace of German 
influence is not unique in the work of Antonio, for, as 
has already been remarked, the females in the " Discord" 
fat and heavily built, suggest the Northern type. 

The form of Adam is of heavier bui!4 than any we 
have yet met with in his work. The huge torso and 
limbs suggest immense strength, but it is an ox-like 
strength, lacking the elastic energy of his usual type. 

* The drawings were attributed to Signorelli until Morelli first 
gave them to Antonio (" Italian Painters," I. p. 93.) 




Face p. 130 



The lightness and elasticity of his figures is generally 
their principal quality, and the Adam is, on the 
contrary, loosely jointed and ponderous, in this recalling 
strongly the figures of Diirer. In construction the Eve 
also, though less heavily built, reminds one of his female 
nude. In the careful finish of the detail, each tendril- 
like hair of the body being minutely drawn, there is 
also a reminiscence of the German schools. 

This being the case, and Antonio's widespread 
influence being accepted, it may be asked why the 
drawings should not be rather ascribed to some German 
impressed by his style. Yet in spite of the difference 
to his other work, they bear too strongly the stamp of 
the Florentine school, for this to be seriously suggested. 
To what epoch of his career they belong however I find 
it impossible to decide. That they are no mere studies 
is proved by the extreme care with which they are 
finished. They are evidently executed as cartoons for 
some paintings as minutely worked as the Hercules 

It would be wearisome to mention all, even the more 
important, of the many school drawings from the nude 
wrongly attributed to Antonio. His influence was 
widely spread throughout Italy, and many must have 
actually studied in his atelier and drawn from the same 
models, which gives a superficial resemblance to his 
style. Nearly every drawing from the nude of the 
epoch bears some trace of his influence and many of 
them are attributed to him without regard for the 
quality of the work. One or two of such imitations 


however are too important and too close to his manner 
to be omitted. 

The best is perhaps the so-called "Death of' 
Gattemelata " in the Hertford House Collection. It is 
in pen washed with sepia, and represents eleven nude 
figures weeping violently round a tomb. Mr. Berenson 
considers it to be a copy of a lost original by Antonio 
himself, dating from his earlier years.* 

The sheet of nudes in the Louvre cannot be accepted 
as more than school work, in spite of the contemporary 
inscription, which proves that even in his own century it 
was considered to be a genuine study by his own hand.t 

Among the numerous atelier studies of the nude in 
the Uffizi, attributed to Antonio, the most important 
are the following. A sheet in pen and wash representing 
two males, one of whom strides forward with folded 
arms, the other falling backward as though wounded. 
(Cornice 42, No. no.) The scene has all the dramatic 
qualities of his work, but the action is poor, and all 
that can be said of it is that it may be a copy from his 
own composition. These remarks apply also to another 
drawing by the same hand, where four nude soldiers 
fight with sword and shield. (Cornice 32, No. 260.) 

The pen drawing of three nude figures attacking a 
centaur (Cornice 34, No. 279) may also be a copy from 

* It was formerly attributed to Mantegna. There is another 
copy much damaged in the Munich Print Room. See Berenson, 
" Florentine Drawings," Vol. I. p. 30. 

t The inscription is " Antonii Jacopi excellentissimi ac eximii 
florentini pictoris sculptorisq prestantissimi he opus e . . . cumq 
hominum imaginem fecit vide q mirum i membra redegit." 


his design, but is certainly not by his own hand. The 
line is tame and mechanical and the drawing poor. It 
bears his name in contemporary writing, but a com- 
parison with his genuine signature proves this to be 

In studying these works from the nude, the chrono- 
logical order has been somewhat abandoned, but with 
the exception of the " Discord" the drawings of the 
Hernia and the Adam and Eve, most of them fall into 
place around the frescoes of Arcetri and the engraving 
of the Ten Nudes, and may, roughly speaking, be dated 
from the years between 1464 and 1470. One record 
exists of goldsmith's work executed in these same years, 
a suit of armour and trappings made by Antonio for 
Benedetto Salutati to be worn at the Joust of Lorenzo, 
which took place February 7, 1469. 

The notice appears in the " Discorsi " of Borghini, 
and although the work no longer exists, it has a certain 
interest in giving some idea of the diversity of his 

" Benedetto Salutati (nephew of that Messer Coluccio, 
famed in his time for his studies of the belles lettres) who, 
although held in repute, and universally much esteemed, 
was not however of our first and purest nobility, nor of 
such excessive wealth that he was forced by his reputation 
despite himself to enter into such great expense as were 
the Medici, Pazzi, Pitti, and such others with whom he 
might have to compete yet was he of so noble a soul and 
so great heart, that in the caparison, headpiece and 
other accoutrements of two horses, he employed 170 libbre 


of fine silver, of which the crest of the hai'ness was solid. 
Nor was he content with such great richness, but ordered 
it to be delicately wrought with heads, figures, and scenes 
in bas-relief and enamels, by the hand of him who was 
unique in the art of chasing metals, and is still praised so 
highly Antonio del Pollaiuolo reputed equal to one of 
those Mentovi, Agragati and Boeti who had such fame 
among the ancients ; wherefore it might be said that the 
art and beauty of the work surpassed the material. He 
employed moreover in the embroidering of the said 
accoutrements, of his own surtout, and of the jerkins and 
tunics of his men-at-arms, about thii'ty libbre of pearls, for 
the most part of the greatest price, of the value of from 
five to fourteen soldi the ounce ; of which two garments 
alone, not reckoning the other expenses of cloth, brocades, 
and jewels, cost about five thousand florins, that is, about 
52 libbre of the purest gold."* 

Although none of these pieces of pageant-armour 
have survived, one work, executed possibly to be carried 
in some tournament, is in existence the shield formerly 
in the collection of Mr. Capel Cure, Badger Hall, 
Shropshire, dispersed in 1905, now in that of Signer 
Brauer, Florence (Plate XXVIII.). It is certainly by 
the hand of Antonio himself and a work of much 
importance. The shield is of wood painted black, and 
upon it is modelled in high relief a nude figure about 
two feet high, gilded. It represents Milo of Cortona in 
his death agony, his hands caught in the cleft of the 
tree, which in his old age he attempted to uproot, and 
* Borghini, "Discorsi," Fiorenza, 1585, II. pp. 162164, 



(By kind permission of Signer Brauer) 


unable to withdraw them was devoured by wild beasts. 
On either side of the head the name of the hero is 
inscribed in gold letters MILO CRO and round the 
border runs the following inscription & INVALIDO 


cvi NO SIT PERICVLV. On the right is painted a stemma 
which Signor Brauer supposes to be that of the Miauti 
family of Arezzo. The figure is of the same stout build 
as the nudes of the engraving, and is splendidly modelled 
on broad planes with sculpturesque largeness and 
freedom. The shield is in good condition and has a 
special value as one of the few surviving specimens of 
such decorative work by a great master. 



THE next documentarily dated work after the designs 
for the Embroideries is the series of Virtues painted for 
the Universita della Mercatanzia, in which, however, 
the share of Antonio is confined to a chalk drawing for 
the figure of the Charity, and perhaps some slight 
touches on the detail of the Prudence. In the gallery 
the six panels are attributed to both brothers, with the 
exception of the Prudence, which is ascribed to Antonio 
alone, probably on account of its marked superiority to 
the rest. All the paintings are, however, in the mature 
style of Piero, and the discovery of certain documents 
has confirmed the evidence of the work itself. 

The panels were ordered to decorate the large Council 
Hall in the Palace of the Mercatanzia in the Piazza 
Signoria, a building which still preserves its ancient 
facade decorated with the stemmi of the quartieri and 
sesti of Florence. They were commissioned to Piero 
alone independently of his brother. 

Vasari makes only a slight mention of the paintings 
and speaks of them as the joint work of Piero and 

Antonio. " They executed, in the Mercatanzia of 
Florence, some Virtues in that same place where the 
Court of the Tribunal holds its sittings." * By Antonio 
Billi,f the Anonimo Gaddiano J and Albertini they 
are attributed to Piero alone. The series of documents, 
discovered in 1903 among the archives of the Univer- 
sita, are of interest, not only as regards the Pollaiuoli, 
but for the share taken in the work by Botticelli, for we 
learn that the Fortitude was painted by him, not, as had 
hitherto been supposed, in his capacity as pupil and 
assistant of Antonio, but as the result of competition 
and in direct rivalry to Piero. The history of the 
commission is briefly as follows.lF 

On August 18, 1469, it was decided by the Council 
of Six of the Universita to commission Piero to paint 
figures of Virtues to decorate the Hall of their Palace.** 

* Vasari, III. p. 292. 

f " Piero del Pollaiuolo fecie . . . delle Virtu sie (sic) si vede in 
una spalliera in sala della Mercantia " (Antonio Billi, p. 27.) 

I "Fece" (Piero) "le 6 Virtu che sono nella spalliera della sala 
della merchatantia che la y a cioe la fortezza e di mano di Sandro 
Botticello" (Anon. Gaddiano, p. 56). 

"Non fo mentione delle sei figure delle Virtu sono dell' Arte 
della Mercatantia per mano di Pietro Pull. La septima e di Sandro " 
(Albertini, Memoriale, Cl. xvii. 17). 

^f The documents are published by Jacques Mesnil in his article, 
" Les Figures des Vertus de la Mercanzia," "Miscellanea d'Arte 
1903," I. p. 43. They will be found transcribed in the Appendix. 
Doc. XIV. p. 267. 

** The name is erroneously recorded by the notary as " Piero del 
Verrocchio," a lapsus calami, explained by the fact that Verrocchio 
had received the commission to send in a drawing for one of the 


The first of the panels executed by him was the Charity, 
which probably occupied the central position. This is 
mentioned as being already completed by December of 
the same year. 

The importance of the work seems to have roused the 
jealousy of the Florentine painters, and several applied 
for a share in the commission. This competition neces- 
sitated a fresh deliberation of the Council, which took 
place December 18, 1469. The Six Commissioners, 
having listened to what Piero had to say (probably with 
regard to payment), and having discussed the question 
among themselves, put it to the vote with black and 
white beans, and decided to renew the commission to 
Piero, who thereupon received the order to complete 
the remaining six figures for the price of twenty broad 
florins each. The document recording this deliberation 
mentions a design for one of them already executed by 
Verrocchio, which was rejected in favour of Piero's. 
From an entry made three days later (December 21, 
1469) we learn that Verrocchio's rejected design was 
for the Faith, and that he received for it eight small 
lire. Of this drawing more will be said later. 

The name of Antonio is mentioned twice in the 
documents, but in no way as the superior of Piero, who 
received the commission as an independent Master. In 
one it occurs as standing guarantee for a certain sum of 
money, in the other as being present and offering his 
opinion in the second deliberation of the Council. 

Later, at the intervention of Tomaso Soderini, 
Botticelli succeeded in obtaining the commission to 


execute one of the figures the Fortitude for which on 
August 1 8, 1470, he received payment. Soderini, the 
friend and patron of Botticelli,* was one of the most 
influential personages of the Republic, and chief of the 
Medici party, and it was probably in deference to his 
position that the commission was taken from Piero. 

Finally a document records that on August 2, 1470, 
Piero received payment for the Temperance and Faith, 
which are stated as being second and third of the 
paintings executed by him. 

The following facts are thus obtained. That the 
Charity, Faith, and Temperance were painted by Piero 
Pollaiuolo. That the Charity was executed the first of 
the series, and was already completed by December 18, 
1469 : the Faith and Temperance not until December 21 
of the following year : and that Botticelli's Fortitude 
was finished by August 18, 1470. Of the remaining 
three figures the Prudence, Hope, and Justice no 
mention is made in the documents, and, perhaps owing 
to carelessness in the entries, no further payments are 
recorded. To decide whether these were painted by 

* The Anonimo Gaddiano relates the following anecdote which 
testifies to the interest taken by Solderini in his protege. "Being 
once pressed by Messer Tomaso Solderini to take a wife, Botticelli 
answered him, ' I wish to tell you something that happened to me 
not many nights ago. I dreamt that I had taken a wife, and 
suffered so much because of her that I awaked, and in order not to 
fall asleep again and redream the same dream, I arose, and walked 
about Florence the whole night like a madman.' From which 
Messer Tomaso understood that this was no ground in which to 
plant vines" (p. 70). 


Piero or by his assistants the work itself must be 

The figures are seated on marble thrones of elaborate 
architecture, raised on a dai's placed on an oriental rug- 
There are variations in the details of ornament and 
costume, but the general composition is alike in all, 
including the arrangement of the draperies. It is 
difficult to decide with certainty what were their 
respective places on the walls, but as far as may be 
judged by the relative sizes and inclination of the 
figures, it would seem that the central position was 
occupied by the Charity, in her double character of 
Chief Virtue and Madonna. Botticelli's Fortitude 
probably formed the pendant to the Prudence, the 
Faith to the Temperance, while the Hope and Justice, 
strangely enough on a larger scale than the rest, must 
certainly have matched each other. It is curious that 
while the others are in a state of the utmost dilapida- 
tion, the Fortitude and Prudence are comparatively well 
preserved. So damaged were the remaining five panels 
that at the time of their removal to the Uffizi, they 
were considered unfit for exhibition, the colour having 
for the most part completely peeled off.* The greater 
part of what we see is thus the work of the restorer, 
and the pictures must be judged therefore by com- 
position and form, for only in small parts has the 
original colour escaped. 

The best painted, as well as the best preserved, of 

* Cavalcaselle, " Storia della Pittura in Italia," Firenze, 1894, VI. 
p. 106. 




Face p. 140 


Piero's six figures, is the Prudence (Plate XXIX.), which 
is officially attributed to Antonio. By Antonio how- 
ever it certainly is not, although the admirable painting 
of certain details suggests that he may have lent some 
slight assistance. At the date when the Virtues were 
painted Piero was twenty-seven, and his work had 
naturally improved since the S. Miniato Altar-piece and 
the Turin Tobias, but as yet, although the form beneath 
the clothes is solid and well indicated, especially in the 
arms and breast, he is not able to suggest the structure 
of bone and muscle in the nude parts. The face is 
modelled with complete disregard for the skull beneath, 
and the neck is as flat as a piece of paper. Though the 
figure has a certain dignity of pose and bearing, his 
characteristic defects of proportion are as glaring as 
ever. The legs, especially from the knee downwards, 
are huge in relation to the body, and were she to stand 
up, the effect would be to the utmost degree grotesque. 
The insignificant features and vapid expression, the 
puffy folds of the draperies, which seem inflated with 
air characteristic faults of Piero are in direct contrast 
to the keen concentrated faces and bronze-like draperies 
of Antonio. It is surprising that with the superb 
figures of the Hercules panels close by, this mediocre 
painting should be ascribed to him. 

The best part of the work is in certain details of 
goldsmith's work and in the harmonious colour. In 
colour Piero showed himself not unworthy of his brother's 
tuition, though he never succeeded in obtaining his depth 
of tone and gem-like glow. The embroidered gown, of 


a subtle tint difficult to name, is exceedingly beautiful, 
but especially so are the mirror with its crystal handle 
and reflected profile, delicately painted as a miniature, 
and the snake with its fine curves. So admirable are 
these accessories as to warrant the suggestion that they 
are the work of Antonio himself. Antonio, it is evident, 
had none of the creator's pride in his paintings, or he 
could not have allowed his designs to be spoiled by the 
unskilful brush of Piero. He seems in all their joint 
work to have reserved to himself only such parts as 
interested him, and it is quite possible that he may have 
chosen to paint these exquisite bits of goldsmith's 
work perhaps wrought in his own bottega the mirror 
with its beautiful setting, and the bronze-like snake. 
However it may be, it is certain that the painting of 
these details shows a marked superiority to the rest. 

The next best of the figures is the Charity (Plate 
XXX.) as far as its ruined and repainted state will per- 
mit of judgment. It is in better condition than the re- 
maining five panels, for the mantle and robe still retain 
much of the original colour,but the face has suffered from 
cleaning and the entire body of the Child is thickly 
repainted. The lower part the dais and oriental rug 
is, as in all the remaining panels, entirely modern. The 
figure has to an exaggerated degree the same defects as 
the Prudence, the same disproportionate length of limb, 
the same lack of bone and muscle in the face and neck. 
The features are equally insignificant, the legs are 
awkwardly posed and badly foreshortened, and yet, 
despite these faults, it has a certain dignity. The colour 




Face p. 142 


has a suggestion of the glow of Antonio's own painting 
in the deep red of the velvet robe and the green of the 
gold-brocaded mantle. It is evident that in this figure 
Antonio had a share, not in actual execution, but in 
council and supervision, and to how large an extent he 
was interested in the work the cartoon drawn by his own 
hand on the back of the panel bears witness. Here we 
have the entire figure rapidly sketched in broad decisive 
touches. The drawing is wonderfully well preserved, 
having been protected by its position from the damage 
suffered by the painting. It seems to have been drawn 
rather as a correction to the original than as a cartoon 
to be copied, for the figure is of the characteristic build 
of Piero, but with its defects modified. There are 
variations in the composition also which must have been 
suggested as corrections, and it would seem as though 
Antonio, noticing the faults of construction in Piero's 
figure, had turned the panel and rapidly dashed in the 
drawing, as a master's practical lesson to his pupil. The 
exaggerated length of body and limb is modified, the 
modelling of the form beneath the draperies is 
emphasised, while another arm is added to the child in 
a different position, as though to suggest an improve- 
ment. The position of the drawing, on the back of the 
painting, precludes the possibility that it served Piero 
as the cartoon, and it seems more likely that Antonio, 
while retaining the general forms of his brother's work, 
sketched the figure thus as a lesson and correction. 

With these two figures ends any share Antonio may 
have had in the Virtues of the Mercatanzia. The 


remaining four paintings have the unredeemed mediocrity 
of Piero's unaided work. 

Of the Temperance and Faith it is difficult to say 
much in the condition to which they are reduced. The 
Faith (Plate XXXI.) in especial has suffered, and is 
the worst damaged of the whole series, and the restora- 
tion has been so coarsely and unintelligently done, that 
the original character of the work has almost dis- 
appeared. The face is repainted as a child might daub 
a print, the features being outlined all round with a 
hard line, that gives them a paltriness of which even 
Piero was incapable. No suggestion of modelling has 
been attempted. The mantle over the left shoulder 
and the knees is entirely modern, as also is the brocade 
of the gown. The carpet and dais have been smeared 
carelessly over, and in the whole painting nothing but 
the moss-green brocade of the right arm, and the 
Crucifix, remain of the original work. We can therefore 
criticise only the forms of the figure, which have the 
same defects as the rest the same exaggerated length 
of leg, bad foreshortening and awkward pose. 

The cartoon for the head, in black chalk tinted with 
pink and pricked for transfer, is in the Uffizi collection, 
(Cornice 43, No. 14506) and it is evident that the face 
of the panel has been repainted by the restorer with 
the aid of this drawing. The cartoon has the usual 
defects of Piero's work. The insignificant features are 
timidly drawn on the flat unmodelled face. Its 
redeeming quality is a certain sincerity of feeling 




Face p. 144 


which the restorer of the painting has failed to 

It will be remembered that in the second deliberation 
of the Council as to the commission, mention is made 
of a design for this figure of Faith executed by 
Verrocchio, which was rejected in favour of that of 
Piero. This rejected design by Verrocchio may perhaps 
be identified with the black chalk drawing, washed with 
sepia and heightened with white, in the Uffizi. (Cornice 
52, No. 208), (Plate XXXII.) It represents the 
figure of Faith seated on a raised dais precisely as in 
Piero's paintings. It is officially attributed to Botti- 
celli, in spite of its obviously Verrocchiesque character.* 
That it was designed to form one of this series of 
Virtues there can be no question, for it is alike in 
general composition and detail. The figure is in 
precisely the same attitude as the Faith of Piero. The 
light strikes on the same side, the position of the knees 
and arms is nearly the same. The mantle is arranged 
in the same manner over the left shoulder, hanging in 
heavy folds between the knees. Cup and Cross are of 
the same pattern. (The Cross is sketched in the draw- 
ing in two positions, one upright as in the painting, 
one slanting towards the right, but they are so slightly 
indicated that the photograph does not reproduce 
them.) Lastly, the throne rests on a raised dais of 

* The identification of the drawing with the rejected design by 
Verrocchio is due to Dr. Gronau, who kindly allowed me to publish 
his discovery in my article " Un disegno del Verrocchio per la Fede 
nella Mercatanzia di Firenze," " Rassegna d'Arte," VI. No. I. 


peculiar shape, with rectangular sides and curved 
front, a form followed in four out of the seven 

At first sight, in studying the photograph only, the 
heavy expression of the face makes the attribution of 
the drawing to the energetic Verrocchio difficult to 
accept, but in the original it will be seen that this is 
due to coarse pen-strokes outlining the features, an 
addition by some later hand. The lines of the eyelids 
and eyebrows thus drawn over, give an owl-like 
expression to the face, which in other respects has 
everything in common with Verrocchio's type, the same 
bombe forehead and square jaw, the same wide- winged 
nose, round nostrils, and curved mouth, that we find in 
the female head in the Malcolm Collection of the 
British Museum, in the drawing of the head of an 
Angel in the Uffizi, and in the reclining Venus of the 
same collection. The figure is constructed also in 
Verrocchio's manner, with broad, flat chest, fine pro- 
portions, and with his peculiar feeling for bone. The 
draperies are arranged in folds which closely resemble 
those of the Christ in the group of Or S. Michele, on 
which it will be remembered he was at work at the same 
date as the competition for the Virtues. 

So much for the superficial resemblances of form and 
feature, which might have been imitated by his followers. 
The fine quality of the drawing can be appreciated only 
in the original. The firm touch, the rounded modelling 
obtained by the slightest wash, the fine proportions of 
the figure, so different to the long ungainly bodies of 




Face p. 146 


PiercTs Virtues, reveal the hand of a Master, and I have 
little hesitation in accepting the drawing as the design 
of VeiTocchio mentioned in the documents.* 

It is perhaps idle to speculate why the work of so 
feeble a painter as Piero should have been chosen before 
that of Verrocchio. We have record of a similar pre- 
ference in the competition for the Forteguerri Tomb of 
Pistoja, when the design of Piero was again preferred to 
his (see p. 23). On that occasion it was decided by the 
commissioners that Piero's model was " piu bello et piu 
degno d'arte " than Verrocchio's, yet it is easy to see 
that the choice was really based on motives of economy, 
the price demanded by Verrocchio being more than 
they could afford. It is probable that the same reason 
influenced the Council of the Mercatanzia, for it is 
incredible that they should have really considered the 
drawing of Piero to be the best. 

The Temperance, which seems to have formed the 
pendant to the Faith, is in equally bad condition. The 
face is entirely repainted with a hot red, varying little 
from the colour of the hair. The sleeves have been 
brocaded with gold, but the design is hardly perceptible 
beneath the smears of the restorer, who has hatched the 
high lights white in a manner unknown to the epoch. 
The mantle seems also to have been brocaded, but 
has been thickly over-painted with amethyst colour, 

* It would be interesting to know if the drawing of Faith attri- 
buted to Botticelli, No. 12 of the Malcolm Collection, British 
Museum, has connection with the series of Virtues with which it 
has much in common. 


evidently copied from that of S. James in the S. Miniato 
Altarpiece. The brocaded robe has partly escaped, as 
also has a detail of much beauty the water in the 
bowl with its delicately painted bubbles. The figure is 
of the characteristic construction of Piero, and the face 
has his insignificant features, and without the proof 
given by the documents the painting would be recog- 
nised as his work. 

There remain the Hope and Justice, neither of which 
are mentioned in the documents, but which by analogy 
with the Madonna of the Berlin Annunciation., must 
certainly be by Piero. They are on a larger scale than 
any of the foregoing, and evidently matched each other 
on the walls. They are badly damaged and repainted, 
though less so than the Faith and Temperance. In 
both the lower part of the work, from the draperies 
downward, is entirely modern. 

The Hope is a coarse and robust female, solidly 
modelled but without feeling for bone, giving the 
impression of inflation peculiar to Piero's figures. In 
construction she resembles closely the Virgin of the 
Berlin Annunciation., with her round, boneless face, small 
shoulders, and huge stomach and legs. The mantle 
drawn across the knees has been heavily daubed by the 
restorer, but the brocaded gown, though much re- 
touched, is better preserved. 

The Justice is built on the same heavy lines, but is 
less vulgar than the Hope. The face and the flat 
unmodelled neck have much resemblance to those of 
the Prudence. The mantle is the work of the restorer, 


who has evidently copied the colour from that of the 
Prudence. The upper part is better preserved, the 
brick-red brocade, the steel shoulder-piece, with its 
edge of linked mail, and the curious Oriental head- 
dress, being but little damaged.* 

It is interesting to note in connection with Botti- 
celli's rivalry with Piero, that in designing his Forti- 
tude, although he has conformed, as he was bound, to 
the general scheme, he has followed it as little as pos- 
sible in detail. The painting shows however, as does 
all his earlier work, the strong influence of Antonio, 
and the fact that he was at this time in rivalry with 
his brother, does not preclude the reasonable assump- 
tion that he was at one time actually his pupil, f 

* In connection with this series of paintings may be mentioned 
a small panel representing Justice, in the Museum of S. Apollonia. 
there ascribed to the School of Pollaiuolo, and evidently inspired 
by them. 

t Since writing the above a panel representing the Madonna, having 
complete analogy with the series, has been purchased for the 
Strasburg Museum. As it is known to me only by photograph I 
refrain from any criticism. The figure is seated like the others, but 
the throne has curtains draped behind it. The mantle is drawn 
across the knees, but the folds differ in form. The brocaded gown 
is bordered on the chest with the words AVE MARIA GRA embroidered 
in pearls. The child has one hand raised in blessing, the other 
holds a crystal globe. 



THE only existing dated work, except the drawing of 
Charity above mentioned, executed by Antonio between 
the designs for the Embroideries and the Relief of the 
Silver Altar, is the Altarpiece of S. Sebastian, painted 
for the Pucci Chapel in the SS. Annunziata, now in the 
National Gallery, and for the date of this 1475 we 
have no authority but Vasari's statement. We have, 
however, the following documentary notices of gold- 
smith's work of this epoch, all of which has unfor- 
tunately perished. 

In 1472 he was commissioned by the Signoria to 
execute a silver helmet, goblets and other vessels, to be 
presented to Federigo di Montefeltro, Count of Urbino, 
in recognition of his services, as Captain of the troops 
of the Republic, in reducing Volterra to submission. 
(Doc. XVI. p. 272.) In 1473 he was again commissioned 
by the Signoria to make a large silver basin for use in 
the Chapel, and of this we have the notice that it was 
wrought with garlands and putti. (Doc. XVIII. p. 273.) 
The basin is mentioned in the Inventory of the treasure 
belonging to the Signoria, made on September i, 1473, 




Face p. 150 


in the following words, "A large new basin with 
garlands of babies of silver in the middle." * In 14/3 he 
made a Silver Cross for the Church of the Carmine, at 
the cost of 170 florins, money left for the purpose by 
Madonna Bonina de' Ricci.f 

Of the Altarpiece of S. Sebastian (Plate XXXIII.) 
the best known and most popular of all Antonio's 
paintings, Vasari gives the following notice : 

"In the Chapel of the Pucci, in the Servi, Antonio 
executed the picture for the Altar of S. Sebastian, which 
is of rare excellence ; in which are admirable horses, nudes, 
and most beautiful foreshortened figures, and the S. 
Sebastian himself portrayed from life, that is, from Gino 
di Lodovico Capponi: and this work was more praised 
than any other painted by Antonio. Wherefore in order 
to imitate nature as far as possible, he painted in one of 
the archers, who, pressing his bow against his breast, 
bends to the ground to load it, all the force that one 

* " Un bacino grande nuovo con grillanda di bambocci d'ariento 
nel mezzo," (Inventario generale di tutte le massenzie e beni che 
sono appresso alia signoria cipe di tutte le cose dedicate alia capella 
&c. dal 1458 1479, Arch, delle Riformag. di Firenze, Cod. In 4. 
Seg, No. 101, c. 56 V) 

f See Zibaldone del Migliore, II. , c. 68, "1473, Nella qual 
Chiesa"'(the Carmine) " trovasi una Croce d'argento che costo 
fiorini 170 di suggello qual fece e dette finita il di 30 di agosto 1473 
Ant del Pollaiolo, orafo celebre, quali denari furono consegnati 
per tal opera in mano a Ser Piero del Pugliese, e questa somma sino 
in 100 fiorini ci lascio M a Bonnina de Ricci, che fu madre di Piero 
e Gio. Guiducci, che ci dettono questo danaro comeeredi.di lor 
Madre, e ci pervenne questo lascito per la morte di Frate fran 
Agosdno nostro Religioso, e fino al intero pagam fu fatto dal 


strong in the arms could exert in loading that weapon ; so 
that one sees the swelling of the veins and muscles and 
the holding of the breath to gain more force. And this 
is not the only figure painted with care, but all the rest 
besides, in various attitudes, prove very clearly the skill 
and attention put into the work ; the which was certainly 
recognised by Antonio Pucci, who gave him in payment 
300 scudi, affirming that it hardly paid him for the colours. 
It was finished in the year 1475." * 

Vasari makes a mistake in stating that the Saint was 
a portrait of Gino Capponi, for he died before Antonio 
was born. Moreover the face is merely stylistic and 
has the characteristic features of Piero, resembling 
almost exactly the drawing of Faith, with its weak ex- 
pression, its rounded eyelids and insignificant mouth. 
The date given by Vasari is probably correct, but must 
be accepted with hesitation, unsupported as it is 
by any evidence. The painting must, however, date 
from the full maturity of Piero, whose share in the 
work shows a marked advance beyond any we have 
yet seen. 

It is one of the few pictures whose history can be 
traced without a break down to the present day. It 
remained in the Chapel of S. Sebastian in the SS. 
Annunziata, until the Marchese Pucci removed it to 
his own Palace, from whence, in 1857, it passed to the 
National Gallery. It has been somewhat restored, but 
is in fairly good condition. 

Opinion differs as to the share of the brothers in the 
* Vasari, iii. p. 292. 


work. Vasari, as has been seen, gives it entirely to 
Antonio, and Baldinucci follows his lead.* Antonio 
Billi, the Anonimo Gaddiano,f and Albertini,J on the 
other hand, attribute it to Piero. Among modern 
critics, Morelli considered the cartoon to be by Antonio 
and the execution by Piero, while Mr. Berenson attri- 
butes both to Antonio. My own study leads me to the 
opinion that the composition is entirely due to Antonio 
and a large part also of the execution, namely, the two 
archers loading their bows in the foreground, the 
spirited groups of figures in the background, and the 
characteristic landscape. To the brush of Piero I 
attribute the remaining four archers and the figure of 
the Saint himself, but Piero has advanced beyond the 
pulpy masses of flesh of his preceding work, and is 
capable at this epoch of imitating the construction of 
Antonio. Weak in action, and lacking in expression 
and energy as are the figures, they are much superior to 
the Madonna of the Berlin Annunciation and the 
Mercatanzia Virtues. 

In composition the picture is superb, and shows all 

* " Fra le belle pitture che di tutta sua mano" (Antonio's) "si 
veggiono pubblicamente in Firenze, una e la tavola del S. Sebastiano 
della Cappella de' Pucci contigua alia Chiesadella Santissima Nun- 
ziata, la qual tavola fece 1'anno 1475," &c. Baldinucci's words are 
almost a transcript of Vasari's. 

t " Piero del Pollaiuolo fecie . . . una tavola di S to Bastiano a 
S 4 * Maria de' Servi, dove ritrasse Gino di Lodovico Capponi." 
(Antonio Billi, p. 27. The words of the Anonimo hardly vary.) 

J " Nella Nuntiata . . . Nello oratorio contiguo di Sancto Sebas- 
tiano de' Pucci e una tavola bellissima di Piero Pullaro ..." 
(Albertini, Memoriale). 


the peculiarities of Antonio his pyramidal building 
up, and his method of giving grandeur to his figures by 
the elimination of the middle distance. As in the 
Hercules panels, the scene is placed upon a hill, beyond 
which the eye falls at once on the distant landscape. 
Had all the figures been painted by his own hand with 
the same splendid energy of the two archers, the Altar- 
piece would have been one of the most impressive 
masterpieces of the quattrocento, for in no other work 
known to me, not even in the drawings of Leonardo, 
nor the frescoes of Michelangelo, has physical energy 
been so concentrated as in these two figures. So com- 
pletely do they dominate the scene, that, like Vasari, 
we remark nothing but them. The Saint is insignifi- 
cant, the remaining archers are puppets, only these two 
magnificent athletes fill the panel. And this is the 
highest tribute to the power of Antonio, for they are 
devoid of literary or dramatic interest, are in fact 
nothing but atelier studies of the nude, introduced to 
show oiF their thews and sinews tours de force of 
splendid foreshortening and muscular effort. 

That the figures of the other archers were designed 
by Antonio, the construction of the bodies, the type of 
face, and arrangement of the draperies, proves. But in 
the actual painting the feeble hand of Piero is evident. 
The superficial forms he has copied, but he has been 
unable to endue them with life, much less with energy. 
The faces with their harsh features and stubbly beards 
resemble the Hercules type, and so do the meagre 
sinewy limbs. Form, attitude, and action are all 


Antonio's, but though the bone beneath the flesh is 
indicated, and the outward forms of strength are 
imitated, no real force animates these figures. There is 
no effort in the arms that pull the bowstring, nor any 
pressure or grip of the feet upon the ground. The 
would-be ferocity of the faces has resulted in feeble 
grimace. It has been already remarked that the legs of 
the Archer to the left are exactly similar to those of 
the Berlin David, not only in construction and attitude, 
but even to the sandals. But what a contrast between 
the nervous energy of the one and the limp inertness of 
the other ! Not one of these archers of Piero has any 
weight or balance. The action of the arms is fixed 
and motionless, and it is impossible to see, as we do 
in the works of Antonio, the past and succeeding 

With his usual indifference to subject, Antonio has 
left the principal figure to Piero, who seems however to 
have patched the S. Sebastian together from his designs. 
That Antonio is responsible for the weak attitude, and 
sentimental face is incredible, but the torso, with its 
broad shoulders and square pectorals, is of the Hercules 
build, and we shall find the counterpart of the legs and 
feet in his nude archer below, slightly varied and 
robbed of all strength, but evidently copied from them. 
It is interesting to compare these limbs, alike in form 
yet so dissimilar in character. Muscular force and 
effort have never been better presented than in those 
of Antonio's archer. The toes grip the ground with a 
tenacity our own muscles involuntarily imitate, while 


the legs of Piero's Saint, alike in outline, dangle as 
feebly as a puppet's. 

Perhaps never has human energy been so concentrated 
as in the two archers of Antonio. The bodies vibrate 
with effort and strain, and even beneath the velvet of 
the doublet the swell of the muscles is evident. Every 
sinew in our own body responds more readily than 
before the antique Hercules, or even than before the 
athletes of Michelangelo. The two figures represent 
the climax of physical force and energy. It will be 
observed that, as is so often the case in quattrocento 
art, the two are identical in posture and action, are in 
fact, the same model seen from different points of 
view. This is the case also with Piero's two archers on 
either side. 

In appreciating the anatomy and action of Antonio's 
figures, the costume of the clothed archer should not be 
overlooked. It is a marvellous bit of painting, with its 
rich harmonious colour and admirable realisation of the 
texture of the velvet. 

The background, with its animated groups of soldiers, 
must certainly be Antonio's own work, as well as the 
beautiful far-stretching landscape. In none of his other 
paintings is the eye carried back thus far. In the 
distance beyond the hill on which the martyrdom takes 
place, are small figures as full of fire and life as a sketch 
by Leonardo. To the left two mounted knights fight 
with fierce gesture, and even at this distance we can 
appreciate the fury of their combat. Balancing them 
on the other side are two others, one of whom has 


received his death-wound and throws back his head 
with a yell of agony. In the centre another shouts 
furiously, and with so much realism is it painted, that 
we seem to hear the sound as it issues from the wide 
open mouth. Beyond are more groups of soldiers on 
horse and foot and on the edge of the river others gallop 
madly, their horses seeming actually to leap across the 
picture. Assuredly Piero, who was unable to animate 
the foreground archers with life, had no hand in these 
vivid and vehement figures. 

To the left is a ruined Roman Arch, decorated with 
reliefs, and even these carvings are full of movement and 
energy. In the centre medallion is a relief which recalls 
the drawing of the Prisoner brought before the Judge, 
while below, in the archway, is a most spirited battle 
scene. In the angles above are the negro heads, the 
stemma of the Pucci, for whom the Altarpiece was 

Beyond the animated groups of horsemen stretches 
far back the quiet valley of the Arno, as seen from below, 
Florence, the city with its almond-shaped walls and 
principal buildings visible on the left. It is one of the 
most beautiful and spacious of all these landscapes 
repeated so often by Antonio. 

All the old writers have agreed in their praise of this 
Altarpiece, which seems to have been the most popular 
of his works, and to have exercised a very important 
influence on contemporary painters, as the numerous 
imitations show. It appears that it was not the only 
painting of the subject executed by him. Richa records 


that in the Church of S. Jacopo sopr' Arno, was a panel 
three braccia in height, said to be his work, representing 
S. Sebastian tied to a tree. "The said picture,"" he 
writes, " has been left neglected for many years, and in 
1757 was cleaned by the celebrated living painter 
Agostino Veracini." * 

In the so-called Verrocchio Sketch-Book, on one of 
the sheets in the Louvre, is a pen-drawing of S. Sebastian 
evidently copied from some design by Antonio. Body 
and limbs are of the meagre Hercules build, and the 
face, with its square jaw, is of that type. One arm is 
tied above the head, and the legs are posed differently 
to those in the Pucci painting. Below is a nude archer, 
indifferently sketched, but which bears some trace of 
Antonio's style. As most of the drawings of the Sketch- 
Book are copied from popular Florentine works of art, 
it is probable that this was done from some well-known 
painting, possibly the lost panel of S. Jacopo. 

Two drawings by Antonio's own hand are in existence, 
studies for a similar subject, though obviously not for 
the Pucci Altarpiece. In the Kupferstichkabinet, Berlin, 
is a superb pen and sepia sketch of a nude archer.f 
The legs are planted firmly, widely stretched, as in the 

* Richa " Chiese fiorentini," x. p. 355. 

t Reproduced by Dr. Gronau in his work "Aus Raphaels 
Florentiner Tagen," Berlin, 1902. IV. II. Of this drawing Mr. 
Berenson writes in his " Florentine Drawings," " In the Poldi 
Pezzoli is a predella, with the subject of the Martyrdom of S. 
Sebastian, ascribed to Antonio, wherein the action of this figure is 
copied exactly. This mediocre picture must have been painted by 
a person who had the felicitous idea of combining the styles of 
Pollaiuolo and Credi. ' ' 


figure to the left of the Pucci Altarpiece, but the action 
of the upper part of the body is too different for it to 
have served Piero as his model. The broad shoulders 
and slender waist, the large nose and square jaw, 
resemble closely the Hercules type. The action, as he 
draws the bowstring to his ear is full of energy. The 
drawing is sharp and vigorous with the flame-like 
quality of touch peculiar to Antonio and Leonardo. 
Morelli possessed a pen-sketch of S. Sebastian, which 
he considered to be Antonio's study for the figure in 
the Pucci Altarpiece, but again, the differences are too 
great for this to be likely. The position is reversed, 
the body and head being turned to the left instead of 
to the right, and there are other essential differences. 
The drawing is much injured, and has been gone over 
in parts by a later hand, especially about the head, but 
the energy and touch of the pen justify the attribution 
to Antonio.* 

Among the most important of the paintings of a 
similar subject showing the influence of Antonio, are the 
S. Sebastian by Botticelli in the Berlin Gallery, and 
that of Signorelli in the Pinacoteca, Citta di Castello. 
The former was, according to the Anonimo Gaddiano, 
painted in 1473 for the Church of S. Maria Maggiore,f 
and bears much resemblance to the figure of the Pucci 

* Now in the Collection of Signer Frizzoni, Milan. Reproduced 
in his " Collezione di quaranta disegni scelti della raccolta del 
Senatore Giov. Morelli," Hoepli, 1886, Plate II. 

t " In santa Maria Maggiore e di sua mano un San Bastiano in 
tavola, che e in una colonna, il quale fece di Giennaio nel 1473." 
(Anon. Gadd. p. 70.) 


Altai-piece. It passed for years under Antonio's name, 
and there can be no question as to his influence. Torso, 
arms, and legs, in structure and position are alike, but 
the figure is certainly not copied from the sentimental 
saint of Piero, with his head thrown back in weak 
despair. Botticelli's S. Sebastian is calm and indifferent, 
and it is most likely that both his and Piero's were 
imitated from some original by Antonio's own brush, 
possibly the lost painting of S. Jacopo. If this be so, 
and the dates of Vasari and the Anonimo are correct, 
this work would be earlier than the Pucci Altarpiece by 
at least two years. 

Signorelli, strongly influenced as he was throughout 
his life by Antonio, has imitated the painting in his 
Altarpiece, executed in 1496 for the Church of 
S. Domenico, Citt& di Castello, now in the Pinacoteca. 
The weak saint of Piero he has ignored, his figure 
standing upright and firmly balanced on the tree, but 
the composition, and particularly the two soldiers 
stringing their bows in the foreground, are obviously 
inspired by Antonio. 

Among the less important paintings of the subject 
bearing marks of Antonio's influence, is the life-sized 
S. Sebastian by Jacopo di Barbari, No. 384 of the Pitti 
Gallery, still unaccountably attributed to Antonio him- 
self. It is a nude of Antonio's athletic type, and is 
constructed somewhat in his manner, with huge 
shoulders, bent legs, and hard developed bone and 
muscle, but the resemblance is superficial only, and 
cannot have been inspired by the Pucci Altarpiece. 


H. Burton 


Face p. 1 60 


Perhaps somewhat earlier than the S. Sebastian may 
be placed the Altarpiece representing the Communion 
of S. Mary of Egypt, recently discovered in the Church 
of Staggia, near Poggibonsi. (Plate XXXIV.) The 
picture was originally brought to notice by Mr. 
Mason Perkins, who however attributed it to Botticini. 
Mr. Berenson* first gave it to its true author, Antonio 
Pollaiuolo, but he allows him the design only, and con- 
siders the execution to be by Piero. To me the painting 
seems to be not only designed by Antonio, but executed, 
at least in the greater part, by his own hand. 

The Saint has just issued from her rock-cave, and 
supported by Angels, who surround her in the form of 
a mandorla, receives the wafer of the Sacrament. The 
composition is fine and impressive. The large figure is 
treated with the utmost realism, the nude limbs being 
those of an elderly woman somewhat wasted, and the hag- 
gard face shows traces of former beauty. She resembles 
almost exactly the kneeling Saint in the embroidery re- 
presenting Christ in Limbo. Face, arms, hands, and legs, 
are identical. She is clad in her own hair, tied with a 
loose girdle, and in the embroidery she wears a hair shirt; 
the figure is more upright, but except for these slight 
changes the same drawing might have served for both. 

As usual in Antonio's composition, there is no middle 
distance, and the figures stand out impressively against 
the distant landscape a landscape so ruined that the 
winding stream of the Arno can be only dimly dis- 

* B. Berenson, " Due quadri inediti a Staggia," " Rassegna 
d'Arte," 1905. 


cerned. The picture has been badly repainted, espe- 
cially the faces and draperies, yet in spite of this the 
figures retain much energy and force. The wrinkled 
face of the Saint is admirably constructed, and the 
strong limbs, with their well-defined bone and muscle, 
and the sinewy beautifully shaped hands, must surely be 
the work of Antonio himself. To none of his figures, 
however well he has imitated the structure, has Piero 
been able to impart the strength of this. The Angels, 
with their square jaws and prominent cheek-bones, 
their large cutting wings and vehement action, are of 
the same family as those in the fresco of S. Miniato and 
on the Silver Cross. The swift movement of the one 
which flies impetuously out of the cave is specially 
characteristic. In the hands of Piero, judging by all 
precedent, the energy and concentration, the rapidity of 
movement and all the qualities which make the painting 
so impressive, would have vanished, and we should have 
had, as in the archers of S. Sebastian, mere flaccid and 
lifeless forms. 

In connection with this painting it is of interest to 
note that the husband of Maddalena, the second 
daughter of Antonio, belonged to a family settled in 
Staggia Bruno, son of Ser Benedetto, probably notary 
of the town. 

Another example of Piero imitating Antonio's style 
and failing to reproduce more than the forms is to be 
seen in a work which must date from about the same 
time as the Altarpiece of S. Sebastian. This is the 
fresco of S. Christopher, now in the Metropolitan 




(By kind permission of the Director) 

Face p. 162 


Museum, New York, evidently a copy of Antonio's 
work. (Plate XXXV.) It would seem to be a replica 
on a reduced scale of a perished fresco, mentioned by 
Vasari as having been painted by Antonio on the^a^ ode 
of the now-demolished Church of S. Miniato fra le 
Torri, which stood near Or S. Michele in the street 
which still bears its name. " For S. Miniato fra le 
Torri, outside the door, Antonio painted a S. Cristofano, 
ten braccia high, a very beautiful work, executed in the 
modern style. It is the best-proportioned figure of the 
size that had been done up to that time."* Antonio 
Billi and the " Anonimo Gaddiano " also mention the 
fresco, but attribute the execution to Piero, and the 
design only to Antonio.f Albertini attributes the 
entire work to Piero.J 

In the time of Baldinucci the fresco was still to be 
seen, though much injured, and of it he gives the 
following notice : 

"In our day is to be seen the marvellous figure of 
S. Christopher in fresco, ten braccia high, which he 
(Antonio) painted on the facade of the church of S. 
Miniato fra le Torri, a figure which had the reputation of 
being the best proportioned that had been done up to 

* Vasari, iii. p. 293. 

} "Piero del Pollaiuolo fecie uno S to Cristofano a S to Miniato 
fra le Torre che fu disegnio di Ant suo fratello " (Antonio Billi, ed. 
Carl Frey, Berlin, 1892, p. 27). "In Firenze dipinse" (Piero) "nella 
faccia dinanzi della chiesa di san Miniato fra le tore un San Cristo- 
fano, et si dice esserne il disegno di Antonio suo fratello " (" L" Anon- 
imo Gaddiano," ed. Cornel v. Fabriczy, Firenze, 1893, p. 72). 

" In Sancto Miniato fra le Torri e una tavola d'Andreina, et il 
sancto Christ, fuori e braccia X di Pietro Pullaro." 


that time. The Saint stands, one leg in repose, the other 
lifted, and the limbs are so well drawn, so well proportioned 
and supple, that it is reported Michelangelo Buonarroti 
himself, in his youth drew them many times for study." 

And the following note is appended : 

" A few years ago the legs and other parts of the figure 
being reduced to a bad state by exposure to the in- 
clemency of the air, were repainted by an imbiancatore, 
with what art and perfection the reader may see. O 
vicissitudes of things human ! " 

The last notice we have of the perished fresco is by 
Richa in his description of the facade of the Church. 
" Over the door outside, is to be seen a Madonna of 
glazed terracotta, very beautiful, the work of Luca della 
Kobbia, and on the right of it is a S. Christopher, 
ten lyraccia high, painted in fresco by Antonio del 
Pollaiuolo." The rest of the notice is a repetition of 
the words of Baldinucci, about Michelangelo copying 
the figure, " some imitation of it," he adds, " being 
observable in the David of the Piazza." * 

If, as seems probable, the fresco in the Metropolitan 
Museum is a copy of this perished work, there is little 
doubt but that it was by Antonio, for both face and 
figure have his characteristic forms. The spare sinewy 
frame, the muscular legs, the lean face with the thin 
beard and moustache, resemble the Hercules type. The 
seizure of the transitory movement is also characteristic, 
although much has evidently been lost in passing 
through the hands of Piero. It is a timid copy in 
* Richa, " Chiese fiorentini," Firenze, 1762, iv. p. 71. 


which the strength and energy of the original are only 
vaguely suggested ; the expression of the face is weak, 
and the movement vacillating and uncertain, but our 
acquaintance with the Hercules paintings enables us to 
reconstruct the perished fresco, and to understand the 
admiration excited by so admirable a figure on so 
colossal a scale. There is a marked advance in Piero's 
work, the forms are better imitated, and the bone and 
muscle better realised than in any of his foregoing 
paintings, except perhaps the archers of S. Sebastian. 

The fresco measures 112^ inches by 59, about a 
quarter the size of the original. It is known to me 
only by photograph, but if one may offer an opinion 
from such superficial acquaintance, it seems to be much 
repainted and the face of the child and the landscape 
to have lost the character of the epoch. It is also 
difficult to believe that even Piero was guilty of the 
badly drawn hand resting on the hip, which has more 
resemblance to a bird's claw than to a human hand. 

One other work by Piero may find a place here since 
it evidently belongs to his full maturity the ruined 
fresco in the lunette over the Altar in the Sacristy of 
S. Niccolo, representing the Madonna giving the girdle 
to S. Thomas. It is inscribed with the date 1450, but 
this is obviously a forgery, the letters having been 
smeared in by the restorer. It was attributed by 
Cavalcaselle to Alesso Baldovinetti, chiefly on account of 
the landscape, which resembles that in the fresco of the 
Nativity in the cloister of the SS. Annunziata.* It was 
* Cavalcaselle, " Storia della Pittura," vi. p. 61. 


Mr. Berenson who first detected the hand of Piero in 
the painting, of which he writes that " type, draperies 
and landscape point clearly to his style, while showing 
his close relationship with Baldovinetti." * It seems to 
me, however, that the influence may well have been 
received indirectly through Antonio, for the landscape 
has even more resemblance to his usual Arno valley. 
In the right foreground lies a deer, admirably painted, 
which recalls that in the background of the Hercules 
panel, and another of which mention will presently be 
made in the cartoon of S. Jerome. The Virgin, sur- 
rounded by angels and cherubs in the form of&mandorla, 
hovers over the Tomb filled with roses, by the side of 
which kneels S. Thomas. The Tomb is of marble, but 
is bound at the corners by metal acanthus leaves, which 
recall Verrocchio's Sarcophagus in S. Lorenzo. The 
fresco, if in reality designed by Piero, is one of the best 
compositions by his hand. It is in so ruined a condi- 
tion that little but the general forms can be criticised. 
The deer has, however, fared better than the rest, and 
in its truth to nature and easy attitude, suggests the 
co-operation of Antonio himself, as also do the fine 
landscape, the plastic treatment of what remains of the 
head of S. Thomas, and the straight angular folds of 
the draperies. The condition of the fresco forbids a 
more definite judgment. 

* Berenson, " Florentine Drawings," i. p. 26, note J. 




THE Silver Altar of S. Giovanni is perhaps the most 
priceless of the art-treasures of Italy, not only for its 
intrinsic beauty, but because, thanks to the time that 
elapsed between commencement and finish, in its reliefs 
the progress of Florentine art can be traced for a 
hundred years. It is besides, for its elaborate and 
exquisite decorations, one of the marvels of the gold- 
smith's craft. 

The original design was not for an Altar, but only a 
Dossale which was to be placed upon the Altar for the 
exhibition of the relics. It was not until 1483 that 
the cornice and base of carved and gilded wood were 
added, by which it assumed the dimensions of an 

Its history is briefly as follows. In the prosperous 
years of the fourteenth century it was decided to endow 
the Church of S. Giovanni with a Dossale, worthy of 
the Republic. The original document of commission is 
not forthcoming, but the inscription on the Altar itself 


records that it was begun in 1366. This inscription 
runs round the base on the left side, enamelled in 
Gothic letters, and is as follows. ANNO DOMINI 1366 


DEPUTATORUM. These names Benedetto degli Alberti, 
Paolo Rondinelli and Bernardo Coroni are those of 
the officials of the Arte della Mercatanzia, by whom 
the commission was given. The first document of pay- 
ment is dated January 16, 1367, and states that the 
design was by Betto di Geri and Leonardo di Ser 
Giovanni, the latter known for the equally elaborate, 
though less artistic, Silver Altar in the Pistoja 
Cathedral.* In 1377 the name f Leonardo no longer 
figures in the documents of payment, and instead we 
find those of Cristofano di Paolo and Michele di Monte, 
the former apparently acting as chief goldsmith. In 
1425 the following entry shows how much was at that 
date completed : 

"Dossale of Silver ... for the Altar of S. Giovanni, 
worked in relief with the story of S. John the Baptist, in 
eight square compartments, each about one braccta square, 
with thirty entire figures of silver placed above in the 
manner of a frieze, each figure standing in its niche, with 
an arched Tabernacle in the centre with many niches, in 
which is to stand the large figure of S. John the Baptist, 
to be made of silver, with many pilasters and niches above 

* The Silver Altar of Pistoja was begun before that of S. 
Giovanni. Leonardo was at work upon it from 1355 1371. 


and at the sides. And this Dossale, placed entire upon 
wood and strengthened, is preserved in the house of the 
said Operai in a wooden chest made for it. The Altar is 
placed in the Church of S. Giovanni on the vigil of his 
nativity, which is celebrated each year on the 24th day of 
June." * 

In 1402 the work had ceased for lack of funds, and 
the Dossale remained in its unfinished state for fifty 
years, when (1452) Michelozzo was commissioned to 
make the statue of the Baptist for the central 
Tabernacle. Again a quarter of a century elapsed, and 
it was not till 1477 that the lacking side reliefs were 
undertaken. In that year on July 24, Verrocchio and 
Antonio Pollaiuolo received the commission to execute 
models. Verrocchio presented two and Antonio three, 
for which they received respectively the sum of six and 
eight florins. (It must be remembered that such models 
were executed and paid for independently of the 
ultimate commission, becoming the property of the 
commissioners. They were generally exhibited to the 
public before the final decision.) 

The competition for a work of such importance was 
inevitable and, as in the case of the Virtues of the 
Mercatanzia, the models of the better Masters were 
rejected in favour of those who were willing to demand 
less money. Thus we find that in 1477 Antonio di 
Salvi and Francesco di Giovanni, goldsmiths, partners 

* See " Catalogo del Museodell' Opera del Duomo," Firenze, 1904, 
p. 67. All the documents relating to the commission are transcribed 
in the Appendix (Doc. XIX. p. 274). 


in a bottega in the Vacchereccia, obtained the commis- 
sion to execute two of the reliefs the Banquet of 
Herod and the Decollation of the Baptist and 
Bernardo di Bartolommeo Cenni the remaining two 
the Annunciation to Zaccharias and the Birth, 
Verrocchio and Pollaiuolo being quite excluded from 
the work. Was it perhaps the intervention of Lorenzo 
de' Medici that made them alter this decision, as in the 
case of the Forteguerri Tomb of Pistoja, or some 
reduction in price made by the Masters ? At all 
events the work was finally distributed as follows 
the Decollation to Verrocchio, the Birth to Antonio, 
the Annunciation to Bernardo Cenni, and the Banquet 
of Herod to the partners Antonio di Salvi and 
Francesco di Giovanni. This commission is dated 
Jan. 13, 1478. (1479 of our reckoning.) It is little to 
the credit of the commissioners that these last should 
have been preferred to Verrocchio and Antonio, for 
their work is of the poorest, combining every defect of 
trivial conception and execution. The Annunciation 
of Cenni is trecento in its ndivett of treatment, but it is 
a naivete without charm, due only to ignorance, while 
the Banquet of Herod is merely a vulgar caricature of 
the manner of Verrocchio. Verrocchio's Decollation and 
Antonio's Birth are among the finest works of these 
realistic Masters, and it is indicative of the fallacy of 
popular judgment, even in that time of artistic 
appreciation, that they should have been placed on an 
equality with such paltry work as that of Cenni and 


The four reliefs were finished in 1480. Verrocchio 
received 397 florins, 21 lire and i soldo; Antonio, 487 
florins, i lira, 16 soldi and 4 denari ; Antonio di Salvi 
and his partner, 384 florins, 12 soldi and 10 denari, and 
Bernardo Cenni 475 florins, 2 lire, 5 soldi and 10 
denari. The prices are of interest as proving that the 
poor work of Cenni and Salvi was equally well paid 
with that of Antonio and Verrocchio, the differences 
being merely according to the greater or less amount 
of metal employed. The artists had, besides the 
reliefs, to make all the pinnacles, niches, statuettes and 
other decorations, in accordance with the older part of 
the Dossale. 

The history of the Baptist begins on the left of the 
front of the Dossale, and ends on the right side with 
the Banquet of Herod. The eight original reliefs of 
the fourteenth century, comprise the following scenes. 

1. The Departure of the child Baptist to the Desert. 

2. The Presentation of Christ to the Multitude. 3. The 
Preaching of Christ to the Multitude. 4. The 
Baptism of Christ. 5. The Baptist rebuking Herod. 
6. The Baptist disputing with the Pharisees. 7. The 
Disciples visiting the Baptist in Prison. 8. Christ 
healing the Sick. Nothing could be more beautiful 
than the proportions and general design of the Altar, 
nothing more dainty than the elaborate carvings and 
enamels which adorn it. Above the reliefs a series of 
small niches run round beneath the cornice. They are 
enamelled on a blue ground with figures, in colours of 
the same gem -like glow as those on the Cross above, 


and each niche contains a small carefully wrought 
statuette. In the angles of the arches of these niches 
are round apertures from which tiny heads look out, a 
design followed in the architectural decoration of the 
Robbia school. Between each relief is an elaborate 
Gothic pinnacle ornamented with statuettes and enamels. 
The decoration of the sides corresponds precisely with 
the earlier part of the Altar. 

The central Tabernacle is of the fifteenth century, as 
is proved by the character of the statuettes which 
surmount it, one of which is a copy of the Joshua of 
Bernardo Ciuffagni, now in the Duomo. 

Antonio's relief, representing the Birth of the Baptist 
(Plate XXXVI.), is on the left side of the Altar. It is 
one of the most poetic of his works, realistic only in the 
sense that it gives a faithful genre picture of a con- 
temporary Florentine interior. In composition it bears 
much resemblance to the same scene in the embroideries. 
Here, as there, we look into the deep interior of a room, 
in which the bed is placed midway. A servant brings 
refreshments behind, and the child with its nurses 
occupies the foreground. But the embroidery lacks the 
exquisite stag-like figure of the Virgin, who enters 
with her attendant, a figure which recalls so strongly 
the Flora in the Primavera of Botticelli, as to suggest 
that he had it in mind in painting her. The scene is 
treated with greater solemnity than in the embroidery 
the figure in the bed, there verging on caricature, 
is of great beauty and severity, although the attitude 
hardly differs. The foreground scene the washing of 


the child is sacramentally solemn, notwithstanding 
the realism of detail, as for example the woman feeling 
the temperature of the water. The severity of the 
composition, of the attitudes, and expressions, of the 
draperies with their long straight folds, is remarkable 
at this period of Antonio's development. A few years 
later and he will be executing the most bizarre and 
voluptuous work of the quattrocento the Arts and 
Sciences round the Tomb of Sixtus. 

Technically the work is admirable. The depth of 
space is as usual presented with wonderful realism. 
The perspective is faultless, and the space values between 
the figures rendered with a success quite marvellous, 
when it is considered that even those at the end of the 
room are in high relief. All are wrought in one piece 
of metal, with the exception of the Virgin, which is 
attached to the background with a screw. 

The Altar is in a state of almost perfect preserva- 
tion. During the five centuries that have elapsed since 
it was begun, its only damage consists in the loss of 
one of the small statuettes of the frieze, of seven of the 
tiny figures in the pilasters, and a few ornaments. 
During the stormy times of Florence, when most of its 
treasures were melted down, the Altar was spared, as 
representing the importance of the city. In 1527 
the Signoria, in sore straits for money, wished to pawn 
it, but did not dare, so infuriated were the people at 
the mere suggestion.* 

* See Franceschini. " II Dossale d'argento del Tempio di S. Gio- 
vanni," Firenze, 1894. 


Albertini gives the following description of the Altar 
as it stood in S. Giovanni : 

" In the said Temple is an Altar, all of fine silver, 
gilded, with the statue of S. Giovanni in the middle, by 
the hand of Antonio Pullaro " (Albertini makes the same 
error as Vasari in attributing Michelozzo's feeble figure to 
Antonio), " and scenes in high relief by other Masters, of 
admirable richness. Upon it is placed a very high cross, 
all of fine silver, with most suitable figures, and the eight 
large silver candelabra, and the golden rose, the gift of 
the Pope, and many vases and reliquaries with figures and 
enamels, by the hands of most learned Masters." * 

Another description of the Altar as exhibited in the 
Piazza del Duomo in 1530 is worth quoting : 

"On the 1 6th day of May was shown in the Piazza, of 
S. Giovanni, before the doors of S. Maria del Fiore and of 
S. Giovanni Battista, in the midst of the said Piazza, the 
Silver Altar of S. Giovanni Battista and all the relics of 
the Saint, and above the said Altar the baldacchino, 
attached to a rope that was stretched across the said 
place. Afterwards was sung a solemn Mass of the Holy 
Spirit in S. Maria del Fiore, the Signoria, the Guilds and 
Magistrates being present, and the Mass said, they went 
to seat themselves outside befoi'e the Church, as at the 
procession of S. Giovanni. Next, all the soldiers were 
assembled in S. Maria Novella, and marched in order to S. 
Giovanni, passing before the Altar; and then appeared 
two Canons chosen from those who were of highest dignity, 
with the Books of the Evangelists, and placed their hands 

* Albertini, " Memoriale, Quartiere di S. Giovanni." 


upon these Evangelists in oath, and passed on ; and in the 
said procession there were sixteen green banners, each 
having the sign of its Gonfalone." * 

As late as the eighteenth century the Altar was still 
brought twice every year from its wooden chest to the 
Baptistry, and exhibited in the octagonally paved space 
where once stood the font broken by Dante, t It was 
removed to the Museo delF Opera del Duomo in 1891. 

The final payment to Antonio for the relief was not 
made until 1483, but it is probable that it was finished 
long before this. Meantime he was employed by the 
same commissioners (in 1478) to make a Reliquary to 
contain the finger of the Baptist, and a cover for an 
Epistolario wrought in silver with figures. This last 
was melted down in 1500, and with the metal was 
made a pair of candlesticks by Paolo Sogliani.J Of the 
Reliquary we have no further notice. 

* Cambi, " Storie fiorentine," published in " Delizie del Padre 
Ildefonso," vol. xxiii. 

t See Richa, "Chiese Fiorentine," 1762, vol. v. xxx. "In quello 
spazio dell' ottagono, lastricato in oggi di mattoni, due volte 1'anno 
si colloca il meraviglioso Dossale di argento massiccio che pesa libbre 
325." The Font was destroyed in 1576 on the occasion of the 
Baptism of Don Filippo, son of Francesco I. and Giovanna 
d' Austria. 

J Vasari, iii. p. 298, note 2. 


PIERO'S LATEST WORK. C. 14,70-1483 

IT would be strange if so realistic an artist as Antonio 
had not been employed to execute portraits, at a time 
when every Florentine of any wealth and standing was 
having himself and his family painted. That he was 
so employed we have the evidence of Vasari and 
Baldinucci, but unfortunately none of the portraits 
mentioned by them are in existence. From Vasari we 
learn that he painted " Messer Poggio, secretary of the 
Signoria of Florence, who wrote the history of Florence 
after Messer Lionardo of Arezzo ; and Messer Gianozzo 
Manetti, a very learned and estimable personage." * 
These were painted to form part of a collection of 
portraits of famous personages for the Palace of the 
Proconsolo, where the Guild of Judges and Notaries 
met. If they were painted from life, and not from 
already existing portraits, they would have been 
among his earliest existing works, since both Poggio 
Bracciolini and Manetti died in 1459. Baldinucci tells 
us that he executed many portraits, " which are to be 
* Vasari, iii. p. 292. 


seen in our own time in the houses and galleries of 
citizens, very well preserved." " The loss of all these 
works is infinitely to be regretted for judging by the 
superb realistic portraits of Innocent VIII. on the 
Roman Tomb, Antonio must have excelled in this as in 
all else, and have seized the essentials of character with 
the same unerring directness that he shows in the pre- 
sentation of physical force. 

One portrait may perhaps be attributed to him with 
a fair show of reason one of the most beautiful works 
of the fifteenth century, the authorship of which has 
always been a mystery the Profile of a Lady in the 
Poldi-Pezzoli Museum, Milan (Plate XXXVII.). In 
the official catalogue it is ascribed to Piero dei Fran- 
ceschi, in spite of the obviously Florentine character of 
the work. It has also been attributed by different 
critics to Verrocchio, to Piero Pollaiuolo, and to 
Antonio, but tentatively rather than decisively. The 
work is certainly by a realist, and one well versed in 
the scientific methods of Antonio's school. The fine 
construction and modelling, with its feeling for bone 
and muscle, the delicate yet firm outline, the suggestion 
of the goldsmith in the treatment, as well as its con- 
nection with another profile, certainly Pollaiuolesque, 
all point to Antonio as the painter. 

The panel is inscribed on the back VXOR IOANNES DE 
BARDI, and it has been generally supposed that it repre- 
sents the same lady at a more advanced age as the well- 

* "Fece ancora molti altri ritratti che si veggiono a' nostri tempi 
per le case e gallerie de' Cittadini, molto ben conservati ..." 



known profile, really by Piero dei Franceschi, in the 
Berlin Gallery. The features certainly have much 
resemblance, but an essential difference forbids the 
acceptance of the identity of the ladies, for in the 
Berlin portrait the eyes are pale blue, while in that of 
Milan they are dark brown. The resemblance may be 
due to one of two things, either that they were sisters, 
or that the Milan picture was painted under the in- 
fluence and in direct imitation of that of Berlin. 

In execution the two portraits differ essentially. In 
that of Berlin, flesh and hair are very thinly painted in 
pale, almost monochromatic tones, and there is so little 
solidity in the modelling that the profile lies on the 
background almost as though cut out of paper. That 
the official attribution to Piero dei Franceschi is correct, 
the resemblance in style to his work, especially to the 
ladies of the Queen of Sheba in the Arezzo frescoes, 
proves, and it is probable that it dates from the same 
epoch between 1452 and 1466. The Milan portrait 
must be, judging by the style of the hair, at least a 
decade later, probably nearer to 1470. It is boldly 
and solidly modelled, and in spite of the fact that the 
background is painted against it so thickly as to make 
a perceptible difference of surface, the profile stands 
out with great realism as a third-dimensional object. 
The intention is decorative, but it seems as though 
the artist's scientific training made him, in spite of his 
intention, realistic. His conception of the sitter 
differs equally. While the Berlin portrait presents a 
poetic and idealised study of a young girl, cold and 




Face /. 178 


emotionless as are all Piero's figures, that of Milan is 
conceived with great realism. It shows a shrewd, 
practical lady, sharp-witted, perhaps a little banale, 
and certainly not without passions. 

That the Milan portrait was executed under the 
influence of that of Berlin seems evident. The same 
importance is given to the outline, and there are many 
other superficial likenesses, so obvious that it is need- 
less to point them out. It is not unlikely, if the sitters 
were really sisters, as the likeness of feature suggests, 
that it may even have been executed as a pendant to 
the older portrait. 

No documentarily-authenticated portraits, male or 
female, by Antonio's own hands are in existence, and no 
heads painted on so large a scale the portrait is life- 
size by which to judge his style in this branch of art, 
but by the process of elimination his name seems forced 
upon us as the author of the painting. With the ex- 
ception of Verrocchio, no other artist of the epoch to 
which it belongs, was capable of so fine and realistic a 
work, and it shows Antonio's characteristics far more 
than those of Verrocchio, both in conception and tech- 
nique. The firm yet sensitive outline, the scientific 
modelling of the cheek and neck, the crisp touches of the 
hair, the vivacity of expression, correspond with the 
special qualities of Antonio's work. Comparing it with 
the portraits of Verrocchio I can find no points of 
resemblance, and who but these two among contem- 
porary painters was able to combine so exquisitely the 
simple idealistic portraiture of the earlier quattrocento, 


with the subtle and realistic treatment of the later, 
which found its culminating-point in the Mono, Lisa of 
Leonardo ? 

There is further evidence in favour of Antonio's 
authorship in its connection with the much injured and 
repainted portrait of a lady, No. 3450 of the Uffizi 
(Plate XXXVIII.), like all this group ascribed to Piero 
dei Franceschi, but evidently Pollaiuolesque. The face 
has been so thickly repainted as to have nearly lost its 
original character, and at first sight seems rather to 
represent a lady of the eighteenth century, painted and 
powdered, than a quattrocento Florentine. Only a very 
close examination reveals the excellence of such parts of 
the original work as have escaped the brush of the 
repainter. Repaint nearly the whole of the picture is, 
from the crude blue of the background to the heavily 
stippled red of the cheek, which suggests the rouge pot. 
Hair and flesh are thickly over-painted, the outline of 
the face, perhaps once as delicate as that of the Milan 
portrait, has been lost in the smearing of the back- 
ground against it. The nose especially has been coars- 
ened and modernised. The ribbons which bind the 
hair have been edged with different colour like those of 
the Milan head, but are completely retouched. The 
strings of pearls which bind the hair are glassy and 
obviously modern. Only in the throat and neck, the 
repaint, being less thick, allows the original lines to 
appear, and these lines are similar to those in the Milan 
portrait. Such parts of the ear as are visible are also 
precisely the same. 




Face p. 1 80 


It is strange that while the face and hair have 
been thus daubed over, the sleeve and bodice are un- 
touched, and in an excellent state of preservation. 
Here the beautiful, carefully painted embroidery of the 
sleeve and the deep amethyst-coloured velvet have 
everything in common with Antonio's work. It is per- 
haps idle to speculate, yet the perfect preservation of 
the lower part of the painting, generally subject to most 
damage, and the eighteenth-century character of the 
head in its present state, suggest that the repainting 
may be due, not to any damage suffered by the 
original work, but to the effort to adapt the portrait to 
another sitter. The neglect almost contempt with 
which quattrocento work was regarded in the eighteenth 
century is well known, and it is at least possible that 
the portrait, which seems to have been always in the 
Medici Collection, may have been tampered with by 
some Court painter of one of the later Grand Dukes. 

A third portrait shows unmistakable traces of 
Antonio's influence, and seems to be by Piero in his 
most mature years the profile of a Lady in the Collec- 
tion of the late Herr Hainauer, Berlin.* It represents 
a young woman with a heavy and rather cruel expres- 
sion, painted against a dark blue background. She 
wears a white cloth or veil folded round her head, and 
a green bodice cut very low on the chest, with a deep 
crimson velvet sleeve. The face is solidly modelled, but 
lacks, as in most of Piero's work, the feeling for bone 

* Bought from the Odiot Collection, attributed by Mr. Berenson 
to Antonio himself, by Dr. Bode to Piero. 


and muscle. The wisps of hair escaping from the folds 
of linen and hanging over the temples, point to a 
date subsequent to 1465, when the shaved forehead of 
the earlier epoch was beginning to be replaced by an 
elaborate coiffure. 

The portrait of Galeazzo Sforza, No. 30 of the Uffizi 
(Plate XXXIX.), is proved byMocumentary evidence, 
as well as by the character of the work, to be by Piero. 
In the Inventory of the Medici possessions, made in 
1510, it is thus mentioned : " In the large saloon on the 
ground floor, called the room of Lorenzo ... a picture 
painted with the head of the Duke Ghaleazo, by the 
hand of Piero del Pollaiuolo ; " and again in the Inven- 
tory of 1553 : " A portrait on panel of a Duke of 
Milan, with gilded decoration and a doublet covered 
with golden lilies." * 

In the darkest part of the Corridor leading from the 
Uffizi to the Pitti, among the Portraits of Illustrious 
Personages painted for Cosimo I., is a portrait similar 
in all respects to that of Piero, except that the hand 
holding the glove is omitted. It is inscribed GALEACIVS 
M. SFORTIA MED : DVX. Most of the portraits in this 
collection were copied by Cristofano Papi, called 
L'Altissimo, from earlier paintings, chiefly by cele- 
brated artists. Rossi, in his article on Piero's portrait, 

* " Nella chamera grande terrenadetta Chameradi Lorenzo . . 
un quadro dipintovi la testa del Duca Ghaleazo di mano di Piero 
del Pollaiuolo, f. 10." 

" Un ritratto in tavola d'un duca di Milano con ornamento dorato 
et vesta pienadigiglidorati" (Mtintz, "Les Collections des M^dicis, ' 
p. 60). 




Face p. 182 


suggests that both paintings were copied from a lost 
original by a Lombard painter,* a suggestion which 
seems very probable, for the character of the work is 
Lombard rather than Florentine. Both have, more- 
over, the stiff, conventional look of copied work.']' It 
is possible that the original may have been presented 
by Galeazzo to Lorenzo on the occasion of his visit to 
Florence in 1471, and that Piero copied it some years 
later, for the painting belongs to his best and most 
mature period. The modelling is still faulty and the 
bone ill-suggested, the eyes have the rounded lids of 
the Virtues, the features are coarse and at the same 
time insignificant, but it has neither the puffy model- 
ling of his earlier work, nor the puppet-like imbecility 
of expression. The portrait is in a very dilapidated 
condition, having been apparently cleaned with some 
corrosive which has exposed the underpaint, and most 
unskilfully restored, with smearing brush-strokes which 
give it a disagreeable look. The doublet, also smeared 
over between the lilies, is of a deeper green than that of 
the Corridor copy, which is paler and more harmonious. 
One last work by Piero's unassisted brush, though 
not a portrait, must find a place here the Corona- 
tion of the Virgin, in the Collegiata S. Gimignano 
(Plate XL.). It bears the date 1483, and must there- 
fore have been executed shortly before his departure 

* Rossi, " Due Dipinti di Piero Pollaiuolo," "Arch. Stor. dell' 
Arte," 1890, p. 160. 

f Cavalcaselle also was of opinion that the portrait by Piero was 
copied. Cavalcaselle, vi. p. 136. 


for Home. It is the only work to which he has signed 
his name, and represents, in spite of its dulness, the 
highest point of his development and his nearest 
approach to a scientific construction of the body. 

The painting was commissioned by Fra Domenico 
Strambi,* for the High Altar of the Church of 
S. Agostino, whence it was removed to the Collegiata. 
It is not in its original state, a strip having been cut 
off the top, as the remains of the cherubs show, and a 
piece added at the bottom. The composition is well 
balanced, but there is no feeling for space, anil the 
picture seems overcrowded. Above, weighing heavily 
on the figures below, are Christ and the Virgin, and 
beneath the patron Saints of the city and church to 
the right SS. Jerome, and Niccolo da 
Tolentino, to the left SS. Agostino, Niccold di Bari, 
and Santa Fina. The last is the only figure which 
retains something of the puffy modelling of his earlier 
work, the rest, particularly the Virgin and Christ, are 
as meagre and bony as skeletons. At the age of forty 
Piero has at last mastered the anatomy of the human 
frame, and as though proud of his knowledge, unduly 
accentuates the bone. The faces are no longer un- 
modelled lumps of flesh without expression, but show, 
especially those of Christ and St. Jerome, a knowledge 
of the skull, and they have all a certain gravity and 

* The same (called "II Dottor Parigino" from the fame of his 
theological teaching in the Paris University) who, in 1464 
commissioned Benozzo Gozzoli to paint the frescoes of the life of 
S. Agostino in the Choir Chapel of the same Church. 




Face p. 184 


concentration. It is evident that he has tried to 
imitate Antonio's forms, the knotted joints and sinewy 
limbs, but the power of presenting life is as far beyond 
his reach as ever. The figures have weight and sub- 
stance and are less puppet-like than formerly, but they 
are still as lifeless as logs. 

With the construction of the greater part of the 
figures no fault can be found, but his old lack of the 
sense of proportion is visible in the exaggerated height 
of the Virgin. Were she to rise she would be at least 
ten feet high. In spite of technical improvement few 
pictures are more completely uninteresting, or reveal 
more clearly the hopeless mediocrity of the artist. In 
his desire to correct the puffy modelling of his earlier 
work, Piero has fallen from one fault to another, for 
nothing could be uglier than the gaunt Virgin with her 
sour expression, or less attractive than the meagre 
Saints. The inflated folds of his earlier draperies he 
has also corrected, but they are still unstructural, and 
without any beauty of line. The painting is in oil, the 
colours, thickly applied, are dull and opaque, and have 
a vitreous shine in the flesh-tints. 

The only sculptured work which can be attributed, 
and that with hesitation to Piero, is the terra-cotta 
bust in the Museo Nazionale, which bears the name of 
Piero di Lorenzo de 1 Medici. It is officially attributed 
to Verrocchio, and was formerly, with as little reason, 
given to Antonio Pollaiuolo. The lack of energy and 
poor modelling are sufficient to exclude it as the work 
of either of these Masters. The face is modelled with 


no feeling for the structure of the bone, the shoulders 
are like those of a badly carved dummy, and the attach- 
ment of the arms is indicated with a lack of science 
surprising even in so poor an anatomist as Piero. 
There is, however, in the puffy flesh and in the feeble- 
ness of expression, something which recalls his work 
more than that of any other artist of the time. If the 
portrait really represents the son of Lorenzo, and is by 
Piero, it must be one of his latest works, for Piero de 
Lorenzo was not born till 1471, and the face is that of 
a youth of at least eighteen. The features have the 
characteristic Medici look and resemble strongly the 
family portraits in Botticelli's Adoration of the Magi. 

An attempt has recently been made to ascribe to the 
hand of Antonio the terra-cotta bust of Charles VIII. in 
the same room, * but fine as it is, it has neither the 
quality nor the character of his work. Like that of 
Niccold d'Uzzano ascribed to Donatello, it is one of 
those mysterious works that suggest the hand of the 
modern imitator. It has at different times been 
attributed to Andrea della Robbia and to Verrocchio, 
attributions as little satisfactory as that to Antonio, 
and which have convinced no one. It is however 
artistically of so much importance that any attempt to 
elucidate the mystery is of interest. The work is 
certainly Florentine, and seems executed with the 
intention of casting in bronze. It represents the King 

* See Marcel Reymond's article, "Le Buste de Charles VIII.." 
" Bulletin Archeologique du ComitS des Travaux Historiques et 
Scientifiques," 1895. p. 242. 


exactly as he is described by the Ambassador Zaccharia 
Contarini in his report to the Venice Republic. " The 
King of France,"" he wrote, " is twenty-two years of age 
small and ill-made in his person, ugly in face, with 
great white eyes more apt to see evil than good ; the 
aquiline nose also is larger and coarser than it should be ; 
the lips also are large, and he keeps them continually 

With all its realism the bust is lacking in the essential 
characteristic of Antonio energy. The expression is 
feeble and insipid, and neither weakness nor insipidity 
were the defects of the King, nor was Antonio the artist 
to bestow them on his sitters. Had he executed the 
portrait of this same monkey-like head, with its large 
features and evil expression, we should have had 
something very different to this weakly sensual face. 
Moreover the modelling is not worthy of his science, for 
it is lacking in subtlety, and the treatment of the eyes 
and the hair is poor and conventional. With the 
energetic and exquisitely modelled bust of the Young 
Warrior before us, it is impossible to accept it as his 
work. If, as seems possible, it is modern, the only artist 
capable of so admirable an imitation was Bastianini. 

Vasari tells us that Antonio executed several " very 
beautiful medals," including some of the Popes, but it is 
probable that he attributed to him those of other artists, 
for none are in existence. The only medal cited by him 
that struck on the occasion of the Pazzi Conspiracy is 
not by Antonio, although for years it has passed under 
his name. This medal, which bears on the obverse the 


head of Lorenzo, with the scene of his rescue in S. Maria 
del Fiore, and on the reverse that of Giuliano, with the 
scene of his murder, has nothing in common with 
Antonio's style, and has been conclusively proved to be 
the work of Bertoldo di Giovanni, the pupil and assis- 
tant of Donatello.* 

* See Bode, "Bertoldo di Giovanni und seine Bronzebildwerke " 
(" Jahrbuch der Kgl. Preuss. Kunstsammlungen," 1895, p. 153). 




WE have now reached the epoch in Antonio's life which 
marks an astonishing change and development in his 
work. It may be that the wider intellectual atmosphere 
of Rome stimulated his faculties, the fact remains that 
in the two superb monuments executed by him there, 
he touched a higher point than he had hitherto reached, 
not only in intellectual energy of the conception, but 
in the perfection of his science and skill. The magnifi- 
cent figures which surround the Tomb of Sixtus, and 
the two splendid statues of Innocent, represent the 
climax of his powers. With them he initiated a new 
and freer style in sculpture which realised the aims for 
which Florentine Art had striven since the days of 
Giotto. It is significant of the strength of his person- 
ality that the antique sculpture seen by him in Rome 
exercised but the most superficial influence upon his 
work there. His Tombs are the most personal and 
original of his productions. In the reliefs of the Silver 
Altar he still adhered somewhat in idea, in composition, 


and in detail, to the severe traditions of the Florentine 
School. In the Tombs of the Popes he breaks uncom- 
promisingly with all tradition, and innovates a licence 
in the treatment of the human form which opened the 
way directly towards the splendid creations of Michel- 
angelo in the Sistine Chapel, and indirectly to the 
baroque art of the following century. 

Francesco d'Albescola della Rovere, who succeeded 
Paul II. in the pontificate in 1471, under the name of 
Sixtus IV., died August 13, 1484, at the age of 
seventy-one. His successor, Giovanni Battista Cybo 
Innocent VIII. in calling Antonio to Rome to execute 
his Tomb, was probably influenced by Lorenzo de 1 
Medici. The Tomb of Sixtus was finished, as its date 
shows, in 1493, but Innocent did not live to see it, 
dying himself a year earlier. Later his nephew, 
Cardinal Lorenzo Cybo, commissioned Antonio to 
execute the second Monument, which is, in much of its 
detail, only a replica of the first. This his last existing 
work was finished only in the year of his death, 1498. 
Piero, who accompanied him to Rome to aid him in the 
Monuments, had already died in 1496. 

Of the Tombs Vasari writes : 

" Antonio, grown very famous among the artists, was 
after the death of Sixtus IV. called by Innoceut his suc- 
cessor to Rome, where he executed in metal the sepulchre 
of the said Innocent, in which he portrayed him as alive, 
seated as when he gave the benediction ; which was 
placed in S. Pietro; and that of the said Pope Sixtus, 


which was finished at great cost,* and placed in the 
Chapel called by his name, richly decorated and com- 
pletely isolated ; and upon it lies the said Pope excellently 
done ; and the Tomb of Innocent in S. Pietro is near the 
Chapel where is the Lance of Christ." f 

The Tomb of Sixtus (Plates XLI. and XLII.) is in 
its original state, but as will be seen, that of Innocent 
has suffered an essential change. Both have been 
moved from their original place. That of Sixtus was, 
as Vasari states, in the Gappella di Sisto, now the Coro 
dei Canonici, in the left aisle. It was removed between 
1609 and 1615, when the Chapel was adapted to its 
present use, and was temporarily placed in the Sagrestia 
Vecchia, where it remained till 1635. In that year, 
under Urban VIII., it was removed to its present 
position in the Chapel of the Sacrament. M. Reymond 
is of opinion that in its original state the Tomb was 
raised on a base of marble, like that of Martin V. by 
Simone Ghini. The higher elevation would certainly 
add to its effect and it seems in fact to demand it. 

The statue of the Pope in tiara and full pontificals 
lies stretched out simply on the slab a bed of state it 
has been called. The head is supported on cushions 
embroidered with the Rovere arms, the hands and feet 
rest naturally, the eyes are solemnly closed, and around 
this austere figure writhe and gesticulate in every variety 
of twisted posture, sixteen nude females. Nude to all 
intents they are; for the crumpled draperies, which 

* For the Tomb of Sixtus Antonio received 5000 gold ducats, 
t Vasari, iii. p. 295. 


cover part of their bodies and limbs, are as transparent 
as gauze a tour deforce of diaphanous texture mani- 
pulated in metal. 

As portraiture the head has less character than 
might have been expected, given the energy of both 
sculptor and Pope (Plate XLIIL). Pride and over- 
bearance were his salient qualities, whereas these 
features express chiefly benevolence. The painting by 
Melozzo da Forli in the Vatican gives a better idea of 
his temperament. This is due no doubt to the statue 
having been executed from already existing portraits 
and not from life. But the modelling of the face is 
faultless, on broader lines and more plastically treated 
than any work we have yet seen. The goldsmith 
betrays himself in the elaborate and carefully wrought 
tiara and vestments, but the face has the breadth of the 
sculptor in marble. 

The slab on which the body is laid is covered with 
elaborate brocade, and rests on a base on which are 
represented the Seven Virtues, while round the sides 
recline the Arts and Sciences, all the figures in highest 

The Inscription at the foot runs as follows : 









Face p. 102 





On either side of this inscription are the Rovere 
Arms the oak tree surmounted by the Cardinal's 
hat. On the raised slab behind the head of the statue 
is Antonio's signature and the date : 



In the compartment below this inscription reclines 
the Charity, recalling in her attitude the Ariadne of 
the Vatican. She rests one elbow on a low stool, and 
gazes down on a child at her breast. Another plays 
against her knee. In one hand she holds the horn of 
plenty, curved like a graceful lily, and in the other the 
symbolic flaming heart. No conception could be more 
different to the conventionally treated relief of the 
Silver Cross than this romantic semi-classic figure. 
Nothing but the symbols indicate that she is a Virtue, 
and she appears rather some water-nymph reclining by 
her stream. The legs are crossed at the ankles, in the 
peculiar position which occurs so often in Antonio's 
works, which resembles the Ariadne of the Vatican. 
Indeed the figure might have been copied from some 
Roman statue. The limbs, and especially the hands 



and feet are exquisite, of a beauty and delicacy of shape 
and modelling surpassing all his previous work. 
Antonio, who had hitherto rather ignored the female 
nude, and had devoted his genius to the interpretation 
of physical force, seems in these last works to have 
become aware of the charm and beauty of the female 
form, and certainly no other sculptor has combined so 
exquisitely its possibilities of grace and strength. 

On either side of the recumbent statue of the Pope, 
in sharp contrast to the repose of the dead face, are 
two of the most vivacious figures ever placed by a 
quattrocento sculptor on a tomb. The attitudes and 
gestures are as mannered and voluptuous as though 
they were pirouetting in a ballet. They are conceived 
in a spirit almost of flippancy which Antonio surely 
would not have permitted himself had he been working 
for the sober Florentines. The Faith gazes up, and 
waves her cup with the air of a Bacchante, and the 
Hope is little less boisterous. The climax of movement 
is in these figures, for those immediately below the 
Prudence and Temperance are less excited, while the 
Fortitude and Justice on either side of the feet of the 
statue are comparatively tranquil. The mannered 
treatment of the draperies, crumpled into a thousand 
pleats, accentuates the restlessness of movement, yet the 
multiplicity of folds in no way hides, but rather 
emphasises, the beautiful modelling of the limbs. If 
the lack of simplicity may be regretted from the artistic 
standpoint, one can have nothing but admiration for 
the science and skill with which the figures are 


executed. Antonio, at this point of his development 
plays with the human form with the facility of one for 
whom its construction and movements have no mystery. 
He twists the supple limbs into the strangest postures 
with a science that makes them appear natural and easy. 

The ten figures representing the Arts and Sciences 
are in much higher relief than the foregoing, some 
of the limbs being quite free. They are equally 
mannered in posture, equally voluptuous in idea, and 
several are nearly as vehement in gesture. Each has a 
cartello bearing the name, and an open book on which 
is inscribed some text from the Bible or Classics. 
Three are almost completely naked, while the rest are 
so diaphanously draped that no curve of the body is 
concealed, and perhaps never has the female nude been 
at once so exquisitely and so scientifically modelled. 
The chiselled and polished limbs and the finely formed 
hands and feet are of unequalled beauty. 

At the head of the Tomb are Philosophy and 
Theology, at the foot Rhetoric and Grammar ; to the 
right Geometry, Music and Perspective, to the left 
Arithmetic, Astrology and Dialectics. 

Philosophy is represented by a young woman, seated 
on a low carved stool, immersed in study. On one 
dainty hand she leans her head, the other holds the 
book in which she reads. By her side is a desk with 
another book, on whose pages her motto is inscribed.* 

* It may be of interest to transcribe these mottoes. That of 
Philosophy is : " Intelligere quidem et scire contingit circa 
omnes scientias quarum sunt principia et caussse aut elementa." 


Theology by her side, is one of the most beautiful of 
the series (Plate XLIV.) She lies grasping a bow, her 
quiver slung over her shoulder, shading her eyes from 
the Trinity, symbolised by a sun with three faces. A 
gay little angel holds the Bible open before her.* It is 
a strange conception of the theme and in keeping with 
the pagan character of the Monument, for this volup- 
tuous nymph might more fitly represent Diana, struck 
down by her love for Endymion, than so serious a study 
as Theology. 

Geometry is seated in much the same attitude as 
Philosophy, bent over her task with her head twisted 
away from her legs. She works out a problem with her 
compasses from a book open before her.f On the bench 
is carved an apparently irrelevant scene a sea-god 
bearing off a naked nymph on his back which recalls 
the paintings of the Hercules series. 

Music is seated at a small organ which is decorated 
with the Rovere stemma. A winged putto blows the 
bellows. She is very animated and the fluttering 
ribbons add to the impression of restlessness.]: 

* The motto of Theology : " In principio creavit Deus ccelum et 
terram, terra antem erat inanis et vacua, et tenebroe erant super- 
faciem abyssi. In principio erat verbum et verbum erat apud 
Deum et Deus erat verbum." 

t " Dato angulo dato circulo equum angulum capientem portionem 
abscindere. A dato puncto ad datum circulum liniam contingente 
descendere. Corporum isoperimetrorum capacissimum est sphce- 
rium. Corpus est quod habet longitudinem, latitudinem et profun- 
ditatem. " 

f The motto of Music : "Varia Musicorum, Instrumentorum genera 
exculpta habebat." 


By her side, is Perspective (Plate XLV.), one of the 
most beautiful figures of the series. It has the interest 
of being the first time Perspective had been included in 
artistic representation among the Arts and Sciences. 
She holds in one hand an astrolabe, and bears over her arm 
the Rovere stemma, as being under the special protection 
of the Pope. This honour is accorded only to three of 
the figures, the other two being Rhetoric and Dialectics, 
doubtless in tribute to his powers of oratory. To these 
three Antonio seems to have given extra care for they 
are the most beautiful in attitude and in form. 
Perspective is more classic and simple in pose and 
gesture than the other figures, and the outstretched leg 
and foot are of a beauty remarkable even among these 
exquisitely modelled limbs.* 

Arithmetic on the other side of the Tomb has on her 
face the expression, wonderfully well presented, of one 
who calculates. She bends over her tablets, absorbed in 

* Her motto has a special interest as being quoted from the "Per- 
spectiva Communis " published by John Peckham, in the very year 
of the completion of the Tomb. It runs : " Sine luce nihil vedetur. 
Visio fit per lineas radiosas recte super oculum innitentes. Radius 
lucis in rectum semper porrigitur, nisi curvetur diversitate medii. 
Incidentiae et reflectionis anguli sunt aequales." The original words 
of Peckham are as follows: "prop. L: " Sine luce nihil videri." I. 
prop. XXVIII : " visionem fieri per lineas radiosas recte super 
oculum et initentes," I. prop. XV. " radius lucis primarie similiter 
et coloris in rectum porrigitur. nisi diversitate medii incurvetur." 
II. paro (prop.) VI. . . . angulos incidentie et reflectionis aequales 
esso." This interesting discovery was published by C. Joseph Kern 
in his " Grundziige der Linear Perspektivischen Darstellung inder 
Kunst der Gebruder Van Eyck,' 1 Leipzig, 1904, vol. i. p. 35. 


the problem before her.* Next to her is Astrology, an 
inspired figure gazing upwards, one of the simplest in 
pose and the most severe of the series.f Dialectics 
again is less mannered and of great beauty (Plate 
XLVL). Like Perspective, she bears the Rovere oak 
branch, and with the other hand holds the symbolic 
scorpion. J 

At the foot of the Tomb are two nude figures, 
Rhetoric and Grammar reclining back to back with 
their feet crossed. Rhetoric (Plate XLVII.) holds the 
Rovere oak branch ; her body and legs repeat almost 
exactly those of Grammar in a reversed position. 
Notwithstanding the restlesssness of the figures and 
draperies, the exceedingly high relief, and the goldsmith's 
minuteness of detail, the general effect of the Monument 
is grand and severe. Technically as well as artistically 

* " Numerorum seriem in infinitum procedere. Numerus est 
multitude ex unitate composita." 

t The motto of Astrology : ' ' Qui ad rem aliquam aptus est, 
habebit omnino stellam eius rei significatricem in nativitate sua 
potentam. Animus qui ad intelligentiam rerum aptus est, magis 
assequitur veritatem. quam qui ad summum se in scientia exercint. 
Amor et odium accipiuntur ex convenientia turn luminarium turn 
etiam ascendentise utriusque nativitatis ; signa vero quse obosdientia 
dicuntur, intendunt amicitiam. Animus sapiens coelesti pote stati 
cooperatur, sicut optimus quoq' agricola in undando arandoq' naturae 
ipsius agri cooperatur." 

J The motto of Dialectics : " Ars artium et scientia scientarum 
e go sum, in omnibus doctrinis principia pono, quia ratiocinandi 
doceo modum, ideoque verum et falsum unicuiqu' eligio." 

The motto of Rhetoric : " Apertaet ampla oratione ex qualibet 
disciplina pro tempore assume, apte dico, persuadeo et dissuadeo." 
Of Grammar : " Diversorium idiomatum homines doceo, ut uno 
duntaxat id i ornate o nines loquantur." 


it is the Masterpiece of Antonio, all metal workers 
agreeing that it is one of the most superb examples of 
casting and chiselling in existence. 

With all its originality and beauty the Tomb of 
Innocent VIII. cannot be compared to that of Sixtus. 
It is its echo only, and, as will be seen, much of the 
detail is merely assistant's copy from it. Only the two 
noble portrait statues show the same grandeur of con- 
ception and power of execution, and these are as 
superior to that of Sixtus, as are the reliefs that sur- 
round his Tomb to those on the Monument of Innocent. 
In the Tomb of Sixtus the wealth of detail throws the 
figure somewhat in the shade. In that of Innocent the 
statues dominate. 

It is probable that it was begun soon after the com- 
pletion of the other. Innocent was struck by apoplexy 
in 1491, and died the following year, never having re- 
covered his faculties. He thus did not live to see the 
Tomb of his predecessor. At his death his nephew, 
Cardinal Lorenzo Cybo, commissioned Antonio to 
execute the Monument, which was originally placed, as 
described by Vasari, near the Chapel of the Sacred 
Lance. This Chapel, dedicated to the Virgin and 
S. Gabiniano, was erected by Gregory III. at the end of 
the chief nave of the old Basilica Constantina, and 
above the Altar, Cardinal Cybo, in 1495, caused a 
Tabernacle to be constructed for the relic according to 
the wishes of his uncle. The acquisition of this Lance 
or rather Lance-head was, as is well known, the 
chief glory of Innocent's pontificate. It was presented 


to him by the Sultan Bajazet as part payment for his 
custody of Prince Djem, the rightful heir to the Turkish 
throne. The statue of Antonio holds the Lance-head, 
a faithful portrait of the relic, and was intended to 
guard over the Tabernacle wherein the treasure was 
deposited. Altar, Tabernacle, and Tomb were how- 
ever removed from their original place in 1507, when 
the old Basilica was demolished, and were placed tem- 
porarily in the nave of the Volto Santo, where they 
remained until the completion of the new building in 
1621. The relic was then placed in one of the four 
Loggie of the dome, where it still remains, and the 
Monument of Innocent was removed to its present 
position near the Cappella del Coro. It has been 
altered from the original plan, the recumbent figure, 
which used to rest on the projecting bracket over the 
seated statue, having been placed below it, while the 
whole of the surrounding marble work was added. In 
the Collection of Herr von Beckerath, Berlin, is a pen- 
drawing of the seventeenth century, showing the Tomb 
in its original state, probably sketched j ust before the 

The Pope is seated in full pontificals, one hand raised 
high in the papal benediction, the other grasping the 
head of the Lance. Below are inscribed the following 
words : 





XL VI 1 1 

Anderson, Rome 


Face p. 200 


On either side, enthroned in niches, are the four theo- 
logical Virtues, and above, beneath the heavy bracket 
where once lay the recumbent figure, are the stemmi of 
the Pope and Cardinal Lorenzo. In the lunette over 
are the three Cardinal Virtues, Charity in a mandorla 
supported by Faith and Hope. 

Below lies the statue of the dead Pope, on a bronze 
sarcophagus decorated with the Cybo stemma and the 
Papal arms. On it is inscribed : 





Here the original work of Antonio ends. The framework 
of coloured marbles, the surmounting stemmi and urns, 
the marble brackets which support the throne, and the 
long inscription, date from the seventeenth century.* 

* The later inscription is as follows : 
D . o . M 












The statues seem to be, one a very realistic study from 
life (Plate XLIX.), the other modelled on a death- 
mask (Plate L.) Their superiority to that of Sixtus is 
probably due to the close acquaintance Antonio must 
have had with the features of Innocent during his 
residence in Rome. The character of the Pope was 
genial and good-natured, but he is reproached for 
avarice and lack of decision. All these qualities are to 
be read in the expressive faces. The weakness of char- 
acter, accentuated by Peretta Usodimare in the receding 
forehead and chin and feeble mouth of his medal, struck 
in 1484, is suggested only with the utmost subtlety by 
Antonio, while full justice is done to the noble bearing 
and imposing presence for which he was celebrated. 

The statues are treated with greater freedom than 
that of Sixtus, and less emphasis is laid on the orna- 
ments of the robes. The free pose, the declamatory 
gesture, and the multiplicity of folds in the draperies, 
give to the seated figure a somewhat baroque air, which 
certainly was not without effect on the sculptors of the 
following century. 

The contrast between the living and the dead figures 
is sharply emphasised. The former, with its animated, 
sweeping gesture seems the incarnation of energy and 
power. The hand seems raised, not in benediction, but 
in imperious, almost menacing, command. Below, the 
corpse lies inert and powerless, the fires of life burnt out, 
leaving only great dignity and solemnity of expression. 
It must certainly have been executed from a death-mask. 
The peaked nose, the skin strained over the bones, the 



A/oscioni, Rome 


Face p. 202 


hollowed eyes, show every sign of having been moulded 
on the corpse itself. 

The four Virtues on either side of the seated statue 
are but varied copies of those on the Tomb of Sixtus. 
The same designs have served for both, with a few slight 
changes in the inclination of the heads and arms, and 
in the folds of the draperies. The execution has evidently 
been left to assistants, for the figures have less energy, 
the draperies are coarser, and the modelling of the nude 
parts is not so delicate. The exquisite chiselling and 
polish of the others also is lacking in these replicas. 

The three Virtues above in the lunette must also have 
been left chiefly to assistants, for in execution they are 
unworthy of Antonio's own hand. The design is bold 
and original, and as far as is known to me it is the first 
time the subject has been so treated the Charity sur- 
rounded by the mandorla, whom Faith and Hope serve 
as attendant angels. It will be remarked that these 
figures are also but varied repetitions of those on the 
Tomb of Sixtus, the Charity of the Justice, the Faith 
and Hope of the same Virtues.* 

The remains of the Pope were placed in the 
Sarcophagus, Jan. 30 1498, as is noted by Burchard in 
his Diary. An interesting account of the ceremony is 
in existence, written by an anonymous eye-witness.f 
He relates that the body was, at the hour of Vespers, 
taken out of the coffin, and was found to be almost 

* For the Tomb of Innocent Antonio received 4000 ducats, 
f The MSS. is preserved in the Vatican Library. For the 
original words see Doc. XXII. p. 281). 


uninjured and still wearing the pontifical robes. It was 
wrapped freshly in a robe of violet taffeta and placed in 
the bronze Sarcophagus. 

The account of its disinterment on the occasion of the 
removal of the Tomb more than a hundred years later, 
written by the archaeologist Jacopo Grimaldi is worth 

"On the 5th of September, 1606, at the i4th hour, the 
illustrious and most reverend Cardinals of the new Temple 
of our Holy Lord desirous that in demolishing the said 
Basilica, the bones of the High Pontiffs, the relics, and 
other objects worthy of notice, should be carefully walled 
up deputed that the Rev. Canons Dario Buccario and 
Aloiso and the Lord Niccol6 Amato, should have the 
charge of this, without whom the masons were forbidden 
to open the Tombs, which were in the vaults in the midst 
of the Basilica and along its sides. Wherefore, the same 
Rev. Alloysio being present, was opened the urn or coffin 
of bronze in the Tomb of the Pope Innocent VIII. in the 
nave of the Holy Sudario ; and the body of the said 
Innocent was inspected, and was found to be entire, but 
corrupted : and it was wrapped in a red robe of satin, and 
was clad in its precious pontifical vestments of gold, 
embroidered with gold fringe and set with pearls. The 
body was of great stature. Within the coffin, at the feet 
of the Pope, was found a bronze coin, stamped with the 
image of the said Innocent as he was when alive, clad in 
a pluvial, surrounded by the inscription Innocentius 
Januensis VIII. Pont. Max. On the reverse three female 
figures with the words Justitia. Pax. Copia. The Sarco- 
phagus was then closed, and was replaced in the new 


Temple, in the Chapel of S. Gregory, near the Tomb of 
Clement VIII." * 

Torrigio, in his " Sacre Grotte Vaticane," published 
in 1635, gi yes an account of the opening of the Tomb 
which differs little from that of Grimaldi, and adds a 
description of the later disinterment of 1621, when the 
Monument was transferred to its present position. 

"On the 10th of September the said Sepulchre was 
again opened the Cardinal Ottavio Bandini being present 
(and other coins of silver and bronze were found) having 
been placed against the recess where now is the sepulchre 
of Paul III. at the top of the Basilica, whence it was re- 
moved and placed where it may now be seen, with the 
Epitaph in gold letters, with the arms of the Pope himself 
and of the Grand Duke. 

In connection with the Tomb of Innocent must be 
mentioned a series of designs in the Uffizi, there 
attributed to Antonio, and generally supposed to be his 
original studies for the Monument. They are in pen 
washed with sepia, and represent a seated Pope, the 
Virtues Prudence, Fortitude, and Justice, and three 
Saints James, Andrew, and Peter. (Cornice 34, Nos. 
261 266 and 276.) The presence of the Saints has sug- 
gested to some critics the idea that Antonio's Mon- 
ument originally included such figures, and that they 
wereremovedat the alteration of the seventeenth century. 
The drawings are however not by Antonio, nor even of 
his epoch. The sheet with the Pope is signed with his 

* For the original words, see Doc. XXII. (2) p. 281. 


name, but the handwriting does not resemble his. The 
figure has but the most superficial likeness to that of 
Innocent. The features and every detail of the dress are 
different, and the lance-head is omitted. The Virtues, 
while obviously imitated from those of Antonio, differ 
in essential points, chiefly that they are nude to the 
thighs. The drawings are free imitations of details of 
the Tomb, apparently copied with the intention of 
adapting them to a Monument of later date, and are 
the work of some very mediocre artist of the late six- 
teenth or early seventeenth century, who presumably 
had not enough originality to create a new design. 

Before closing this chapter on Antonio^s work in 
Rome it may be as well to add that the Bronze Doors 
of the Tabernacle which enshrines the chains of S. Peter, 
under the High Altar of S. Pietro in Vincoli, which 
are sometimes attributed to him, are not by his hand. 
The date is inscribed on a tablet 1477 at which 
time he was still in Florence. Moreover the work 
bears not the slightest resemblance to his style. 


MOST of the important drawings by Antonio have been 
already noticed with reference to the works for which 
they were designed, but there remain two, not hitherto 
mentioned, of the greatest importance and beauty, and 
several others of minor value. 

It was Mr. Berenson who first drew attention in his 
"Florentine Drawings" to a ruined pen and sepia 
drawing in the Uffizi representing S. Jerome in 
penitence.* The sheet is so ruined from damp and 
careless handling that careful study is necessary before 
the half-effaced lines detach themselves from the 
stains of the corroded paper. At first glance only the 
head of the Saint is visible, having been inked over in 
later times, but after close inspection a composition of 
great beauty in Antonio's most characteristic manner 
is revealed. It is an elaborate drawing pricked for 
transfer, probably the cartoon for some highly-finished 

The Saint kneels in the foreground before a large 

* Berenson "Florentine Drawings," i. p. 30. The drawing is not 
exposed. The sheet measures 37 centimetres by 53. 


Crucifix, and gazes up at the figure whose back is 
turned towards us. His lips are parted and his 
expression is fervent and concentrated. At his feet is 
a pile of books, of which one is open, and at the foot 
of the Cross are a skull and crossbones with the 
Cardinal's hat. To the extreme right a lion is 
devouring a lioness, and behind stretches a spacious 
landscape composed in Antonio's usual style. To the 
left are sharp rocks and beyond in the distance three 
hounds dart swiftly, and behind these again is a group 
of eight horsemen. To the right is a port opening to 
the sea, in which float four large war-ships, and on the 
farther coast is a battlemented tower and a large 
fortress. In the middle distance a stream winds in 
serpent-like curves towards the sea, and on the brink a 
deer drinks, while another bounds beyond. The fore- 
ground figure stands out prominently against this 
landscape, which retains, even in its dilapidated 
condition, the values of distance. The lines, where 
they have escaped the corrosion of ink and paper, are 
of great delicacy, the action of the beasts is energetic, 
and the drawing of them admirably true to nature. 
The drinking deer resembles strikingly that in the 
Combat with Antceus. 

Some clue may be obtained as to the painting for 
which this was designed through an engraving which is 
obviously copied from it, to which Mr. Berenson first 
drew attention. In the 2nd edition of "Pisa Illustrata," 
published in 1812 by Alessandro da Morrona, this 
engraving is reproduced, and corresponds in almost 


every detail with the drawing. The only difference is 
that the figure on the Cross is turned towards instead 
of away from us. As an engraving it is exceedingly 
poor, being timidly executed with a weakness of line 
which points to its being the work of an inexperienced 
hand. Morrona, to whom the original plate belonged, 
had no idea that it was connected with Antonio, his 
interest in publishing it being, that he considered it to 
be done from a lost painting originally over the Altar 
of S. Girolamo in the Cappella Maggiore in the Campo 
Santo. The Altai-piece had been replaced in 1595 by 
the existing painting by Aurelio Lomi. He inscribed 
the reproduction " L' Antico S. Girolamo del Campo 
Santo, Rame del Secolo XV." His reason for identifying 
it with the lost Altarpiece, besides the fact that it 
represents S. Jerome, is that he considers the port 
and fortress to be those of Pisa at the mouth of the 

That the engraving was copied from a painting by 
Antonio, for which the Uffizi drawing served as the 
cartoon, seems undeniable, and the combination of S. 
Jerome and the Port of Pisa, warrants the suggestion 
that it was executed for the Altar dedicated to that 
Saint in the Campo Santo. Moreover the fighting lions, 
which take so prominent a place in the composition, 
would be explained as symbolic of the subjugation of 

* The present whereabouts of the plate is unknown, but impressions 
precisely similar to the reproduction in " Pisa Illustrata" are in the 
Albertina Collection, the British Museum, and the Munich Print 
Room. The latter, however, is modern. 


Pisa the lioness by Florence the lion. In all other 
representations of S. Jerome known to me the lion is 
tranquil, either lying asleep or peaceably pacing. To 
depart so far from the traditional treatment as to make 
the tame beast devouring another, implies some special 

To sum up. Seeing that the drawing in the Uffizi is 
pricked for transfer, that it represents S. Jerome, with 
a background which may well be the Port of Pisa, and 
that a painting of that subject is known to have existed 
in the Chapel of the Campo Santo before the sixteenth 
century, it seems reasonable to suppose that it served 
as the cartoon for part of the lost Altarpiece. Its 
dimensions preclude the idea that it was the Altarpiece 
itself, but it may well have been a predella scene. That 
the painting was popular the existence of the engraving 
proves. It would be of interest to discover whether it 
has really perished, or whether it is lying hidden away 
in the neighbourhood. 

In the Collection of drawings at Chantilly is the 
head of a Saint in black chalk attributed by Mr. Beren- 
son to Antonio. It was described by Morelli as being 
probably a copy of some work by Mantegna, and at first 
glance something in the hard angular lines recalls the 
Paduan School. The face bears some resemblance, in 
the expression of pain in the eyes and parted lips, to 
that of S. Jerome in the ruined drawing of the Uffizi. 
It is pricked for transfer and may have served for some 
larger painting of the same subject, possibly of the 
Altarpiece to which the drawing was a predella-scene. 


Of equal importance is the pen and sepia study for 
the equestrian statue of Francesco Sforza in the Munich 
Print Room (Plate LI.). It belonged to Vasari, who 
thus writes of it : 

te After Antonio's death were found the drawing and 
model which he had made for Lodovico Sforza, Duke of 
Milan ; the which drawing is in our book in two designs 
in one he has Verona beneath him, in the other, completely 
armed, upon a pedestal covered with battle-scenes, he 
makes his horse career over the body of a warrior : the 
reason why he never executed these designs I have not 
yet been able to learn."* 

It seems to be the last of these drawings, lacking 
however the carved pedestal, which is now in the Munich 
Print Room. 

Galeazzo Sforza decided to raise an equestrian statue 
to his father Francesco, but was prevented by his 
assassination in 1476, and the plan was put in execution 
by Lodovico. Lodovico assumed the government of 
Milan in 1480, and it was probably soon after that he 
announced a competition for the work, for which 
Leonardo, as is well known, gained the commission. 
Leonardo's numerous studies for the statue are in 
existence, and in the earlier drawings the horse careers 
over the vanquished warrior as in Antonio^s sketch, 
from which it may be assumed that it was so planned 
in the commission. In one of them, now in the Windsor 
Collection, the figures of both horse and rider have the 

* Vasari, iii. p. 297. 


strongest resemblance to Antonio's, although the 
vanquished knight is replaced by the trunk of a tree. 
The rider, standing stiffly upright in his stirrups, the 
arm outstretched with the baton of command, as well 
as the details of the armour, are precisely similar. In 
his later designs Leonardo changed the rearing horse 
to one pacing tranquilly, possibly influenced by the 
success of the Colleoni statue, which had meantime 
been completed.* Antonio's drawing was supposed to 
be one of the many designs of Leonardo, until Morelli 
ascribed it to its true author, f It is treated in the 
same decorative manner as the " Prisoner before the 
Judge " and the Wilton House nudes, the figure being 
relieved against a dark background of sepia wash. The 
horse is inferior in energy to the rider, whose gesture is 
superb. As a portrait it is excellent, if one may judge 
by its resemblance to the medal by Pisanello struck in 
1441. There is strong reminiscence of Castagno's 
Tolentino in the general conception and the attitude 
of the rider, but in build the horse recalls rather those 
of Paolo Uccello. In effect the group is noble and 
majestic, but it is easy to see that Antonio had studied 
equine less than human anatomy. The hind quarters 
are poorly constructed, and the legs too short, while 
the action is spiritless and even clumsy. The finest 

* Leonardo began the statue and put it aside for some years. 
He recommenced it in 1490, as we learn from his own words, *' A 
di 23 d'aprile 1490 . . . ricominciai il Cavallo " (see Richter. 
" Leonardo da Vinci," ii. p. 14.) The statue was never cast and the 
model was destroyed by the French in 1500. 

t Morelli, *' Italian Painters," ii. p. 116. 

Bruckmann, Munich 


Facep, 212 


part is the head, which somewhat resembles th" colossal 
antique bronze, formerly in the Medici Collection, now 
in the Museo Archeologico, Florence, a work which 
influenced both Donatello and Verrocchio in their 
equestrian statues. The drawing is in bad condition, 
the sheet being much torn, but the pen-strokes still 
retain their original delicacy and energy. 

In the Collection of Lord Pembroke, Wilton House, 
is a pen-study of a horse, which may possibly have 
some connection with the Sforza Monument. It is a 
mere outline in profile, with indications for measure- 
ments and proportions in Antonio's own handwriting. 
In the Collection it is given to Verrocchio, and its 
attribution to Antonio is due to Mr. Berenson. The 
correctness of this attribution is proved, not only by the 
handwriting, but by the characteristic quality of the 
line, sensitive yet firm, with that flame-like touch which 
is so close to that of Leonardo. The horse is not 
careering as in the Munich drawing, the two legs which 
only are indicated, are in the tranquilly pacing position 
of the Gattemelata and Colleoni statues. It is more 
likely that it was designed for some other monument, 
for we know from his letter to Orsini that Antonio 
planned at least one other, though he seems never to 
have put it in execution. 

Besides these there are other drawings by Antonio's 
own hand worthy of special attention. The best are 
the two pen-studies of the Baptist in the Uffizi. The 
first (Cornice 31, No. 357) is washed with sepia. It is 
badly damaged, the ink and paper being corroded and 


stained. It represents the Baptist, dejectedly leaning 
his head on his hand and pointing to a skull. The 
face, with its parted lips, between which one sees the 
set teeth, is of the Hercules type, almost exactly similar 
to the slain soldier who lies to the right in the engraving 
of the " Ten Nudes." The other (Cornice 29, No. 699) 
is less fine, but the characteristic touch makes its 
authorship beyond question. * It is a rapid sketch of 
the Baptist, again with an expression of suffering, 
leaning against a rock, with one hand pressed to his 
heart. It offers evidence of the care given by Antonio 
to the construction of his figures, for each bone in the 
hands and legs is inserted, and apparently dissatisfied, 
he has drawn the hands again several times on the 
sheet. One of these in chalk, on a larger scale than 
the rest is a superb anatomical study. Below are 
some words written in his own hand. " S. Giovannj." 
"S. Saverstro di Jachopo. 1 ' Apparently notes jotted 
down on the sheet, the name being perhaps that of 
the commissioner for whom the work was to be 

Of importance also are three sheets of drawings, two 
in the Uffizi, one in the Albertina, which evidently 
belong to the same composition studies for an 
A deration of the Magi. Of those in the Uffizi one 
represents the old King attended by a negro page 
(Cornice 34, No. 369). He is prostrate, in a curious, 
rather animal-like posture, while the boy holds up his 
mantle. The action of this latter figure is superb. 
* It was formerly unaccountably attributed to Giorgione. 


The sheet is signed " Antonio Pollaiuolo " in his own 
handwriting. The second (not exposed. Cat. II., 
No. 2299) represents a young King in profile, who 
stands holding a goblet, with three men behind him 
engaged in conversation. The third that in the 
Albertina seems a fragment of the same group. Two 
men wearing high Greek hats stand conversing. It 
was formerly attributed to Lazzaro Vasari, and later, 
by Professor Wickhoff in his Catalogue of the Collec- 
tion, to Andrea dal Castagno. The attribution to 
Antonio is due to Mr. Berenson, who thus writes of it : 

"The vehemence of the pose and action and the 
determined look, do indeed vividly recall Castagno, 
nevertheless the figures have a keenness and refinement 
which surpass that master, while the well-hung draperies, 
the large modelling, the sure and firm penstroke and the 
very pictorial use of the wash, point unmistakably to 
Antonio Pollaiuolo. Note the resemblance of the face to 
that of the Hercules in the little Uffizi picture." * 

These remarks apply equally to the two drawings of the 
Uffizi. As with the cartoon of S. Jerome we must 
regret here also the loss of some fine predella picture. 

Lastly, among the genuine drawings by Antonio, we 
have the exceedingly fine design in pen and sepia for a 
Turibulum or Censer, in the Uffizi (Cornice 29, 
No. 942). On the back of the sheet is another design 
for the Navicella. Both are signed by his own hand 
" Antonio del Polajuolo Horafo." The Turibulum has 

* " Florentine Drawings," i. p. 17. 


much in common with the Reliquary of the Silver 
Cross, two storeys of small openings in imitation of 
Renaissance windows, separated by Gothic pinnacles. 
It is surmounted by acanthus leaves ending in a flame- 
like point. The drawing is free and energetic, and has 
the interest of a finished picture rather than of a mere 
goldsmith's design. 

Of the numerous drawings in Antonio's manner 
attributed to him, the following are the most important. 
In the Uffizi a small pen-sketch of an angel giving gold 
to beggars (Cornice 29, No. 278), which seems to be a 
copy from some original by his own hand, though the 
dull mechanical stroke betrays the imitator. It appears 
to be a fragment of a larger group, for parts of the 
draperies of another figure are seen. It represents an 
angel standing on a platform with a sack of money. 
Out of a vessel he pours coins into the hands of a 
beggar who carries a child on his shoulders. Two 
others stand by, and a second angel seems to be 
removing a barrier to give access to the platform. 

In the same Collection are two fine pen-drawings 
washed with sepia, attributed to Antonio. On one 
sheet (Cornice 34, No. 275) is a youth clad in tight 
fitting doublet and hose, who gazes up beseechingly. 
On the other (Cornice 30, No. 370), are two studies of 
the same youth in the same costume, one pensively 
reclining, his head on his hand, and the other seated. 
The first is signed " Antonio " in handwriting which 
resembles his genuine signature. The line is firm and 
delicate, the drawing and modelling are admirable, yet 


neither the figures nor the pen-stroke have the qualities 
of his work. 

It is perhaps hardly necessary to discuss the authen- 
ticity of the large drawing of two fighting centaurs in 
the Kunsthalle, Hamburg, there attributed to Antonio. 
The lines are feeble and mechanical, the drawing poor 
and incorrect, the hands being especially bad. The 
subject only can be the reason of the attribution. 

The pen drawing of Dante in the Collection of Christ 
Church, Oxford, has much in common with the style of 
Antonio, although it is not by his own hand. It has, 
however, a special interest in its connection with the 
painting by Domenico di Michelino in the Duomo, 
Florence, which it resembles exactly. The commission 
was given to Domenico in 1465 to paint " a figure in 
the guise of the poet Dante, according to a model 
furnished by Alesso Baldovinetti." * To the single 
figure ordered, Domenico added at his own fancy, the 
surroundings the group of Florentine Buildings and 
the illustrations to the " Divina Commedia " and for 
these additions he received extra payment. The 
Oxford drawing is more in the style of Antonio than of 
Baldovinetti. It is possible that it may be a copy of 
the model mentioned in the document, which must 
have been executed by some one strongly influenced by 

* " 1465, 30 Gennaio, Alloghorono a Domenico di Michelino 
dipintore . . . una fighura in forma e ghuisa del poeta Dante, la 
quale debbe fare dipinta et colorita di buoni colori a oro mescolato 
coli ornamenti come apare per modello dato per Alexo Baldovinetti 
dipintore." See Gaye, "Cart. Ined." II. V. 


We have notice that Antonio gave to a certain 
Francesco del Lavacchio, jeweller in his employ, a book 
of designs, presumably for goldsmith's work, which 
came later into the possession of the Alessandrini 
family of Florence. According to Milanesi this book 
of drawings passed from the Alessandrini to the 
Marzimedici, in whose possession it was seen by the 
antiquary Dei in 1756. * Migliore records that on the 
fly-leaf were inscribed the following words, " Antonio 
di Jacopo del Pollaiuolo, goldsmith, and Madonna 
Tommasa his mother, gave a book of designs by the 
hand of the said Antonio to Francesco di Antonio 
del Lavacchio, jeweller, when he was employed as shop- 
boy by the said Antonio." f The present whereabouts 
of the book is unknown to me. 

Of drawings by Piero, the only one that can be 
attributed to him with any certainty is the head of 
Faith, already mentioned, but it is probable that the 
studies of nude old men in the Uffizi, one in the act of 
drawing a bow and one reclining, are by his hand 
(Cornice 42, No. 248, and 43, No. 100). Mr. Berenson 
gives to him also the study of a horse in silver 
point (Cornice 48, No. 7630). On the same sheet the 
head of the same bald old man is sketched. 

* Vasari, iii. p. 287. 

t Del Migliore, Zibaldone, XXV. 392, c. 184, " Ant di Jacopo 
del Pollaiuolo orafo e M. Tomasa sua madre dono un libretto di 
disegni di mano dell d Antonio a fran di Ant del Lavacchio 
gioielliere quando stette per fattorino con do Ant ." In the margin 
is written, " Lib : di disegni in casa degli Alessandrini sul quale v'e 
questo ricordo." 




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[Where the name is not mentioned the statements 
refer to Antonio.] 

1432. (N.S.) Jan. 17. Birth of Antonio. 

1439. Birth of Giovanni. 

1443. Birth of Piero. 

1457. Feb. 22. Commission for the Silver Cross of S. 


1459. Receives payment for Silver Cross. 

1459. May ii. Is emancipated from his father. 

1460. Executes three paintings representing the Labours 

of Hercules for Lorenzo dei Medici. 

1461. (N.S.) Jan. 3. Commission by the Abbot of S. 

Pancrazio for a reliquary. 

1461. July 7. Receives payment for a silver girdle from 

Filippo di Cino Rinuccini. 

1462. April 6. Receives payment for silver chain from 

the same. 

1465. Executes two silver candlesticks for S. Giovanni. 

1466. Commission for the designs for embroideries. 

1468. (N.S.) Jan. 19. Is required to value the palla of 

the Lantern of S. Maria del Fiore. 

1469. Decorates armour and accoutrements for Benedetto 

Salutati to be worn at the Joust of Lorenzo. 


1469. June 26. Buys property at Quarata, near Pistoja. 
1469. Aug. 1 8. Commission to Piero for the Virtues of 
the Mercatanzia. 

1469. Dec. 18. Renewal of commission to Piero for the 


1470. Aug. 2. Piero receives payment for two of the 

Virtues Faith and Temperance. 

1472. Antonio executes helmet for the Count of Urbino. 

1473. Last payment for the designs for embroideries. 

1473. Aug. 30. Receives payment for the silver crucifix 

executed for the Carmine. 

1474. (N.S.) Jan. n. Commission from the Signoria to 

execute silver basin. 

1475. Altarpiece of S. Sebastian painted for the Pucci 

1477. July 24. Commission for Relief for the Silver 

Altar of S. Giovanni. 
1477. Aug. 2. Receives payment for models for the 

Relief for the Silver Altar. 

1477. Piero executes model for the Fortiguerri Tomb of 

Pistoja in competition with Verrocchio. 

1478. April 9. Commission from the Operai of S. Maria 

del Fiore for a reliquary for the finger of the 

1478. Dec. 24. Commission to Piero from the Signoria 
to paint the Altarpiece of S. Bernardo for the 
Chapel in the Palazzo dei Priori. (Commission 
withdrawn a month later and given to Leonardo.) 

1480. Portate to the Catasto by Antonio, Giovanni, and 


1481. (N.S.) Feb. 17. Estimates reliquary made by 

Jacopo da Pisa for S. Gimignano. 


1481. Buys house in the parish of S. Michele, Berteldo. 

1482. Commission to Piero from the Signoria to paint 

ihefagade of a fountain. 

1483. Buys property in the parish of Bacchereto of about 

1 8 acres. 
1483. Last payment for the Relief of the Silver Altar. 

1483. Piero paints the Coronation of the Virgin for the 

Church of S. Agostino, S. Gimignano. 

1484. Departure for Rome. 

1491. Takes part in the competition for the facade of the 

1493. Completes the Tomb of Sixtus IV. 

1494. July 13. Writes to Gentil Virginio Orsini for per- 

mission to travel from Rome to Pistoja. 
1494. Buys property near his estate of Bacchereto. 
1496. Nov. 4. Makes testament. 
1498. Feb. 4. Dies in Rome. 
1498. Feb. 13. The Signoria claims debts due to 

Antonio on behalf of his heirs. 



BERLIN. Kaiser Friedrick Museum. DAVID. Oil on 
wood. H. 0.96, cm. B. 0.34. Bought 1890. 



Oil on wood. Painted for the Chapel of the Cardinal 
of Portugal, S. Miniato. (With Piero.) 

3450. PROFILE PORTRAIT OF LADY. Oil on wood. 
(Much repainted.) 

Museo dell' Opera del Duomo. DESIGNS FOR 
EMBROIDERIES. 1466 1473- 

S. Miniato. Chapel of the Cardinal of Portugal. 
Over Altar. Two ANGELS. Fresco. 

Torre del Gallo. Villa Gallina. Arcetri. FIVE 
DANCING FIGURES. Fresco. (Ruined and repainted.) 

LONDON. National Gallery. 292. S. SEBASTIAN. Oil on 
wood. 1475 ? Painted for the Pucci Chapel, S.S. 
Anmmziata, H. 9 ft. 6 in. B. 6 ft. 7^ in. Bought from 
the Marchese Pucci, 1857. (With Piero.) 

928. APOLLO AND DAPHNB. Oil on wood. H. njin. 
B. 7 1 in. In 1845 in the collection of Mr. W. 
Coningham, later of Mr. Wynn Ellis, by whom it was 
bequeathed to the Gallery, 1876. 

MILAN. Poldi-Pezzoli Museum. PORTRAIT OF THE WIFE 
OF GIOVANNI DEI BARDI. Oil on wood. H. 0.46 cm. 
B. 0.34 cm. 

NEW HAVEN, U.S.A. Jarves Collection. 64. HERCULES AND 
NESSUS. Oil. H. o. 21 cm. B. 0.31 cm. Transferred 
from panel to canvas in 1867. (With Piero.) 


TURIN. Galleria Reale. 117. THE JOURNEY OF TOBIAS. 
Oil on wood. H. 187 cm. B. 118. Painted for Or S. 



Michele. Bought by the Gallery, 1865, from Baron 
Garriod, who had it from Casa Tolomei, Siena. (With 


FLORENCE. Museo Nazionale. BUST OF WARRIOR. Terracotta. 

Museo dell' Opera del Duomo. SILVER CROSS, 
1457 1459. Lower part only. 

BIRTH OF BAPTIST. Silver relief on left side of 
Silver Altar. 1477-1480. 

Collection of Signor Brauer. SHIELD WITH MILO 
OF CROTONA. Gesso on wood. From the Collection 
of Mr. Capel Cure. 

LONDON. Victoria and Albert Museum. " DISCORD." 
Gesso relief. 

ROME. S. Pietro. Chapel of the Sacrament. TOMB OF 
SIXTUS IV. 1493. Bronze. 
Left Aisle. TOMB OF INNOCENT VIII. 1498. Bponze. 


BERLIN. Kupferstich Kabinet. 471. NUDE ARCHER. Pen 
and wash. 

CHANTILLY. Musee Conde. HEAD OF SAINT. Black chalk. 
H. 19 cm. B. 14 cm. (Attributed to Mantegna.) 

FLORENCE.^*. On the back of Piero's painting. 
CHAHITV. Black chalk heightened with white. 


[Cornice 29, No. 294.] TURIBOLO. Reverse ; 
NAVICELLA. Pen and wash. H. 27 cm. B. i8cm. 

[Cornice 29, No, 699.] S. JOHN BAPTIST AND OTHER 
STUDIES. Pen and wash. H. 28 cm. B. 19^ cm. 

[Cornice 31, No. 357.] S. JOHN BAPTIST WITH 
SKULL. Pen and wash. H. 34 cm. B. 23 cm. 

[Cornice 31, No. 95 F.] ADAM. Pen and wash. 

[Cornice 31, No. 97 F.] EVE. Pen and wash. 
Dimensions of each, H. 27^ cm. B. 18^ cm. 

[Cornice 34, No. 267.] NUDE STUDIES. Reverse : 
STUDIES OF HERMA. Pen. H. 19^ cm. B. 24^ cm 

[Cornice 34, No. 369.] OLD KING ADORING. Pen 
and wash. H. 13 cm. B. 23 cm. 

[Cornice 42, No. 269.] NUDE STUDIES. Pen and 
chalk. H. 28 cm. B. 20^ cm. 

[Cornice 42, No. 246.] NUDE STUDIES. Pen. H. 
17 cm. B. 26 cm. 

[Not exposed. Categoria II. No. 101.] S. JEROME. 
Pen and wash. H. 37 cm. B. 53 cm. Pricked for 

[Not exposed. Categoria II. No. 2299.] YOUNG 
KING AND SUITE. Pen and wash. H. 33 cm. B. 
26 cm. 

[Santarelli Collection. No. 58.] HEAD OF MAN. 
Sepia Wash, H. 14^ cm. B. 10 cm. 

H. 28 cm. B. 16 cm. 

H. 37 cm. B. 69^ cm. 

MILAN. Collection of Signor Frizzoni. S. SEBASTIAN. Pen 
and wash. H. 23 cm. B. 9 cm. 


St-itue to FRANCESCO SFORZA. Pen and wash. 

PARIS. Collection of M. Bonnat. NUDE MAN. Pen and 
wash. H. 26 cm. B. 8 cm. 

SALISBURY. Collection of Lord Wilton, Pembroke House. 
NUDE FIGURES IN COMBAT. Pen and wash. H. 23 \ 

VIENNA. Albertina. Two MEN CONVERSING. Pen and 
wash. H. 27^- cm. B. 21 \ cm.* 



BERLIN. Kaiser Friedrich Museum. ANNUNCIATION. Oil 
on wood. H. 150 cm. B. 174 cm. Bought from the 
Solly Collection, 1821. Assisted in small part by 

Collection of Herr Hainauer. PROFILE PORTRAIT OF 
LADY. Oil on wood. 


69. HOPE 

Oil on wood. Painted for 
the Council Hall of the 

' f Palazzo del Tribunale di 

71. TEMPERANE A/r ^. , 

Mercanzia, Florence. 1469- 

72. FAITH 

n T 47- 


* I am indebted for the measurements to Mr. Berenson's 
" Florentine Drawings." 


S. Niccolo Sacristy. MADONNA DELLA CINTOLA. Fresco. 
[Possibly assisted in small part by Antonio.] 

1483. Oil on wood. Painted for the Church of S. 


FLORENCE. Museo Nazionale. BUST OF YOUTH? [called 
Piero di Lorenzo de' Medici.] Terra cotta. Attributed 
to Verrocchio. 


FLORENCE. Uffizi. [Cornice 42, No. 248.] OLD NUDE 
ARCHER. Pen and wash. 

[Cornice 43, No. 100] OLD NUDE MAN RECLINING. 
Pen and wash. H. 21 cm. B. 25 cm. 

[Cornice 43, No. 14506.] HEAD OF FAITH. Black 
chalk rubbed with red. H. 20 cm. B. 17 cm. Cartoon 
for painting No. 72. Pricked for transfer. 

[Cornice 45, No. 78.] YOUNG NUDE ARCHER. Pen 
and wash. H. 15^ cm. B. 13^ cm. 

[Cornice 48, No. 763.] STUDY OF HORSE AND HEAD 
OF MAN. Silver-point. H. 20 cm. B. 27 cm, 



BALDINUCCI, FILIPPO. Notizie dei Professor! del Disegno. 
Firenze. 1728. Vol. iii. pp. 116-118. 

BALDORIA, NATALE. Monument! Artistic! in S. Gimignano. 
Arch. Stor. dell' Arte. 1890. p. 67. 

BARTSCH. Le Peintre Gravure. Vienne. 1811. Vol. 
xiii. pp. 201-204. 

BERENSON, BERNHARD. Florentine Painters of the Renais- 
sance, London and New York. 1896. pp. 45-56. 
Drawings of the Florentine Painters. London. 1903. 

Vol. i. pp. 16-31, and ii. pp. 133136. 
Due Quadri inediti a Staggia. Rassegna d'Arte. 

1904. p. 9. 

BODE, WILHELM. Die Italienische Plastik. Berlin. 1893. 
p. 106. 

Denkmaler der Renaissance Sculptur Toscanas. 
Briickraan. Miinchen. 1904. 

BORSARI. LUIGI. Antonio del Pollaiuolo e gli Orsini, 
Roma. 1891. 

BURCKHARDT. Cicerone. Ed. Bode and Fabriczy. Leipzig. 
1904. pp. 443 and 656. 

CAVALCASELLE E CROWE. Storia della Pittura in Italia. 
Firenze. 1904. Vol. vi. pp. 72-148. 

CELLINI, BENVENUTO. Trattati dell' Orificeria e della 
Scultura. Firenze. 1857. Ed. Lemonnier. 


COCCHI, ARNALDO. Degli antichi Reliquarii di S. Maria del 
Fiore e di S. Giovanni. Firenze. 1901. pp. 45, 55, &c. 

COLVINJ SIDNEY. Finiguerra's Florentine Picture Chronicle. 
London. 1898. 

CRUTTWELL, MAUD. Un disegno del Verrocchio per la 
Fede nella Mercatanzia di Firenze. Rassegna d' 
Arte. 1906. p. 8. 

DELABORDE, HENRI. La Gravure en Italic. Paris. 

FABRICZY, CORNEL v. II Codice dell' Anonimo Gaddiano. 
Firenze. 1893. 

FILANGIERI DI CANDIDA. Conte. Un Bronzo del Pollaiuolo 
nel Museo Nazionale di Napoli. L'Arte. 1898. p. 188. 

FRANCESCHINI. II Dossale d 'argento del Tempio di S. 
Giovanni. Firenze. 1894. 

FREY, KARL. II Libro di Antonio Billi. Berlin. 1892. 

GAYE, GIOVANNI. Carteggio Inediti d' Artisti dei Secoli 
XIV. XV. and XVI. Firenze. 1839. Vol. i. 

GUALANDI. Memorie Originali Italian! risguardanti le 
Belle Arti. Bologna. 1840. Serie V. 

KRISTELLER, PAUL. Die Italienische Niellodrucke und 
der Kupferstich des XV. Jahrhundert. Jahrbuch der 
K. Preuss. Kunstsammlungen. 1894. p. 94. 

LABARTE. Histoire des Arts Industriels. Paris, 1864. 
Vol. ii. pp. 467-472. 

MACKOWSKY, HANS. Das Silberkreuz fur den Johannisaltar 
im Museo di S. Maria del Fiore zu Florenz. Jahrbuch 
der K. Preuss, Kunstsammlungen. 1902. p. 235. 


MESNIL, JACQUES. Les Figures des Vertus de la Mercanzia. 
Miscellanea d' Arte. 1903. p. 43. 

MORELLI. Italian Painters. Trans. C. Ffoulkes. London. 
1893. Vol. ii. p. 180, &c. 
Die Galerie zu Berlin. Leipzig. 1893. p. 30, &c. 

MttNTZ, EUGENE. Les Collections des Medicis au XV C 

siecle. Paris. 1888. pp. 507-511. 
Histoire de 1'Art pendant la Renaissance. Paris. 

1891. Vol. ii. 
Les Arts a la Cour des Papes. Vol. iii. p. 86. 

REYMOND, MARCEL. La Sculpture Florentine Florence. 

1899. p. 185, &c. 

Le Buste de Charles VIII. par Pollaiuolo. Bulletin 
Archeologique du Comite des Travaux Historiques 
et Scientifiques. Paris. 1895. p. 242. 

RICHA, GIUSEPPE. Notizie Istoriche delle Chiese fiorentini. 
Firenze. 1762. 

Rossi, UGO. Due Dipinti di Piero Pollaiuolo. Arch, Stor. 
dell' Arte. 1890. p. 160. 

ULMANN, HERMANN. Bilder und Zeichnungen der Briider 
Pollaiuoli. Jahrbuch der K. Preuss. Kunstsammlungen 

1894. p. 230. 

Die Thaten des Herkules. Wandgemalde im Palazzo 
di Venezia zu Rom. Munchen. 1894. 

VASARI. Le Vite dei Pittori. Ed. Sansoni. Firenze. 1878. 
Vol. iii. pp. 285-307. 



[The following four documents were transcribed and for 
the first time published in complete form by the author in 
" L'Arte," Anno VIII. Fasc. V., 1905. Gaye had cited a 
part of the Portata of Antonio for the year 1480 and a 
small part of that of Jacopo for the year 1457 (Cart. Ined. 
i. 265-66.)] 


Filza di portate del Cataslo. Quartiere San Spirito. 
Gonfalone Drago, anno 1457, n - 795 a c - 622. 

lacopo di antonio di giovanni pollaiuolo dicieva nel 
primo catasto in antonio di Giovanni mio padre 
Castato (*ic) . . . . . F. 6.6 

Valsente F. 

Cinquina . . . . . . F. 10 


\ Casa posta a charmignano in su confuni della corte di 
renaccio che da p via secondo il podere di sandro speziale 
a \ e J del detto sandro la quale tengho per mio abitare. 

Fo una bottega di pollaiuolo in merchato vecchio che '1 
sito e degl' uficiali della torre che ne pago laniio 1 1 fiorini 
in sulla detta bottega trafficho 1. 100. 

Debitori dell' anno 1414 insino di mio padre 



Debitor! mia dal 1429 in qua 



Jacopo detto d'eta d'anni 58 . * . F. 200 

Monna Tommasa mia donna d'eta d'anni 45 F. 200 

Antonio mio figluolo d'anni 24 . . . F. 200 

Salvestro mio figluolo d'anni 22 . . F. 200 

Giovanni mio figluolo d'anni 17. . . F. 200 

Piero mio figluolo d'anni 14 . . . F. 200 

Cosa mia figluola d'anni 10 e nonna dota . F. 200 



Campione del Catasto. Quartiere San Spirito. Gonfalone 
Drago, anno 1480, n. 1000 a c. 206. 

Quartiere S. Spirito. Ghonfalone Dragho. 
Giovanni di Jacopo d'antonio pollaiuolo abita nel popolo 
di santa maria maggore e'n sulla piazza degli agli ghon- 
falone dragho san giovanni ed e prestanziato nel ghonfalone 
dragho santo spirito. 

disse il chatasto 1469 in nome di Jacopo d'antonio mio 
padre ebbe in detto ghonfalone dragho santo spirito. 

fior : 1. 4. sol i. den: 8 

Ebbe di sesto. . . fior: 3. 1. 3. sol: 2 den: 6 

$ di chasa per non divisa chon antonio e piero mia 


frategli posta nel popolo di santa maria maggore e'n sulla 
piazza degli agli ghonfalone dragho san govanni che da 
primo via sechondo nofri degli agli / 3 messer bernardo 
degli agli chavaliere friero* / 4 Guliano di piero pancatichi 
la quale chomperamo da sindachi di filippo di domenicho 
degli agli per fior: 300 larghi roghato ser barone di 
francescho nel 1472 e paghane la rata mia della dota della 
ginevra figluola di francesco baccegli e mie donna tenghola 
per mio abitare e negli ^ terzi abita antonio e piero mia 

Una casetta posta in detto popolo e dietro la nostra 
abitazione nel chiasso de buoi ghonfalone drago san govanni 
ch'a primo detto chiasso sechondo noi medesimi di dietro 
/ 3 filice di deo del becchuto o altri piu veri chonfini la 
quale si chostuma apigonare a portatori o mondane ma non 
continovamente e al prexente vi sta federigho della barbera 
tedescho e tienla a mesi per ragone di lire 40 per 1'anno 
sanza scrittura nissuna la quale chasa comperai da filippo 
di domenicho degli agli roghato ser antonio di ser batista 
per pregio di fior: 120 suggello e paghala della dota della 
ginevra sopradetta mie donna 1'anno 1470. fior: 142.17-1. 

Uno palchacco nel popolo di santa maria in chanpidoglio 
ch'a primo via sechondo francescho di govanni del pitoso 
pollaiuolo / 3 pagholo di simjone charnesecchi il quale 
s'aopera a tener polli e tortole e altro del nostro mestiero 
tienlo a pigione xfano di lorenzo vinattiere e olle al mese 
per soldi 40 il mese troverretela nella portata di iacopo mio 
padre nel 1469 ..... fior: 85.14.4 

Exercitomi cholla persona in fare un po di bottegha di 
pollaiuolo in merchato vecchio dove trafficho lire quaranta 
di piccoli in circha e per rispetto degF occhorrenti tenporaK 

* Cavaliere del Santo Sepolcro. 


fo piu tosto debito che mobile chome posso alle spettabilita 
vostre mostrare. 


Tengho a pigone una bottegha posta in merchato vecchio 
la quale e degli uffitali della torre e donne 1'anno fior ; otto 
di pigone. Roghato ser Andrea nacchianti di dicenbre 1479. 

Sono obrighato dare ogn'anno a bivigliano di. . . 
chorseliini lire 4 piccioli el quale a tale rigresso e tale rata 
sopra il palchacco ch'e fralle sustanze si noma posto nel 
popolo di santa maria in chanpidoglio, di che senpre 
chiarir6 le menti vostre. 


Jachopo mio padre d'eta d'anni 81. 

Govanni detto d'eta d'anni 41. 

mona Ginevera mia donna anni 26. 

Salvestro mio figluolo anni 8. 

lucrezia mia figluola anni 6 senza dota. 

francescho mio figluolo anni 4. 

domenicho mio figluolo anni 3. 

Truovomi chome vedete senza entrata ordinaria e con 7 
bocche adosso e a tutto mi conviene sopperire coll' industria 
e' tenporali son fortissimi chome sanno le spettabilita vostre 
alle quali senpre mi racchomando. 



Campione del Catasto. Quarliere San Spirito. Gonfalone 

Drago, anno 1480, a c. 14. 

Quartiere di Santo Spirito Ghonfalone Dragho. 
Antonio di Jachopo d'antonio horafo del pollaiuolo 


chonpreso nel chatasto 1470 sotto Jachopo mio padre e 

chosi ebe nel sesto 1474. 

Ebe di chatasto . . . fior 1. 4. sol i. den. 8 
Ebe di sesto che ci a disfatti tior. 3. 1. 3. sol 2 den. 6 
Fu mancieppato d'lacopo mio padre a di xi di magio 

1459 roghato ser sllvano notaio di por santa maria a libro 

rosso de la merchatantia c. 56. 


Una chasa per mio abitare popolo di santa maria magiore 
in su la piaza degll agli chonfinanti da primo detta piazza 
sechondo ^ messer bernardo degli agk friere guliano di 
piero panciatichi \ giovanni mio fratello, ^ nofri di nicholo 
di lotto degli agli la quale conperai da sindachi di filippo 
di domenicho degli agli fiorini 400 di sugiello roghato ser 
barone notaio di deti sindachi furono parte de la dote de 
la donna mia ....... fior 

Un pod ere nel chontado di pistoia che ne vorei essere 
diguno luogo detto a quarata popolo di sa michele a buriano 
chonperalo da braciotto di michele da bachereto fior: 415 
larghi charta per ser nicholaio da bachereto cho le sue 
apartenenze sotto di xxvi di gugnio 1469 chon chasa da 
lavoratore da primo via, sechondo rio e beni di sa michele 
a buriano giacho d'andrea i bonachorso salveti e altri piu 
veri chonfini chol champo di piano che lo tiene mateo 
pacini damie di fitto staia 13 di grano queste terre lavora 
al prexente nicholaio di vestruccio e mateo guelfi annole 
partite fra loro tenghovi suso un paio di buoi chostorono 
fior : 1 3 e mateo un paio di giovenchj in tuto fior : 24. 

Tengho undeficho si comper6 da francescho di bartolomeo 
linauolj lire 57 charta per senicholaio da bachereto credo 
che sia nel ghonfalone del vaio. 


E perche non v'era chasa per lavoratore che quella che 
v'era adopero per me tolsi un fitto ricomperando dalla 
chiesa di sa michele a buriano cioe la chasa dove sta ora 
e' lavoratore chon cierti pezi di terra donne 1'anno staia 2 1 
di grano. roghato in veschovado di pistoia e di questo non 
e' sto in chapitale feci per un be' mi sta . . nor : 498 

Poi chonperai un pezo di terra chon una chasaccia 
boschato a primo e sechondo via J francescho di ser lucha 
da pistoia chost6 lire 63 charta ser nicholaio da bachereto 
nel popolo di buriano trasene pocho uxasi chol podere 
nor. 15 

Un altro pezo di terra che v'e in mezo un chiasso tra 
Funo e 1'altro chonperai d'andrea di gione lire 68 charta 
ser nichola del trincia che sta a la merchatantia de la 
quale chonciede a tornarvi drento a mona chaterina di 
gienaio per 1'amo' di dio evi stata 5 anni e questo e noto 
a tutto el paese. Rendono in parte le sopradette chose 
. . . . fior : 1 7 

Grano, staia 40 detta Reridita e chol podere di sopra. 

Vino, barili 20. 

Biade, staia 15. 

Olio, barili 7^. 

Legnie 1'anno chataste 3. 

decie annj una volta libbre 120 di charne. 

Una chusura chon una chasetta chonperai da nichola 
d'antonio arotatore in pistoia chostomi fior : 40 larghi 
charta di ser nicholo del ghallo da pistoia luogho detto 
abonto chonfinsi a primo via sechondo veschovado di pistoia 
terzo tura di piero di tura nicholaio di teo. 

E piu un chanpo di dua staiora chonperai da vestro 
d'aghostino chostomi lire 21 charta per ser antonio di 
ghuglielmo da popi chonfini da primo rio e sechondo 


Jachopo d'ormanno linaiuoli ^ beni di prete ghodenzo da 

U [uno] pezuolo di vignia chonperai da la chonpagnia di 
quarata chostd lire 30 di piccioli charta ser giorgio da 
monte magnio chonfini da primo via sechondo 1' opera di sa 
Jacopo da pistoia. 

Lavora queste chose pasquino da tasinaia chon un paio 
di bucelini chostorono fior : undici. Rende pichola chosa 
in parte ....... fior: 61-15 

Grano, staia 8 . 

Olio, barili \. 

Vino, barili 

Legnia, cataste i. 

Una vignia a chastello popolo di macia o vero santo 
stefano in pane chonperala insino innanzi 1'altro chatasto 
del 1470. chonperala da bartolomeo di giovanni cieraiuolo 
fior : 35 charta per mano di ser silvano de 1'arte di por 
santa maria da prima andrea de la stufa secondo lionardo 
di meo sali terzo via e J viotolo rende in parte barili sette 
1'anno, fior. 48. 

O fior : ciento in sun una chasa drrieto al chiasso de 
buoj e quali si paghorono sotto nome di chonpera di soma 
di fior: 300 ne 1'anno 1470. Roghato ser antonio di ser 
batista chome a bocha vi chiarird fior : 214.5 9 

Tengo a fitto da antonio e cristofano spini \ di podere 
fuori de la porta al prato donne 1'anno 1. 36 di piccioli. 

Fo una botegha d'orafo in vachereccia in una botegha la 
quale e de 1' erede di Jacopo baronciegli donne 1'anno di 
pigione fior: 14 di single (sugello) ne la quale o per 
chompagnio pagholo di giovanni sogliani el quale trae per 
lira soldi 6 ed io tragho soldi 14 per lira che si faceva piu 
pe' lui essere stato pe' gharzone in modo abiamo fatto in su 


la quale botegha non abiamo chorpo solevano fare chol 
credito de banchi e anche questo e manchato. Restiamo 
di chorpo le nostre maserizie chon pocha speranza di 
benese dio non provede. 

Ebi di dota fior : 800. Tute queste sustanze non fanno 
la somma de la dote e domani chi manchassi e 1'abi la sua 
dote non rimanendo nulla alia chasa che non rimangha 
disfatto chi rimane. lo mi vi rachornando. 


Antonio sopradetto d'eta d'anni 49. 
Marietta mia donna d'eta d'anni 29. 



Campione dell a Decima 1498 a c. 5. 
Quartiere S. Spirito. Gonfalone Dragho. 

Antonio d'iacopo orafo popolo di santa maria magore di 
firenze disse la gravezza 1481 in nome detto in detto 
quartiere e ghonfalone. 


j a chasa per mio abitare popolo di santa maria magiore 
in sulla piazza degli agli confinata a primo detta piaza 
secondo J messer bernardo degli agli friere guliano di 
piero panchatichi 3- govanrii mio fratello ^ nofri degli agli. 

j podere posto nel chontado di pistoia luogho detto 
quarata popolo di santo michele a burriano comprato dal 
1481 indrieto da brucotto di michele da bacchereto fiorini 
415 suggello charta per nicholo da bachereto cholla 
sua apartenenza sotto di 27 di gugno 1464 che a primo via 
secondo rio beni di santo michele a buriano gacho i 


bonachorso salvetti e altri piu veri chonfini a priino via 
secondo via ^ fosato |- antonio detto. 

E perche detto podere nonna chasa da lavoratorc che 
quella che v'era adopero per mio abitare tolsi uno fitto 
ricomperando dalla chiesa di santo michele a buriano coe 
la chasa dove ista el lavoratoi'e con certi . pezzi di tera 
posti in detto popolo a primo ...... 

donne 1'anno staia 21 di grano rogato in veschovado di 
pistoia e di questo none ist6 in chapitale 

lavora al presente detta terra e detto podere matteo di 
ghuelfo e lorenzo di meo di lionardo di detto popolo rende 
in parte cho j paio di buoj fiorini 34 soldi 1 7 

grano, staia 40 

vino, barili 20 

biade, staia 15 

olio, barili 3 

fichi secchi, staia 3 

legne, cataste 

E piti comperai j pezzo di terra cho j a chasata boschato 
posto in detto popolo da primo e sechondo via ^ francescho 
di ser lucha da pistoia chosto lire 63 charta per ser 
nicholaio da bachereto nel popolo di burjano fu dal 1481 

j altro pezzo di terra che v'e in mezzo j chiasso tra l'j 
a 1' altro comperai d'andrea di gone lire 68 piccioli charta 
per ser nicholo del trinca da pistoia sta alia merchatantia 
dal 1481 indrjeto. 

i a chiusa con j a chasetta conperai da nichola di antonio 
arotatore in pistoia chostomi fiorini 40 dal 1481 indietro 
charta per ser nicholo del ghallo da pistoia luogho detto 
erbonto da p via sechondo veschovado di pistoia ^ tura J 
nicholo detto. 


E piu j champo di 2 staiora chonperai da vestro da- 
gostino chosto lire 21 dal 1481 indrieto charta per ser 
antonio di ghuglielmo da poppi ch'a primo rio sechondo 
iachopo d'ormanno linaiuolo \ beni di prete ghodenzo da 

j pezzo di vigna in detto popolo ch'a primo via sechondo 
1'opera di santo iachopo di pistoia costd lire 30 dal 1481 

j pezzo di terra posto nel popolo della pieve di 
bacchereto da primo gismondo da bachereto a sechondo 
giochino da bachereto \ antonio comperatore J via 
comperato da lorenzo d'amadio da bachereto fiorini 33^ di 
suggello charta per ser piero di matteo dati fino dall' anno 


L'entrata di dette terre e ne la faccia di la chon tre 
altri pezi di terra. 

j fattoio in detto popolo a uso di detto podere. 

j pezzo di terra lavoratia hulivata e soda posta nel popolo 
a piviere di bachereto comprata da govachino da bachereto 
che a primo via a sechondo gismondo d'amadio \ antonio 
conpratore \ nicholo castruci rog6 ser xfano da chastel- 
francho di staiora 18 in circha 1493. 

j a casaccia con certi pezzuoli di tera posti in detto popolo 
che a primo via sechondo francescho di ser lucha da pistoia 
\ rio ^ antonio comperatore \ domenicho fagnoni chon piu 
altri veri chonfini la quale chasa e tera chomperai d'antonio 
di ser lucha da pistoia charta per ser chimenti taratti da 
pistoia le dette terre sono hulivate parte boschate vignate 
e sode chostorono per tutto nor : 74^ numero de I'ano no 
mi richordo 1494. 

2 pezzi di terra lavoratio e j sodo overo boschato posto 
nel popolo della pieve di bacchereto afitato a francescho 


di govachino da bachereto damme di fitto I'ano grano 
staia 2. 

Lavora dette terre di sopra e 6 pezzi di terra dati nella 
faccia di la biago mescherino e piero di tura di detto 
popolo rendono 1'anno di nostra parte cho j paio di 
buoj ...... fior: 50. s. 17. d. 6 

Grano, staia 180. 

Vino, barili 25. 

Olio, barili 8. 

Biade di piu ragione, staia 15. 

fichi sechi, staia 5. 

j pezzo di tera di staiora 6 in circha posto in su 1'ombrone 
luogho detto a la chasolana da primo ombrone sechondo 
adovardo rucellai ^ santa maria nuova. Olio affitato a 
lazzero e marcho di migliore di detto luogho in su choii- 
fini tra prato e pistoia danomene 1'anno staia 15 di grano 
coe grano staia 15 fior : 2. sol : 16. d : 3. 

j pezzo di vignata di staia 6 in circha posta nel popolo 
di santo stefano in pane comprata 1470 da bartolommeo di 
govanni ceraiuolo rog6 ser silvano a primo rede d'andrea 
della stufa sechondo lionardo di meo di sale ^ via viottolo 
e disfatta ed e terra da pane. 

Olla afitata a Jachopo di stagio di piero di detto popolo 
a soldi 28 piccioli lo staioro danne in tutto di fitto 1'anno 
lire 8 sol : 2. a parola fior : 3 sol : 8. d. 3 


Tengho a fitto dal v x di pistoia 2 pezzi di terra posti 
nel popolo di santo michele a buriano luogho detto al 
bonto da p via sechondo nicholo forbicaio ^ nicholo buon- 
girolami via donne 1'anno di fitto che apare in su libri di 
detto veschovado done 1'anno di fitto staia 6 di grano coe 
libbre 2 d'olio. 


Grano, staia 6. 

Olio, libbre 2. 

Tengho a fitto dal kamerlingho del veschovado di pistoia 
j pezzo di tera di staiora 4 in circa posto nel popolo di 
santo michele a buriano luogo detto alle guncherete da 
primo sechondo ^ io medesimo dona 1'ano di fitto 

Grano, staia 4. 

tengho a fitto rechomperando da pretre ghodenzo da 
pistoia. 2 pezzi di terra posti nel popolo di santa lucia a 
quarata a primo via sechondo beni d'andrea di fiore ^ rio 
donne 1'anno di fitto staia 15 di grano coe 

Grano, staia 15. 

Do ogn' anno a la chiesa di santo michele a buriano per 
fitto de la chasa comperai dalla chiesa detta per mio abitare 
con certe tera chome apare di sopra staia 2 1 di grano e 
libbre j a d'olio coe 

Grano, staia 21. 

Olio, libbre i. 

Beni alienati. 

j a chasa posta nel popolo di santo michele bertelde drieto 
al chiasso dei buoi la quale 1481 avemo comperata fior : 300 
e datone fior : i oo d'arra dipoi paghai e detti fiorini 200 e 
di poi 1482 mi fu convinta per la via del potesta di firenze 
e oggi la tiene francesco di antonio gugni ghonfalone ruote 
e onne pagato la gravezza dal 1481 in qua e ommi perduto 
fior : 300 siche levatela dalla mia gravezza e ponetela a chi 
oggi la possiede. 

Ebbi in dote da monna lucrezia figluola di fandone 
fandoni mia donna j a entratura di j a bottega in merchato 
vechio che oggi 1'abita iachopo di nutto solosmei ghonfalone 
Lione d'oro a lato allo speziale del re. E piu ebbi in dote 
da detta mona lucrezia e da detto fantone. 


j a chasa posta nel popolo di santo piero maggiore di 
rimpetto a san xfano nella via del giardino dal detto fandone 
con suoi chonfini. La quale entratura e chasa mi fu chon- 
vinta per la via del potesta di firenze dalla nanina figluola 
fu di piero del ciringa ghonfalone chiavi per la sua dota 
cheffu soda prima chellamia. 

O dato le dette cose di sopra perche la gravezza sia 
posta chi tiene e detti beni e per non perdere le mie 
ragioni se io ne potessi mai ridrarre alchuna chosa. 

E piu abiamo una meza chasa cioe dal fattoio in su la 
quale e di nostra madre tiella domenicho di sandro speziale 
alia tenuta da 1449 in qua acci promesso di farrci el dovere 
e mai non se ne auto nulla la quale chonfina chol suo 
fattoio e chonfina cholla sua vendemmia e risponde in 
sulla via publicha. 


[Published by Jacques Mesnil, " Rivista d'Arte," III. Fasc. 

I. p. 70 

S Spirito. Drago 

Piero di Jachopo d' Antonio dipintore 


Chasa per mio abitare cioe J parte posta ala piaza degli 
Agli popolo di Sancta Maria Maggiore, da p via 2 Nofri 
degli Agli 3 Messer Bernardo degli Agli chavaliere friere, 
la quale chonperammo noi frategli da Filipo di Domenicho 
degli Agli, cioe de sindachi suoi, charta per mano di ser 
Barone di Franc notaio alia merchattantia. 


Una chasetta la quale e apichata cholla delta di sopra 
fu di messer Bernardo degli Agli chavaliere friere phagone 
1'anno f sei l a i. 4 S. VII la quale adopero quando ho che 
fare a dipingniere. 

Un pezo di tera chon chasa rovinata posta nel popolo di 
S. Michele a Buriano chontado di Pistoia la quale e di una 
chompagnia della Trinita di Pistoia paghone 1'anno staia 
13 di grano e S. 30. a detta chompagnia di fitto. 


Piero di Jacopo sopra detto d'eta d'anni 33 
Monna Tommasa mia madre d'anni 68 ala quale do le spese. 



[Published by Gualandi, " Memorie Original! Italiane 
risguardanti le Belle Arti/' Bologna, 1844. Serie V.] 

The original is preserved in the Archives of the Convent 
of S. Pietro in Vincoli, in a book entitled " S.P.V. Jura 
diversa ab anno 1433 usque ad annorum 1665." 

[Outside] Testamentum Antonij polagiolj in hac ecclesia 
Sancti petri ad Vincula prope altare S. Sebastiani 1496. 


In Cristi nomine Amen. Anno a natiuitate eiusdem M 
CCCCLXXXXVI. In Ditione . . . [sic] Die vero 4 
Nouembris pontificatus S mi in X. po. patris et D. ni N." D. 
Alexandri Diuina prouidentia. pp. VI anno V. 

Quoniam ut ait beatus apostolus Statutum est hominibus 


semel mori et cum nil sit incertius hora mortis propterea 
egregius ac prudens vir magister Antonius q. Jacobi Antonij 
Del pollagiolo Ciuis florentinus hoc diligenter in se ipso 
considerans sanus q d mente et corpore volens res suas ita 
bene disponere ut quando placuerit Altissimo creatori 
animam ipsius de hoc ergastulo Carnis ad se uocare nulla 
prorsus questio lis aut difficultas orire inter filias suas atque 
nepotes heredes, sed omnia paccata atque queta secundum 
ipsius voluntatem perpetuo per durent. Id circo primo et 
ante omnia prefatus magister Antonius vult et ordinat quod 
si casu accideret ipsum claudere diem extremum in urbe 
Roma animam eius toto corde reccomendat factori suo : in 
quo sumsit principium ut ipsius sola dementia et non eius 
meritis dignetur eandem in paradisi sedibus collocare. 

Item vult et ordinat cadaverem suum tumulandum in 
ecclesia sancti petri ad uincula cum debito honore atque 
officijs funeralibus iuxta suam qualitatem et conditionem. 

Item ordinat quod annuatim a fratribus prefate ecclesie 
celebretur anniuersarium in die sui obitus nisi accideret 
in die festi quo casu in die immediate sequenti pro remedio 
animae suae quibus fratribus ordinat dari annuatim pro 
huiusmodi anniversario a suis heredibus de bonis suis 
quolibet anno due. unum aurei cum duobus cereis duarum 

Item vult quod si accideret eundem mori in ciuitate 
Florentiae quod corpus suum traddatur sepulture patrum 
suorum predictis modo et forma uel ut supra cum annuali 
anniuersario : ita tamen quod elemosina superius ordinata 
detur religiosis presbyteris apud quos fuit corpus tumulatum. 

Item reliquit Dominabus Marietae et Magdalene filiabus 
suis ex se et domina lucretia ipsius uxore legiptime natis 
Duo millia Ducatos auri pro earum dote V mille d n * 


Mariete super Montem in ciuitate Florentiae : et reliquos 
mille D ne Magdalene qui retrahi debeant de fructibus 
possessionum suarum quando non reperirentur in contantis 
ut quocunque nihil uendendo aut alienando de bonis suis 
stabilibus aut minuendo. De quibus duobus millibus 
ducatis sic retractis voluit prefatas ipsius filias libere et 
licite posse disponere quicquid voluerint et ordinauerint 
secundum earum uotum ac uoluntatem. 

Item uoluit et ordinauit quod prefatoe ipsius filiae una 
cum domina lucretia earum matre et eius uxore sint et 
esse debeant ususfructuaria tarn omnium bonorum suorum 
immobilium V Domorum et possessionum tarn intus quam 
extra Florentiam aut commitatu siue in territorio 
pistoriensi constitutarum in iuta sua tamen. Et quod pars 
premorientis accrescat ad superuiuentes uel superuiuentem 
donee et quousqe pi'efate D na lucretia eius uxor et D na 
Mariete et Magdalene eius filiae diem earum clauserint 
extremum. Non tamen liceat prefatis Dominabus 
lucretia Magdalene et Mariete uendere alienare diminuere 
uel obligare dicta bona stabilia, sed uoluit integra et 
illibata reseruari ad heredes. 

Item uoluit ordinauit atque reliquit prefatis dominabus 
lucretie Mariete et Magdalene omnia bona sua mobilia tarn 
in pecunijs quam in reliquis bonis que reperientur tempore 
sui obitus. De quibus uoluit eas obligatas esse alicui 
persone cuiusque status gx-adus uel couditionis existant 
reddere rationem sed esse et fore sua libera et expedita. 

Item voluit ordinavit atque reliquit testator prefatus 
post mortem prefatarum dominarum lucretie Mariete et 
Magdalene suos ueros atque legiptimos heredes omnium 
bonorum stabilium nepotes suos masculos tarn legiptime 
natos ex Joanne q m Jacobi Antony del pollagiolo dicti 


testatoris fratris carnalis. Ita tamen quod non possit aut 
valeant uendere alienare diminuere uel obligare quocunque 
modo predicta bona sua immobilia alicui persone extranee 
extra lineam directam et masculinam, sed i accideret 
alicui eorum aliquia urgeat necessitas in hoc casu voluit et 
ordinauit quod liceat eisdcm uendere alter alteri uel 
ipsorum nepotibus masculis tarn per lineam directam 
legiptime nascituris. Ita tamen quod semper bona prefata 
preseruentur et uadant de heredibus masculos prefate 
linee nepotum suorum masculorum et non alia modo. Et 
voluit quod si aliquis eorum contraueniret huic sue 
uoluntati et testamento et ordinationi quocunque modo 
quod ipso facto cadant a iure istius legati et quod filie 
prefate succedant in portione contraueniendis huiusmodi 
sue uoluntati et quod possint disponere de dicta portione 
ad earum uelle. Et similiter si omnes heredes instituti id 
ipsum facerent et contrauenirent similiter cadant ab ipso 
legato et hereditate et succedant dicte filie immedate suis 
bonis tarn mobilibus quam stabilibus disponendo in dicto 
casu de omnibus ad earum uelle. 

Item voluit et ordinauit prefatus testator quod Joannes 
supradictus frater eius carnalis si superviveret Domino 
permittente post mortem predictarum dominarum lucretie 
Mariete et Magdalene et ipse dum uixerit intret in portionem 
fructuum omnium bonorum immobilium tam domorum quam 
processionum intus et extra florentiam constitutorum nee 
omnino excludi possit ab ipsis suis nepotibus et filijs dicti 
Joannis sed is sit rector et Gubernator et maior super suos 

Item voluit et ordinauit prefatus testator quod supradicte 
domine Marieta et Magdalena sint et esse debeant sub 
tutela et regimine domine lucretie earum matris et uxoris 


ipsius testatoris quousque faerint nupte et quod null us possit 
aut valeat eandem mollestare rationae prefati tutelae, neque 
ipsam donrinam Lucretiam eius uxorem, aut dominant! 
Marietam et Magdalenam eius filias raolestare aut trahere 
ad judicium siue curias quocunque modo ratione dicte 
tutele seu legati ordinationis et uoluntatis dicti testatoris. 

Item prefatus testator expresse uoluit et ordinauit quod 
si in euentum prefatus Joannes eius frater carnalis uel 
nepotes ipsius testatoris et filii prefati Joannis aliquando 
mollestaret seu traheret ad indicium uel curiam prefatas 
Dominas lucretiam Marietam et Magdelenam contra ordinatem 
voluntatem atque testamentum testatoris prefati : quod 
tune et eo casu ipso facto ille per quod accidiret talis 
turbatio sit priuatus et cadat a iure prefati hereditatis siue 
legati dicti testatoris, et filie prefate succedant in dictam 
portionem modo et forma ut supradictum est. Et si omnes 
prefati heredes tarn Joannes frater carnalis dicti testatoris 
quam filij ipsius Joannis et nepotis dicti testatoris quocunque 
modo molestarent inquietarent uel ad indicium siue curias 
traherent prefatas dominas lucretiam Marietam et Mag- 
dalenam : tune expresse et omnino voluit omnes priuatos 
esse ipsa hereditate et cadere ab omnia iure suOj prefatasque 
dominas Marietam ac Magdalenam statim succedere in 
omnibus prefatis suis bonis immobilibus que dicti testatoris 
ac si essent masculi possintque ac valeant dicte Domine 
Marieta atqueMagdalena hereditatem prefatam transferre et 
ordinare donare laxare atque dimitere pro earum voluntate 
atque arbitrio. Et hanc dixit et voluit esse testator prefatus 
suam voluntatem ad hoc ut prefate Domine Lucretia 
Marieta atque Magdalena pacifice et quiete uiuere possint 
ac valeant in hoc mundo dum placuerit altissimo. 

Item voluit ordinauit prefatus testator quod si Domino 
Jesu Cristo placeret ipsum superuiuere et habere aliquem 


heredem masculum legiptimum ipsum reliquit heredem 
uniuersalem omnium bonorum suorum tarn mobilium quam 
immobilium cassando et annullando omnia supradicta 
legata ordinatione tamen dotis filiarum in suo robore 
permanente siue D. luc. Mar. et Magd. nee non et ordine 
sepulture et aniuersarij. 

Item voluit et ordinauit quod post eius obitum ipsius 
heredes siue in perpetuum annuatim in die sancti Antonij 
Abbatis XVII d. Januarij teneantur et obligati sint facere 
pro remedio anima ipsius testatoris unum honestum 
prandium duodecim pauperibus honerando super hoc eorum 
conscientias ac obseruationem prefate elemosine et post 
dictum prandium dent duodenos grossos florentinos dictis 
pauperibus pro quoiibet, causa elemosinae. 

Item voluit et ordinauit testator prefatus exequatores sui 
testamenti ordinationis ac voluntatis dilectam ipsius 
Contubemalem dominam lucretiam supradictam ac nobiles 
viros florentinos Antonium tuci maneti et bernardinum Nicolaj 
del barbisa et Antonium de marabotino rustichi et Andream 
lamberti de li caluane [or Siluane] et ne forte post obitum 
dicti testatoris oriri possit aliqua difficutas lis aut differentia 
inter filias suas atque heredes et fratrem ipsius testatoris 
de boni ipsius superius ordinatis ratione successionis cum 
Joanne q m Jacobi Antonij del pollagiolo frater eius carnalis 
tamquam de bonis paternis aut dotis matris utriusque 
Magistri Antonij testatoris et Joannis ipsius fratris tamquam 
de rebus male dispositis ad declarationem mentis omnium 
posterorum dictus testator asseruit quod de anno d ni 1463 
uel circa testator prefatus mancipaiut se a prefato Joanne 
eius fratre sicut constat ex instrumento Ser Siluani notarj 
artis porte Sanctae Mariae : pro ut etiam apparet ad officium 
dominorum florentinorum et ad officium artis mercantiae. Et 
ita assemit et in eiqs conscientia dixit omnia bona superius 


ordinata V* unam domum in civitate florentiae valoris mille 
quingentorum due. auri uel circa. Et unam possessionem 
extra ciuitatem in territorio aut committatu pistoriensi 
valoris et pretij trium millium duc m auri uel circa secundum 
comunem extimationem se aquisiuisse et emisse propriis 
pecunijs laboribus atque industria post ipsam mancipa- 

Ideo pro uoluntate sua voluit ac potuit supradicte 
disponere absque conscientie preiudicio aliquo. Non imo 
voluit testator prefatus se privatum intelligi presentem 
heredem ut matris dote sibi pro rata seu parte pertinente 
in euentum quod dicti heredes mollestarent D. M. 
Lucretiam Marietam atque Magdalenam sed voluit eandem 
suam portionem ab ipsius filiabus suis D. M. et M. exigi 
possit a dictis heredibus tamquam rem suam propriam ab 
ipso testatore eisdem relictam. Quamque portionem 
bonorum paternorum quam etiam dotis matris sue dixit se 
non habuisse sed esse apud Joannem fratrem suum carnalem, 
ordinauit et voluit testator prefatus quod propter maiorem 
commoditatem possessionum suarum et utilitatem et pacem 
dictorum heredum : heredes prefati ipsius d na Marieta et 
Magdalena ipsius filie teneantur et obligati sint emere certam 
quantitatem terrarum contiguam certis suis possessionibus 
ipsius testatoris a Nicolao Francisci Ser Luce pro precio et 
quantitate quatrocentarum librarum ad plus et minori 
precio si poterunt cum dicto venditore si conponere : De 
qua quidem emptione fienda dictus testator asseruit se iam 
convenisse cum dicto Nicolao sed tamen non firmasse 
pretium. Sed dixit fuisse sibi datam fidem uendendi ab 
eodem Nicolao, Cuiusquidem emptionis precium voluit et 
ordinauit ipse retrahi debere de fructibus suarum possses- 
sionum, nihil de ipsis uendendo aut minuendo. 

Item idem testator dixit quod a certo tempore petrus 


q m eius frater carnalis dum esset in umanis : infirmus tamen 
et prope mortem sponte et libere et mera sua voluntate et 
minima subductus ad ipso testatore, coram testibus fide 
dignis reliquit testatori prefati eandem quantitem terrarum 
constitutarum in territorio uel comitatu pistorij post mortem 
matris testatoris prefati et dicti petri valoris trecentarum 
librarum uel circa commendans eidem testatori dominam 
Lisam ipsius petri filiam naturalem quantum potuit, 
omnemque ipius curam eidem testatori reliquit propter 
quod. Item testator volens complere voluntati et desiderio 
ipsius petri fratris sui libentissime curam egit ipsius d ne Lise. 
Insuper etiam eandem matrimonio tradidit omni studio ac 
diligentia juxta qualitatem et conditionem prefate d ne Dans 
eidem pro dote de propriis pecuniis testatoris prefati centum 
quinquaginta libras probate et bone monetae ciuitatis 

Propterea idem testator dixit et voluit quod in euentum 
quod si Joannes frater carnalis dicti testatoris super- 
nominatus uel ipsius filij : atque nepotes dicti testatoris et 
heredes constituti, aliquando uellent petere residuum 
valoris dictae petiae terrae eidem testatori a petro superius 
nominate eius fratre relicte atque donate V centum quin- 
quaginta libras ultra eas quas dedit ac tradedit in dotem 
prefate d'ne Lise. Dictus testator non obstante donatione 
uel legato sibi a dicto petro eius fratre carnali facto atque 
relictd ipse se remitit ad iuris dispositionem et ex nunc se 
ad dictum ins remitit et transfert non obstantibus etc. 

Item idem testator dixit q m Siluester eius frater carnalis 
turn uiueret et esset pisis per Chyrographum manus 
eiusdem Silvestri. Idem Silvester non subductus non coactus 
sed sponte libere et de mera sua voluntate reliquit atque 
donauit eidem testatori quoddam mollendinum ab oleo 
existens in possessionem dicti testatoris valoris sexaginta 


librarum florentinarum uel circa sicut constat ex dicto 
Chirographo manu ipsius Siluestri exarato penes testatorem 

Propterea Idem testator dixit atque voluit et ordinauit 
quod si aliquando Joannes ipsius testatoris frater carnalis 
uel filij dicti Joannis : atque nepotes testatoris et heredes 
constituti raollestarent inquietarent uel ad indicium 
traherent domains lucretiam dicti testatoris uxorem vel 
Marietam et Magdalenam ejusdem testatoris et D na lucretia 
legiptimas filias et non sineret eas pacifice gaudere 
usuf ructum Mollendini prefati, Dum uixerint tune et eo casu 
voluit et ordinauit eos cadere ab omni legato et tota prorsus 
hereditate atque eosdem penitus priuauit et priuat de 
presenti : reliquiens Dom m lucretiam uxorem suam usu- 
fructuariam dumtaxat in uita sua una cum dominabus 
Marieta et Magdalena eorumdem filiabus D ne S. lucretie et 
ipsius testatoris. Ipsas uero d nas Marietam atque Magdalenam 
ex nunc reliquit laxat atque constituit heredes universales 
omnium bonorum suorum, mobilium et immobilium 
presentium et futurorum. De quibus omnibus prefate 
D a Marieta atque Magdalena possint et valeant vendere, 
alienare, donare, laxare, atque disponere libere ac licite pro 
earum voluntate atque arbitrio. Et hoc ideo ordinauit 
testator prefatus ex ratione quod ipse accomodauit ac 
dedit dicto Siluestro eius frater de propriis ipsius testatoris 
pecuniis super quingentos due. auri. De quibus nihil aut 
ullam minimum partem recepit a dicto Siluestro. Ideo 
sicut aparet ex libus apotece dicti testatoris. Id ipsium 
idem testator inteligi voluit fore et esse easdem universalis 
heredes cum auctoritate disponendi ut supra etc. quoties- 
cunque Joannes dicti testatoris frater carnalis uel eius filij : 
atque nepotes dicti testatoris et heredes constituti molles- 
tarent inquietarent uel ad indicium seu curias traherent 


dictas dominas lucretiam Marietam atque Magdalenam, tarn 
ratione tutele, quam etiam legati siue ordinationis atque 
voluntatis ipsius testatoris privans eosdem Joannem et 
eius filios omni hereditate et beneficii legati supradicti et 
si aliquid contrariaverit eius testatori ordinationibus ac 

Et hanc esse ultimam suam voluntatem testamentum seu 
ordinationem dictus testator dixit atque asseruit, cassando 
et anullando quodcunque aliud testamentum voluntatem 
seu ordinationem antea factam quacunque modo factum 
seu factas. Volens idem testator presentem suam 
voluntatem valere iure testamenti et si non iure testamenti 
iure codicilli : nel donationis aut quomodocunque omni 
meliori modo, uia, ratione, iure, causa et forma, sicut potuit 
ac valuit. Cui presenti testamento voluntati ultime et 
ordinationi testator prefatus voluit ad maius robor et 
firmitatem manu propria se subscribere in presentia 
testium infrascriptorum. 

Mandans atque rogaiis notarium infrascriptum ut de 
presenti suo testamento et voluntate ultima et ordinatione 
conficeret publicum instrumentum.* 

* In the Zibaldone del Migliore (XXV. 392, c. 184) is the follow- 
ing notice : " 1496. Ant 1 del Pollaiuolo fece testamento lascio a 
Gio : suo fratello carnale et a M a Lucretia sua Moglie et alia 
Marietta e Madd a sue figliuole usufruttuarie e se moriva in Roma 
dove fece Testam* disse volere esser sepolto in S. Pietro in Vincola 
come segul, e se moriva in firenze nella sepolt* di suo Padre." [non 
dice dove] 

Ant s Tucci Manetti -\ 

Bernardus Nicolai del Barbigio I Nobiles et Gives floren 1 

Ants del Mavabottino Rustichi j executores de testamt . 

And : a s Lamberti delle Calvane' 
Ser Baldasar Rocca de Castrovillano not. rogavit. Roma." 




[MSS. in the Archives of Casa Orsini.] Published by 
Luigi Borsari, " L'Arte," 1892. p. 208. 

[Outside] allo mio Ill mo S e Virginio orsino adi xiij de 
luglio 1494. 

Inlustrissimo e gienerosso S. mio io pigliero licenza e 
sichurtia nella umanita vostra poi che a bocha non a data 

E mi fu fatta una inbasciata nello orechie esendo a 
ostia da parte di maestro agniolo medicho dissemi per 
parte della S. vostra che vostra S. arebe auto charo che io 
facessi la testa di vostra S. de bronzo quanto al naturale io 
gli rispoi subito che io larej di grazia e chosi rafermo che 
io mi verro a star dua di a braciano e ritrarovj in disegnio 
poi me la rechero a roma e faremola di bronzo ma piu 
charo arej farnj tuto intero in sun un chaval grosso che vi 
farej etterno possiamo per la prima fare la testa poi 
penseremo al tuto. 

Magnificho S. mio io mi parto lunedi che sareno a di 
XII 1 1 di luglio e vomene in toschana portomene dua 
figgure di bronzo e voremene andare alle mie possisione 
che sono XV miglia dischosto a firenze cioe quindicj miglia 
e per la moria anno fatto che chi viene da roma non si 
possa achostare a firenze a ventj miglia vorej dalla S. 
vostra che per amor mio a piero de medicj che fussi 
chontento che io avessi licenza a potere andare alle mie 
possissione che sono tra '1 poggio a chaiano e la citta di 


pistoia, e credo che ve ne chompiacera volentierj perche sa 
che io sono stato senpre di quella chasa e pensate che glie 
34 annj che io fecj quelle fatiche derchole che sono nella 
sala del palazo suo che le facemo tra un mio fratello ed io 
so che le dovete aver vedute. 

Jo voglio questo grado dalla S. vostra a cio che io abi 
qualche chagione di richordarmi della S. vostra. 

E piu m'achorra che uno mio nipote che io o quj prestd 
a meser manfredi gli prest6 a chamino dua duchati doro 
e tre charlinj promisegli di rechargliele in sino a roma 
non la maj fatto se fussi posible quando glia la pagha 
rimetergli a roma a piero panciatichi che fa colla S. vostra 
gri renderebe a questo mio nipote meser manfredi credo 
che sia vicentino. 

Preghovj S. mio che mi perdoniate si o preso sichurta 
cholla S. vostra che 1'afezione grande e sentendo che 1'opera 
mia vi piaque del sepolchro di papa sisto. 

Vostro servidore Antonio del pollaiuolo in Roma. 


Da Firenze, 13 Febraio 1497. 

[Arch. d. Rif. di Firenze. Registro di lettere. Filza 102. 
Published by Gave, Cart. Ined. I. 340.] 
Domino Domenico Bonsio oratori. 

Magnifice orator nr chiarissime. Sendo morte alii giorni 
passati costi Antonio del Pollaiuolo, sculptore celeberrimo 



et nostro fiorentino; siamo pregati dalla donna sua che 
vela raccommandiamo per esser restate creditore dicto suo 
marito di alcuna somma di danari del Cardinale Reverend- 
issimo di Benevento e di monsignore Ascanio, per certe 
cose a loro lavorate di suo magisterio. Per6 vogliamo siate 
con decti R mi Cardinal! et n ro nomine li exhortiate alia 
satisfactione del dicto Antonio a sua donna et heredi tante 
volte che,se e possibile,habbino la loro mercede, che essendo 
stato dicto Antonio nostro cittadino et huomo unico nella 
arte sua, merita che per sua memoria adiutiamo et la donna 
sua et heredi suoi, come quelli che sempre havemo in somma 
estimatione qualunque virtute. 

Ex Palatio n ro . die XIII feb r . 1497. 



[Published in Catalogo del Museo dell' Opera del Duomo 
Firenze, 1904.] 


1457. Febbraio 1 5 . 

Disegni fatti per gl'orefici per la croce da farsi di nuovo 
in S. Giovanni non si mostrino a alcuno senza il partito 
de consoli e off? di musaico ; nella quale deve essere 
messo il legno della croce di N. S. existente in detta 
Chiesa : e annullata detta deliberazione. 

[Delib. de' Consoli, 1455-1459, c. 80-81. Spogli Strozzi- 
ani, Arch, di Stato, I. c. 215'.] 



1457. Febbraio 22. 

Facciasi nella Chiesa di San Giovanni per il pezzo del 
legno della croce di N. S. quivi existente molto grande 
e bello, che non e ornato come si richiede e stando in 
quella maniera non e manifesto a molti e nessuno sa 
che sia legno della crocie, una croce grande d'argento etc. 
Croce grande d'argento da farsi per il legno della Croce di 
N. S. per la chiesa di San Giovanni si da a fare a Miliano di 
Domenico Dei e Antonio di Jacopo del Pollaiuolo, orefici, la 
meta, e 1'altra meta a Betto di Francesco di Betto, orefice. 

[Delib. de' Consoli, 1455-1459, c. 82-83. Spogli cit. I. 
c. 2i6 r ] 

1457- Aprile 30. 

Convenzioni, modo da farsi e disegno della croce 
da farsi per la chiesa di San Giovanni per mettervi il legno 
della croce di Nostro Signore : doveva pesare 1. 60 in 
circa e si trattava di mettervi pietre preziose di non 
molto valore. Miliano Dei e Antonio del Pollaiuolo, orefici, 
pigliorno a fare la parte inferiore di detta croce e Betto 
Betti, orefice, la parte superiore. 

[Delib. de' Consoli, 1455-1459, c. 97-98. Spogli cit. I. 
c. 216'] 


Una croce d' ariento tutta bianca fatta per la Chiesa di 
S. Giovanni Battista di peso di 1. 141 : cost6 intuttofior. 
3036, 6, 18, 4, de' quali fior. 2006, 3, 13, 7, hebbe Antonio 
di Jacopo del Pollaiuolo e fior. 1030, 3, 5, Betto di Francesco 
Betti orafo. 

[Libro grande E. 1459, c. 267. Spogli cit. I. c. io r .] 





[Published by Gaye, Cart. Ined. I. 341.] 

lo credo vi ricordiate, perche vi trovasti presenti, come 
per me e per Bartolommeo Valori s'entr6 mallevadore all' 
arte de Mercatanti per Antonio di Jacopo orafo detto il 
Pollaiuolo, di fiorini 2000 perche fece a detta Arte la Croce 
di Santo Giovanni. 



[Ricordi Storici di Cino di Filippo di Cino Rinuc- 
cini dal 1282 al 1460. Published by Giuseppe Aiazzi, 
Firenze, 1840, p. 251.] 


A di 14 d'aprile 1462 speso nor. 4 d. 7, sono per un forni- 
mento da cintola d'ariento ebbi da Maso Finiguerra, che 
pes6 0.3 d.23, lavorato di niello e di traforo, il quale feci 
mettere a una fetta paonazza, pes6 detta fetta O.z d.3, in 
tutto fu O.6 d.2 in conto al d Maso nor. 4. 7. 


A di 7 Luglio 1461 nor. 3. 4. 9 per valuta di S. 50 d'ariento 
detti a Antonio del Pollaiolo orafo, per uno fornimento 
d'ariento bianco da cintola con traforo e niello a 8 cignitoi, 
pes6 O.2 e la tolsi da lui per dare alia Ginevra che la donassi, 
alia Sandra una sirocchia quando torn6 a casa sua, come e 



A di 6 Aprile 1462. Pagai contanti fior. 10. 8 a Antonio 
del Pollaiolo orafo, sono per d.2 di tremolanti e 2 catanelle 
d' ariento dorato, comprai da lui per la d. Ginevra per fare 
fruscoli a campanella. 



[Published in Catalogo del Museo dell' Opera del Duomo. 
Firenze, 1904.] 

1466. Agosto 5. 

S. Giovanni. Facciasi un paramento di broccato e per 
maestri del ricamo si eleggano : Coppino di Giovanni di 
Bramante, Piero da Venezia, Pagolo d'Anverza e Jan- 
sicuro di Navarra, etc. 

[Delib. de' Consoli, 1462-1468, c. 164-165. Spogli 
Strozziani delle scritture dell' Arte de' Mercatanti, I. 
c. 224'.] 


1466. Dicembre i. 

Ricamatori de' paramenti s'appuntino quando non lavo- 
rano. Ricamatori due, elezione : Antonio di Giovanni da 
Firenze e Gianpagolo da Perpignano. 

[Delib. de' Consoli, 1462-1468, c. 176-177. Spogli 
cit. I. c. 224"".] 


Coppino di Giovanni, Giovanni di Jacopo, Giovanni 
di Morale, Pagolo d' Anguersa, Piero di Piero Ven- 
eziano, Antonio di Giovanni da Firenze, Giovanni di 


Pelaio di Prignana, ricamatori, lavorano i paramenti di 
San Giovanni. 

[Libro grande I. 1466, c. 236. Spogli cit. I. c. n r .] 


1469. Agosto 9. 

Paramenti e fregi ricamati si fanno per S. Giovanni 
dove lavorano quattro maestri, e si eleggie un garzone. 

[Delib. de' Consoli, 1468-1473, c. 48. Spogli cit. I. c. 


1469. Agosto 9. 

Disegni si dipingono per Antonio di Jacopo del 
Pollaiuolo per i quali se gli paga fior. 90. 
[Delib. cit. c. 59. Spogli cit. I. c. 228'.] 


Coppino di Giovanni da Melina di Fiandra, ricamatore. 
Piero di Piero da Venezia, Pagolo di Bartolommeo da 
Verona, Niccol6 di Jacopo di Francia, Antonio di Giovanni 
da Firenze, ricamatori, lavorano il paramento di San 

[Libro grande L. 1470, 0.294300. Spogli cit. I. c. 1 1 1 .] 


1476. Dicembre 4. 

Fregi e storie de' paramenti che si fanno di nuovo in 
S. Giovanni, con figure, si conviene con gl' infrascritti 
he gli finischino si come gl' havevano fatti e lavorati 
sino all' hora, cioe con Coppino del g. Giovanni da Mellina, 
Piero di Piero da Venezia, Pagolo di Bartolomeo da 
Verona, ricamatori, e Niccol6 d' lacopo, Antonio di 
Giovanni e Giovanni d' lacopo vocato Garzone ; per finirlo 


debbino havere fior. 800, e devono haverli finiti in anni 
due e otto mesi etc. 

[Delib. de' Consoli, 1473-1477, c. 158, e 163. Spogli 
cit I. c. 239*.] 


1480 (?) 

Antonio d' Jacopo del Pollaiuolo fa I disegni per i fregi 
de' paramenti di S. Giovanni e per ci6 se gli paga fior. 90. 
[Libro grande P. 1480, c. 288. Spogli cit. I. c. 12'.] 


1480 Luglio 17. 

Paramenti per i quali s'erano fatti ricamare i fregi, si 
faccino bianchi e secondo il disegno di Francesco Malocchi, 
tessitore di drappi. Si danno a fare a Amerigo di Barto- 
lomeo Corsini per D. 20 il braccio quadro, con che metta 
almeno D. 1 1 d'oro per braccio. Di poi gli fu pagato fior. 
20 d'oro il braccio. 

[Libro di Partiti, 1477-1481, c. 125, 129, 131, 207. 
Spogli cit. I. c. 247'.] 


1487 (?) 

Ne' paramenti e fregi della chiesa di San Giovanni si 
spese fior. 3179 lire 7646 soldi 10 denari 8. 

[Libro grande R. 1487, c. 256. Spogli cit. I. c. 12'.] 


[Published by Cesare Guasti, " La Cupola di S. Maria 
del Fiore. Firenze, 1857. pp. 111-113.] 



An. 1467, a 19 gennaio. 

Operarii opere Sancte Marie del Fiore, etc. intexo che 
1'edifico della Lanterna esser fornito e conpiuto in per- 
fetione chon ongni e qualunque adornamento, come per 
adrieto fu ordinato : e considerate che le chastella le quali 
furono fatte per murare detta Lanterna e tribuna furono 
di grande spendio, noia, e difficilissme ; e veduto quelle 
che se s'avessino a rifare chosterebbono grandissima quan- 
tit& di danari : e veduto intexo che dette chastella non si 
anno piu adoperare se nonne per la palla e bottone, el 
quale s'anno a porre in su detta Lanterna. E consider- 
ando che indugiando a fare detta palla, che dette chastella 
infraciderebbono e arembosi a fare di nuovo ; e sarebbe 
con danno e verghongna di detta Opera. E considerate 
che a fare e deliberare detta palla e cosa molto maravig- 
liosa e da volerla molto bene considerare e examinare, 
perche molti maestri n'anno gia fatto disputa se detta 
palla s'a a fare di getto o di martello ; e veduto intexo e 
considerate quello che fu da intendere vedere e con- 
siderare : volendo e detti operai avere sopra a tutte le 
predette cose maturo consiglio e perfetta examinatione 
per fare ottima e perfettissima concluxione ; ad onore, 
lalde e glioria della madre e avochata de' pecchatori 
Vergine Maria, nel cui nome e dedichato et celebratissimo 
tenpio volcharmente chiamato Sancta Maria del Fiore, al 
quale tenpio si a a porre nella sommita di detta sua 
Lanterna detta palla ; mandorono e invitorono a di cinque 
del presente, per fare disputa e perfetta examinatione e 
choncluxione per molti venerabili cittadini, e pruden- 
tissimi e ottimi maestri intelligent!, etc. E anti, detto di, 
nel luogho della loro usata residentia, quivi disputando e 


examinando le predette cose : e in utimo dopo lungha e 
perfetta examinatione tutti e prefati cittadini e maestri, 
de' quali di sotto si dira loro nomi, tutti in una voce e 
chonclusione deliberorno e confutorono detti operai che 
detta palla si facci di gitto piii scietta di rame che si pu6, 
mettendo con detto rame ottone fine ; perche chochiosono 
la magnificentia e Teternita del getto. E veduto e detti 
operai la detta disputa et examinatione volendp anchora 
avere sopra alle prefate cose maturissimo consiglio per 
fare perfettissima concluxione, deliberorono a' di 19 del 
presente. Invitati a detta disputa tutti e detti gl' infra- 
scripti cittadini e maestri, de' quali di sotto si dir& loro 
nomi ; e disputando come di sopra in utimo chonchiusono 
medesimamente, che detta palla si facci di getto, etc. 
Che per nessun modo o forma si facca di martello, ma 
faccasi di getto : e potendosi fare d'un pezzo, si facca 
sanza alchuno rispiarmo, etc. etc. 

Messer Giovanni Chanigiani : 

Messer Dornenicho Martelli : 

Matteo di Marcho Palmieri : 

Alexandro Machiavelli : 

Jacopo d' Antonio di Tedici : 

Bartholomeo di ser Benedetto Fortini : 

Carlo di Nichola de' Medici : 

Francesco Cigliamochi : 

Andrea di Tommaxo Minerbetti : 

Giovanni di messer Lorenzo Ridolfi : 

Bernardo Jachopi : 

Bonacorso di messer Lucha Pitti : 

Giovanni di Tommaxo Borghini : 

Andrea di Francesco Zati : 

Lorenzo di Piero di Cosimo. [Lorenzo de' Medici] 



cioe horafi, intagliatori e archittettori 
Bruno di ser Lapo Mazzei : 
Lucha di Simone della Robbia : 

Corso orafo : 

Carlo del maestro Bartolomeo : 
Gianotto di Bruno, orafo : 
Mino, intagliatore : 
Antonio di Taddeo, orafo i 
Antonio del Pollaiuolo : 

Bancho orafo: 

Andrea del Verochio : 

Amerigho, horafo : 

Taddeo di Ser Bartholomeo : 

Zanobi Talani : 

Francesco . . . orafo : 

Gusto .... orafo : 

Giovanni di Bartholommeo, intagliatore. 

An 1468 a 2 dicembre. 

Actendentes ad quandam locationem verbotenus 
factam per operarios etc, Johanni Bartholomei 
intagliatore e Bartholomeo Fruosini aurificho, cuiusdem 
bottonis rame e ottone, quod debet poni in Lacterna 
etc. et intellect ipsum bottonem esse conpletum ; et 
volentes solvere et eisdem dare mercedem dicti bottonis, 
quia fuit locatum dicto Johanni pro pretio quod per 
operarios qui pro tempore fuerunt,fuerit deliberatum : et 
advertendo ad dictam locationem, miserunt per plures 
magistras etc. Dicti magistri simul congreghati dederunt in 
scriptis, quilibet eorum de per se, pretium sibi debendum 
etc. in hunc mod urn, videlicet 


Io Lucha di Simone della Robbia gudicho che debbano 

avere fiorini 60 del bottone per insino dove e condotto di 

bono maestere. 

Io Andrea del Verochio gudicho quello medeximo. 

Io Antonio del Polaiolo gudicho che debbono avere fiorini 

70 di loro manifattura. 

Io Bancho di Filipo, orafo, gudicho ch'abbino avere di 

loro faticha per insino dove e condotto il bottone fiorini 

ottanta. etc. 



[Published by Jacques Mesnil, " Des figures de Vertus 
de la Mercanzia/' Miscellanea d'Arte, I. 1903, p. 43.] 


18 Agosto 1469. 

. . . deliberaverunt quod virtus caritatis videlicet figura 
et imago caritatis que est picta seu designata in pariete 
seggii sex consiliorum dicte universitatis vel alia figura 
dicte virtutis, prout videbitur infrascripto pictori, fiat et 
fieri debeat in dicto loco, colorata et ornata bene et optime 
prout decet et propterea dictum opus fiendum locaverunt 
Piero del Verrocchio * [sic] pittori, et quod illam facere 
teneatur et debeat et perfecisse durante tempore eorum 
officii et quod propterea custodes actorum dicte universi- 
tatis mutuent de pecunia dicte universitatis dicto Piero 
1. centum p. et ponant eum debitorem. 

* A lapsus calami, explained by the fact that Verrocchio was 
then working at the group of Or S. Michele ordered by the same 


[Arch, di Stato, Firenze, Mercanzia. Delib. dell' ufficiale 
e del Sei di Mercanzia. Libro segnato, 305, c. 44.] 


27 Sep. 1469. 

. . . considerate quod per officium dictorum sex fuit 
locata ad faciendum pictura virtutis caritatis pro ilia 
ponenda in loco ubi est similis pictura in sala magna 
inferiori Piero. . . [sic] del Pollaiuolo pictori et quod ad 
hoc ut possit laborare et dare principium dicto operi dicti 
sex fecerunt mutuare ei 1. centum p. a Jeronimo custode 
actorum dicti universitatis et pro eo habint a Francesco 
de Cambinis . . , deliberaverunt . . . quod dictis came- 
rarius de dicta pecunia universitatis solvat dicto Jeronimo 
1 centum cum hoc quod dictus Pierus pictor non possit 
habere dicta occaxione nee sibi solvi possint plures pecunie 
nee possit vel debeat fieri mercatum et pretium dicti 
laboris nisi per partitum et deliberationem fiendam per 
sex et consules quinque maiorum artium qui per tempore 
fuerint, ut est moris et juris in similibus cum hoc quod 
dictus Pierus stet . . . [four words illegible] merced. 
dicti operis, et quod eius frater Antonius stet et remaneat 
obligatus pro dicta quantitate, ut erat ante et operarii 
pilastri siti in S. Michaeli in orto videlicet in pariete 
S. Anne sub signo dicte universitatis sint etiam operarii 
dicte operis picture. 
[Arch. cit. c. 84.] 


18 dec. 1469 

Supradicti sex omnibus insimul collegatis in loco ipsorum 
solite residentie pro infrascriptis tractaiidis et examinandis 
simul cum prudentibus infrascriptis viris consulibus quilibet 


eorum sue artis videlicet Guidetto de Guidettis pro arte 
Kalimale, Francesco de Cocchis pro arte carobii, Maso 
Luca de Albizis pro arte lane, Bernardo de Antinoris pro 
arte porte S. Marie et Nero de Rinuccinis pro arte aroma- 
toruni electis et deputatis ... ad praticandum, examin- 
andum, intelligenclum et conferendum quid faciendum sit 
de pictura jam incepta de septem virtutibus videlicet tres 
theologicis et quatuor cardinalibus videlicet an sit perse- 
quendum in opere jam incepto per viam picture vel aliter 
et cui seu quibus locetur tale opus et de mercede debita 
vel debenda et de virtute caritatis jam picta per Pierum 
del Pollaiuolo et reliquis circumstantibus. Et visa una ex 
dictis figuris designiata per Andream del Verochio et 
auditis dicto Piero et Antonio ejus fratre et considerate 
quod plures pictores sunt qui vellent facere et pingere 
unam ex dictis virtutibus . . . misso inter ipsos sex et 
consules partito ad fabas neras et albas et detempto omni 
modo, etc. deliberaverunt et declaraverunt quod totum 
dictum opus et omnes dicte figure fiende locetur et locentur 
dicto Piero del Pollaiuolo et quod ipse habeat et habere 
debeat pro suo labore et mercede et pro lignamine et 
coloribus et auro et reliquis omnibus pluribus expensis pro 
dicta figura caritatis iam facta in totum floren. viginti 
largos. Et quod similiter habeat et habere debeat de 
reliquis sex figuris predictis restandibus fieri videlicet flor. 
viginti larg. de qualibet et pro qualibet earum ad omnes 
suas expensas lignaminum et aliorum quorumcumque. Et 
quod dictus Pierus teneatur et debeat omnibus tribus 
mensibus initiandis die primo ianuarii proxime futuri dare 
perfectas duas et dictis figuris et virtutibus. Et quod ipse 
teneatur et debeat meliorare et non peiorare a prima figura 
ad declarationem illorum qui deputabunt ad vigilandum et 


operandum quod predicts fierint bene et diligenter, et 
dehito et forma et tempore. Et quod etiam interim 
durante quolibet ex dictis laboreriis etc. de tribus in tribus 
mensibus ipse Pierus habeat ante opus perfectum duarum 
figurarum tradendarum omnibus tribus mensibus, videlicet 
de tempore in tempore a dicta universitate pecunias con- 
decenter et temperate, adeo quod possit ducere et habere 
necessaria pro ipso opere perficiendo et etiam ultra pro 
suis indigentiis discrete habendo semper respectum ad opus 
factum adeo quod non solvatur sibi plus quam vel idem 
quod laboraverit sed quod semper dicta universitas sit 
debitrix et satis. Et quod semper finitis et positis duabus 
figuris satisfiat sibi integraliter de dictis duabus figuris et 
fiat nova reiteratio solutionis de reliquis ut sopra. Et quod 
etiam dictus Pierus teneatur prestare fidem de bene 
serviendo et perficiendo opere et de faciendo debitum in 

Et hoc presente intelligente et ratificante dicto Piero et 
Antonio eius fratre cum eo . . . 

(Delib. of 18 dec. 1469. Arch. cit. c. 159*.) 


Dec. 21, 1469. 

Andree . . . [sic] del Verrocchio sculptori et pro eo 
Boninsegne de Actavantibtis 1. octo p. pro mercede et 
labore unius figure virtutis fidei per eum facte pro designo 
virtutum pingendarum et ponendarum in sala magna 
domus dicte universitatis quam quantitatem 1. otto dictus 
Boninsegna teneatur et debeat ponere ad computum ubi 
habet debitorem dictum Andream vel dictam universitatem 
de libris XXV mutuatis dicto Andrea per ipsum Bonin- 
segnam occaxione figure fiende per dictum Andream per 


dictam universitatem in pilastro dicte universitatis sito in 
pariete oratorii S. Anne civitatis Florentie. 
[Arch. cit. c. 165'.] 


June 18. 1470. 

Botticelli pittoris fl. XL pro parte [in margin] 
Supradicti sex insimul etc. advertentes quod, dato quod 
de mense decembris proxime preteriti per tune officium sex 
et consules quinque maiorum artium, servatis servandis, 
fuerit locata pictura virtutum in sala magna terrena domus 
dicte universitatis Piero . . . [sic] del Pollaiuolo pictori ad 
rationem fl. 20 larg. pro qualibet, nichilhominus postea de 
mense maii proxime preteriti per medium domini 
Thomaxii de Soderinus. 

Sandro di Mariano [in margin]. 
[Arch. cit. c. 147.] 


Aug. a, 147- 

Piero Jaobi del Pollaiuolo pictori fl. viginti quinque larg. 
pro residue et integrali satisfactione . . . picture et 
laborerii . . . duarum figuraram, videlicet secunde et 
tertie videlicet temperantie et fidei. . . 
[Arch. cit. Libro Segnato, 307 c. 31], 


Aug. 1 8, 1470. 

Sandro Mariano Botticello pictori fl. decem larg. pro 
resto flor. XX larg. eidem debitos a dicta universitate pro 
pictura per eum facta de virtute fortitudinis in sala domus 
dicti universitatis. 
[Arch. cit. c. 41'.] 





S. Gio. Candellieri dargento fatti nuovamente da Ant 
di Jacopo del Pollaiuolo pesorno L. 88 oncie 5. Erano 
con figure smalti etc. si da a d Ant p. manifattura di 
d' Candellieri. F. 17 p. libra etc. 

[Spogli Strozzi I. c. 230*.] 


Candellieri due dargento daltezza di b a 2\ luno si fanno 
p. la. chiesa di S. Gio. da Antonio di Jacopo del Pollaiuolo 
orafo e costano F. 1578, L. 3, s. 6. 

[Spogli Strozzi II. c. 112'.] 

Candellieri dargento fatti ultimamente p. la chiesa di 

S. Gio. da Antonio di Jacopo del Pollauolo pesorno L. 88 
0.5 erano con figuri e smalti e si pag6 a d Ant p. mani- 
fattura di d' Candellieri F. 17 per Libbra 1'anno 1470. 
[Spogli Strozzi II. c. 120'.] 



Antonio d'Jacopo detto Antonio del Pollaiuolo orafo de' 
dare a di xxiiij. di luglio fior. novanzette sol. xij. den. xx. 
a oro larghi : sono per la monta di libre xj. d'ariento e one 


ii den. i6di fine per libra resta el fine libr. 10 one. 
den. 8 a fiorini 8J larghi la libr. del popolino el quale se 
gli da perche se gli aloch6 1'elmo che si dona al signiore 
Chonte d'Urbino. 

[Nel libro delle spese per 1'impresa di Volterra Dieci 
di Balia, 1472. Giornale a c. 37. Quoted by Milanesi. 
Vasari, III. 298.] 



[Published by Gaye, Cart. Ined. I. 578.] 

Item dederunt et locaverunt vigore dictae legis 
Dominicho et Sandro Marini, pictoribus, faciam sale 
audientie dominorum dicti palatii ad pingendum et 
ornandum pro ornamento dicti palatii. 

Item locaverunt Pietro, vocato Perugino, et Blaxio 
Antonii Tucci, pictoribus, faciam sale palatii dictorum 
dominorum versus plateam, videlicet faciam fenestrae, ad 
faciendum et pingendum ; solvendum salarium ut in 
deliberatione de Dominicho del Grillandaio continetur. 

Item locaverunt faciam putei dicte sale Piero Jacobi del 
Pollaiuolo pictori etc. 



[Published by Gaye, Cart. Ined. I. 471.] 
MCCCCLXXIII ii januar. 

A Antonio di lacopo del Pollaiuolo si da a fare un bacino 
grande d' argento per la Signoria. 



[Regesta Florentina Internam Reipublicae Historiam 
spectantia ab anno mccxxv usque ad annum MD.] 



[Published in Catalogo del Museo dell' Opera del Duomo, 
Firenze, 1904.] 


1477 Luglio 24. 

Si d autorit& a' Consoli e official! di mosaico di allogave far 
fare corapire e fornire 1' altare d' ariento di S. Gio 1 Batt% 
cioe le due teste al dossale nel modo e forma che sta al 
presente el dossale, con quattro storie che vi mancono, cioe 
in verso la porta del Battesimo due storie che sieno 1' 
Annunziazione la Nativita e il Parto, le dette due storie 
secondo il disegno et il modello che si faranno, la 3% che 
riguarda verso 1'opera di S. Gio'. la cena la Donzella che 
balla e quando gl'e tagliata la testa di S. Gio. Bat a ad ornate 
tutte le quattro storie con figure di piii che mezzo rilievo e 
faccino che sieno finite per tutto Aprile 1478 etc. 

[Delib. de' Consoli 1473-1477, c. 211. Spogli Strozzi I. 
c. 240* -241'. 

1477. AgOStO 2. 

Paghisi fior. 6 a Verrocchio orefice per due storie fatte per 
lui per fare le teste del dossale dell' altare della chiesa di 
S. Gio 1 , con il modello e similitudine del quale si dovevano 
fare dette storie e i detti modelli dovevano rimanere all 
opera di S. Gio ! . 

Item a Antonio del PoUaiolo paghisi fior. 8 per tre 
altre storie fatte per detta occasione. 


[Delib. de' Consoli, 1473-1477, c. 215. Spogli cit. I. c. 

1477 (?) 

Antonio di Salvi e Francesco di Giovanni, compagni, 
orafi in Vacchereccia, vogliono fare due storie del dossale 
d argento di S. Gio', cioe il Convito e la Decollazione, di 
peso di libbre 30 d'ariento, a fiorini 15 la libbra e quello 
pesasse piu delle dette Jibre 30 gli fusse pagato per ariento 
etc. Gli e conceduto. 

[Filza 6 dell' Arte de' Mercatanti di Provisioni e scritture 
dipiu sortidal 1463 al 1477, c. 238. Spogli. cit. I. c. 133'.] 


1477, Agosto 18. 

Si da a fare a Antonio di Salvi e Francesco di Gio' com- 
pagni, orefici, una testa o lato del dossale dell' altare d'ar- 
gento della chiesa di S. Gio' Bat a , cioe il Convito e la Decolla- 
zione, al modello e conforme al modello di cei'a prescntato 
per loro a' consoli, e ancora le cornice sovagi basi e 
capitelli etc. 

[Delib. de' Consoli, 1477, c. 215. Spogli cit. I. c. 241'.] 

Si d& a fare a Bernardo di Bartolomeo Vanni orefice, 
1'altra testa o lato del dossale di detto altare, cioe 
I'Annunziazione, Nativita e Parto di S. Gio ! . Batt% al 
paragone del modello di cera da farsi per detto Bernardo, 
sovagi etc. 

[Delib. de' Consoli, 1473-1477, c. 216. Spogli cit. I.e. 


1478, Gennaio 13 

Bernardo di Bartolomeo di Cenni, orefice, faccia le storia 
dell' Annunziazione, et Andrea di Michele del Verrocchio 


faccia la storia della Decollazione di S. Gio 1 Bat a , Antonio 
d' lacopo del Pollaiuolo faccia la storia della Nativit& et 
Antonio di Salvi e Franc di Gio ! compagni, faccino la 
storia del Convito di S. Gio' Bat a ; secondo il modello e 
dossale antico, excepto che le figure che sono sode sieno 
vote, nel resto devono essere della medesima grandezza etc. 
come sono quelle che sono in detto dossale e devono fare 
ancora tutte le cornice sovagi pilerie basi fregi e capitelli, 
come quelli del detto dossale vecchio, e tutto alia bonta di 
perfetti maestri, e devono haverle finite per tutto il di 20 
di Luglio prossimo a ragione di fior. 15 per libbra etc. 

[Libro di partiti segnato C. 1477-1481, c. 7 e c. 20. 
Spogli cit. I. c. 248'.] 


1.578, Dicembre 30. 

Ant del Pollaiuolo e Andrea di Michele del Verrocchio 
finischino drento a certo tempo le storie pigliate a fare. 

[Libro di partiti segnato C. 1477-1481, c. 61, 63. Spogli 
cit. I. c. 245'.] 


Andrea del Verrocchio, scultore, finisce la storia del 
dossale d'ariento, la quale pes6 1. 30 d. 4 ; per la quale in 
tutto se gli pag6 fior. 397 1. 21 s. i. 

Antonio di Salvi et . . . , orafi, finiscono la storia del 
dossale d'ariento, la quale peso 1. 32 d. 4 e d' 18 ; per la 
quale in tutto se gli pag6 fior. 384, s. 12, d, 10. 

(Libro grande P. 1480,0. 274. Spogli cit. I. c. 12') 

Bernardo di Bartolommeo di Cenni, orafo, finisce la storia 
del dossale d'ariento, la quale pes6 1. 36 d. 1 1 ; per la quale 
in tutto se gli pago fior. 475, 1. 2, s. 5, d. 10. 

(Libro grande P. 1480, c. 275. Spogli cit. I, c. 12') 


Antonio d'lacopo del Pollaiuolo et . . . orafi, finiscono 
la storia del dossale d'ariento, la quale pes6 1. 29, d. 3, d' 5 ; 
per la quale in tutto se gli pago fior. 487, 1. r, s. 16, d. 4. 

[Lihro gvande P. 1480, c. 288. Spogli cit. I. c.i2 4 .] 


1483, Aprile 26. 

Si paga danari a Antonio del Pollaiuolo Bernardo di 
Cenni Antonio di Salvi e Andrea del Verrocchio per 
rassettare e fare le storie che feciono nell' altare di S. 

[Delib. de' Cousoli, 1482-1484. c. 48. Spogli cit. I. c. 



1483. Maggio 27. 

Cornice e capitelli si danno a fare per 1'altare d'argeiito 
di S. Giovanni. 

[Delib. de' Consoli, 1482-1484, c. 53. Spogli, cit. I. c. 



ii Marzo 1477 (N.S. 1478). 

Magnifice Vir e benefactor nr singularissime post debit 
recommendat. Nelle cose occorenti ci bisognia afaticare la 
V.M. ; et questo sie che doppo la morte della buona 
memoria di Monsignor di Thyano, nostro dilectissimo 
compatriota per memoria della sua Reverendissima S. e 
per benefitii ricevuti questa Cipta da lui, parve qui alia 


comunita fare dimostratione, et per n ri consigli fu obtenuto 
per sua Sepoltura et memoria si dovesse spendere lire mille 
cento e commisse a noi Ciptadini che facessimo fare 
modelli, et quelli facti si presentassero al consiglio et 
quello il consiglio elegiesse, si dovesse prehendere. 
II perche al consiglio fu presentati cinque modelli, fra 
quali nenera uno dandrea del varrocchio, il quale piaceva 
piu che altro ; et il consiglio de commissione a noi, 
dovessimo praticare di pregio con dco. Andrea. Ilche 
facemo, et lui ci chiese ducati trecento ciriquanta, et inteso 
noi la chiesta sua li demo licentia, et nulla saldamo seco ; 
perche non avevamo commessione spendere piu che lire 
mille cento. Et di poi desiderandosi per noi che dca. 
opera avesse effecto, ricorrimo al consiglio, dicendo che 
bisognava magior quantita di denari a questa opera che 
lire mille cento, volendo una cosa degnia. II consiglio 
inteso il vero nuovamente diliber6, et diecci auctorita 
potessimo spendere quella quantita di denari ci paresse 
per dca. opera, perche fuse bella. et potessimo allogarla a 
dco. andrea et a ogni altro che ci paresse. II perche noi 
intendendo essere qui piero del pollaiuolo fumo seco, et 
preghamolo ci dovesse fare modello di tale opera ; il che 
ci promesse fare, et per questo abbiamo diferito ad alogare 
dca. opera. Ora e seguito che enostri M. Commissari, per 
fare che dca. opera avesse effecto, lanno allogata al dco. 
andrea per dco. pregio et modo ; et noi, come figliuoli 
dubidientia, a questa et a ogni altra cosa che loro facessino 
et deliberasseno, sempre staremo content! et ubidienti : et 
cosi alloro nabbiamo scripto. Ora piero del pollaiuolo a 
facto il modello che per noi li fu imposto ; il quale ci pare 
piu bello et piu dengnio darte et piu piace a contento di 
mess, piero fratello di dco. Monsignore et di tucta la sua 


famiglia, et simul di noi et di tucti e ciptadini della nra 
cipta, che lanno veduto, che 11011 fa quello dandrea o 
dalchuno altro, et per questo abbiamo preghato decti 
commissari, che se paga loro usare alchuna cortesia a dco. 
andrea, et pigliare quello di dco. piero, cio ne rarebbeno 
contento et piacere assai. Ora a voi, come a nro protectore, 
mandiamo e decti modelli,perche di simile cose et dognialtra 
navete pienissima intelligentia, et siamo certi desiderate 
1'honore di decto Monsignore et sua famiglia et di tucta la 
nra. Cipta ; che essendo vero quello ci pare, ci prestiate il 
vro. aiuto et favore al nro. desiderio, che non intende ad 
altro che allo honore della Cipta, et alia memoria di dco. 
Monsignore. Bene valete. Ex pistorio die xi. Martii, 

Vriservidori Operari di San Jacopo offitiali della 
Sapientia et Ciptadiui electi pel consiglio sopra dca. opera 
in pistoia. 

Magnifico viro Laurentio de Medicis benefactoris no^tro 
precipuo florentie. 

[Arch. Med. Famiglia privata Lettere. Filza 35. Gaye, 
Cart. Ined. i. 256.] 



[Published by Luigi Pecori, u Storia della Terra di S 

Gimignano." Firenze, 1853, p. 637.] 
A. d. xvii Febraio, 1480. 

Fassi fede per me Antonio d' Jacopo Horafo detto del 
Pollaiuolo chome avendo veduto uno horlichieri fatto per 


Jachopo Horafo da Pisa e in chompagnia di Nofri hoperaio 
e Antonio di Salvi abiamo veduto che sechondo un disegnio 
die ci mostrorono 1'opera cioe e'lavoro e stato chondotto 
secondo el disegnio, e inteso el pregio a spesa d' Jacopo 
sopradetto cioe ariento horo e fattura che lui abi fatto in 
vei'so di voi suo dovere, cioe che non a di quel del chomune 
chosa che vabi a sodisfare. 

Ma bene vero che se voi dicessi, se si potessi fare meglio 
o chome noi siamo uxi a lavorare simili lavori che voi nollo 
paghareste chon nor. 15 larghi la lib. perche sarebe ragion- 
evole, e perche none interamente gli smalti al modo chome 
noi facciamo di qua ci pare che stia bene el pregio sopra- 
detto cioe nor. dodici larghi la libra, e massime sendo 
1'ariento a legha di Firenze e per questo Antonio di Salvi 
orafo e io Antonio supradetto gudichiamo insieme chome 
si soscrivera qui e sara in questo medeximo gudicio la 
channa pesa oncie dicotto cioe una libbra e mezzo che 
facciamo che la lib. de la channa la fattura gli sia paghata 
nor. tre larghi la libra, in tutto nor. quatro e mezzo per 
tuto de la channa. 

Fassi fede per me Antonio di Salvi orafo sopradetto e so 
chontento al sopradetto gudichato chol sopradetto Antonio 
d' Jachopo detto di sopra, e per6 mi sono soscripto di mia 
propria mano 1480. Fede della valuta di uno calice doro 
appartenente all' opera e ciborio dove sta il dito di San 

[Carte sciolte della Cancelleria, S. Gimignano, Filza T. 
No. 64.] 





[Published by Torrigio, " Le Sacre Grotte Vaticane," p. 

Anno 1498, feria 3, die 30 Januarii corpus sive cadaver 
fel. rec. Innocentii Papae VIII quod post ejus obitum fuit 
juxta murum altaris B. Mariae Virg. Chori, ubi canonici et 
clerus Basilicae S. Petri de Urbe singulis diebus officium 
peragere convenerunt, antequam statuam metalli Sixtus 
Papa IV capellam suam pro choro eorum erigeret et ordi- 
naret fuit ex deposito hujusmodi circa horam vesperorum 
extractum ex capsa, in qua iacebat et compertum integrum, 
illtesum, uno pede denipto quia in pedicis habuit aliquam 
laesionem, in ipsa capsa positum super una raensa super 
duobus tripedibus in dicto choro, juxta depositum hujus- 
modi ordinata ibi per canonicos et clerum praedictaa 
Basilicas, Vigilias mortuorum. De quibus locis postea 
extractus fuit integer, ex dicta capsa adhuc omnia 
Pontificalia paramenta habens illresa, et positus et consutus 
in una petia de tafettano violacco et expositus in capsam 
oeream ad memoriam tibi constructam. 



[Published in "Arch. Stor. dell' Arte/' IV. 1891, 368.] 
Aperitio Sepulcri Innocentii Octavi 
Die quinta septembris MDCVI, hora XIX Illustrissimi 
et R mi d ni Cardinales fabricae novi templi a S.D.N. deputati 


cupientes ut in hac Basilicas demolitione ossa summorum 
Pontificum, memoriae, et alia notatu cligna sedulo semaren- 
tur, deputavit R" 10S d nos Darium Buccarium et Alloysium 
cittadinum canonicos, dn um Nicolaum Amatum beneficiatum, 
qui hujusmodi curam haberent, sine quibus caementarii 
tumulos et marmoreas areas quae in media Basilica et 
lateralibus locis humi sepultae erant, nullatenus aperire 

Quare, eodem R. d. Alloysio praesente, fuit aperta urna 
sive capsa cenea sepulcri Innocentii Papae Octavi, in nave 
S n " Sudarii et inspectum corpus ejusdem Innocentii in- 
tegrum, sed corruptum, ac involutum panno serico rubro 
de raso, indutum preciosis paramentis pontificalibus euri 
insertis ad perlas cum auri, frigio et chirothecis. Corpus 
magnae erat staturae. Intra capsam ad pedes Pontificis 
repertum est numisma oereum signatum imagine ipsius 
Innocentii ad vivum expressa, induti pluviale cum litteris 
in gyro " Innocentius Januensis VIII Pont. Max." In 
altera parte tres imagines mulierum cum litteris " Justitia, 
Pax, Copia. " Quod numisma habuit R. d. Alloysius 
cittadinus Canonicus plus ostensurus 111" 10 et R'" Alphonso 
Cardinal! Vicecomiti, uno ex cardinalibus fabricae 
deputatis. Area fuit inde clausa, et in novo templo, in 
aditu Sacelli S.Gregorii juxta Clementem VIII. reposita. 

Super quibus . . . Actum ubi supra, praeseiitibus 
dominis Joanne Belluccio et Paulo Bacioeco, testibus 
rogatis. Ego Jacobus Grimaldus notarius rogatus scripsi, 
subscripsi et signavi manu propria. 

[Bibl. Barberini, XXXIV, 150, fol. 178.] 



Adam aud Eve, 130 
Adoration of Magi, Albertiiia. 214 
Adoration of Magi, TJflizi, 214 
Albertiiia, 69, 137, 153, 174, 214 
Alesso Baldoviuetti, 7, 33, 52, 53, 88, 

89, 165, 217 
Andrea ual Castagno, 6, 7, 23, 32, 


Angel giving alms to Beggars, 216 
Annunciation, Berlin, 97-99 
Anomiuo Gaddiano, 5, 137, 153, 159, 


Antonio Pollaiuolo, Private life, 
2-14 ; Influences, 31-34 ; Charac- 
teristics of Art ; 26-31, 38-44 
Apollo and Daphne, National 

Gallery, 62, 70, 72 
Appolloula. S. Justice, 149 
Arcetri Frescoes, 116-121, 125 
Armour of Salutati, 133 

BALDINUCCT, 153, 163, 176 
Baldovinetti, 7, 33, 52, 53, 88, 89, 

165, 217 

Ball of Cupola, 22, 263 
Baptist, Drawings, Utlizi, 213, 214 
Baptistry Doors, 4, 5 
Barbari, Jacopo di, 160 
Bargello, 81, 82, 185, 186 
Bartoluecio Ghiborti, 4, 5, 
Basin for Signoria, 8, 150, 273 
Battle of Nudes, 34, 35, 36, 39, 40, 


Beam Coll., Paris, 84 
Beckerath Coll., Berlin, 80, in, 200 
iJuit Coll., 75 

Belvedere, Home, 21 

Bereusou, 8, 34, 80, 81, 84, 89, 153 

158, 161, 181, 207, 210, 213, 215 

Berlin, 34, 97, 40, 64, 80, 155, 158 

178. 181, 200 
Bertoldo di Giovanni, 188 
Betto Betti, 48, 49, 51, 58 
Bibliography, 230 
Billi, Ant., 5, 137, 153, 163 
Bouuat Coll., 1'aris, 129 
Boiisi, Dom., 20, 257 
Borghini, 133 
Borsari, Luigi, 17 
Botticelli, 41, 42, 58, 65, 119, 139 

147. 157. *72 
Botticiui, 96 
Brauer Shield, 134 
British Museum, 73, 75, 124, 146, 


CANDELABRA, 8, 59, 272 
Carmine, i. 20 
Carmine Crucifix, 8, 151 
Castagno, And. dal, 6, 7, 23. 32, 36 
Cavalcaselle, 4, 22, 103, 140, 165, 183 
Cellini, Beuveuuto, 10, 46 
Ceiini, Bernardo, 170, 171 
Centaurs lighting, drawing, 217 
Charles VIII. Bust, 186 
Chautilly, 210 

Christopher, S. Fresco, 162-165 
Chronological Table, 222 
Citta di Castcllo, 160 
Cook Coll., 78 

Cros, Op del Duouio, 8, 47-60, 



DANTE, drawing, 217 

David, Berlin, 40, 64-66, 154 

David, Naples, 85 

Delaborde, 34 

Discord, 39, 40, 125-128 

Documents, 233 

Donatello, 28, 31, 213 

Drawings, Adam, Utttzi, 130 ; Adora- 
tion of Magi, Albertina, 214; 
Adoration of Magi, Uttizi, 214 ; 
Angel giving Alms, Ullizi, 216; 
Archer, Berlin, 158 ; Baptist, Utttzi, 
213, 214; Charity, Uflizi, 143; 
Centaurs fighting, 217 ; Dante, 
Oxford, 217 ; Embroidery design, 
Beckcrath, 1 1 1 ; Embroidery design, 
Uflizi, in ; Eve, Ufflzi, 73 ; Fides, 
Botticelli, 147 ; Fides, Ullizi, 144 ; 
Fides, Verrocchio, 145-147 ; Gatta- 
melata, Hertford House, 132 ; 
Head of man, Chuutilly, 210 ; 
Hercules, Beckeratli, 80 ; Hercules, 
British Museum, 73, 75 ; Hernia, 
Uttizi, 129 ; Horse, Wilton House, 
76, 213 ; S. Jerome, Ullizi, 207 ; 
Nude, Bouuat Coll., 129 ; Nudes, 
Louvre, 132 ; Nude stu.lies, 
Uttizi, 128 ; Prisouer before J udgc 1 , 
British Museum, 124 ; Sautarelli 
Head, Uflizi, 80; 8. Sebastian, 
Frizzoni Coll., 159 ; S." Sebastian, 
Verrocchio Sketch Book, 158; 
Sforza Monument, Munich, 211; 
Tomb of Innocent VI II. Becker.ith 
Coll., 200 ;Turibuluin,UlBzi, 215 

DUrer, 30, 80 

EMBROIDEKIES, 100-115, 261 

Engraving, 34-36 

Engraving of Lady, Berlin, 34 

K pistol trio, 175 

FAQADE of Duorno, 22 
Feldsberg, 35, 121 
Filippino Lippi, i, 19 
Finiguerra, 10, n, 35, 45, 46, 87 
Forteguerri Tomb, 23, 147, 277 
Franceschiui, 173 
Francesco di Giovanni, 169 
Frizzoni Coll., 159 

GALEAZZO Sforza, 182-183 
Gattarnelata drawing, 132 

Gaye, 15, 216 
Genealogical chart, 228 
Ghiberti, Bartoluccio, 4, 5, 31 
Ghiberti, Lorenzo, 4, 5, 31 
Gimignano, S., 24, 183-185, 279 
Grimaldi, Jacopo, 204 
Gronau, 145, 158 
Guasti, Gaetano, 120 

HAMBURG drawing, 217 

Hainautr, Profile, 181 

Helmet for Count of Urbino, 8, 150, 

Hercules, Lost Medici paintiugs, 8, 

12, 17, 23, 67-70 

Hercules paintings, Ullizi, 40, 41, 


Hercules, Itobetta engravings, 73-75 
Hercules and Auta:us, engraving, 


Hercules and Giants, engraving, 76 
Hercules and Nessus, Newhaveu, 78- 

Hercules drawing, British Museum, 

Hercules drawing, Beckurath Coll., 


Hercules and Antiuus, Bargello, 81 
Hercules and An tains, Bcruusou 

Coll., 84 
Hercules, Pierpont Morgan Coll., 

Hercules frescoes, Palazzo Vem-zia, 


Herma drawing, 129 
Hertford House drawing, 132 

INNOCENT VHI. Tomb, 15, 16, 18, 
177, 281 

JACOPO dl Barbari, 160 
Jacopo, S. Sopr' Arno, 158 
Jerome S., Uttizi, 207 

KRIHTE.LLEH, 36, 46 

LANFREDINI, Giovanni, 15, 260 
Landscapes of Antonio Pollaiuolo, 42 

63. 72. 79. 105, 157. 
Leonardo d' Arezzo portrait, 176 
Leonardo da Vinci, 41, 212 
Lichtensteiu engraving, 35, 121 



List of works by Antonio, 224 
List of works by I'iero, 228 
Logan, Mary, 116 
Louvre Nudes, 132 

MACKOWSKY, 50, 52, 57 
Madonna of the G Irdle, 165 
Manetti portr.iit, 176 
Mantegna, 36 
Marini, Luc'i, 19 
Marsy:is, Bargello, 82 
Medallist, Botticelli, 65 
Mercatanzia Virtues, 12, 23, 136- 

149, 267 

Mesnil, Jacques, 137, 267 
Metropolitan Museum, X. York. 162- 


Michelangelo, 54, 58 
Michelino, 217 
Migliore, 151, 218 
Milan, 159, 177 
Milauesi, 10, 18, 24, 94, 100 
Miliano Dei, 48, 51 
Milo of Crotona Shield, 134 
Minitito 8. 8, 23, 33, 56, 87-80 
Miniato, S., fra le Torri, 163 
Morelli, 76, 130, 153, 159, 212 
Momma, 208 
Miintz, 69, 81, 182 


National Gallery, 62, 64, 70, 72, 97, 


Newhaven, 78- -80 
New York, 162-165 
Niccol6, S., 165 
Niello, 10, ii, 45, 46 
Nude studies, 128-133 
Nurnberg, 38, 80 

OPERA del Duomo, 8, 47, 100, 167 
Orsini, Gentil Virginio, 16, 257 
Or S. Michele, 94, 163 
Oxford drawing, 217 

PACI, 45 

Pancrazio, S. Tabernacle, 87 

Paolo Uccello, 36 

Paris, 84, 129, 132, 158 

Pazzi Conspiracy medal, 187 

Pembroke drawing, 76, 213 

Pier del Franceschi, 178 

Piero Pollainolo, 3, n, 19, 20, 22-24 

25, 26, &c. 

Pierpout Morgan, 82, 85 
Pietro, S. in Vincoli, i, 8, 19, 206 
Pietro, S. Tombs, 189-206 
Pistoja, 23, 147 
Pitti, 160 

Poggio Bracciolini portrait, 176 
Poldi-Pezzoli Museum, 177-180 
Portraits, 176-183 
Prisoner before Judge, 124 
Pucci Altarpiece, 151-158 

QUAIL on Baplistry doors, 4, 5 

RAFFAELLE Sketch-book, 75 
Reliquary for Duomo, 175 
Keymond, Marcel, 186, 191 
Richa, 158, 164, 175 
Richmond, Cook Coll., 78 
Richter, 212 

Rinucclni Jewels, 11, 87, 260 
Robctta, 73-75 

Rome, i, 8, 15, 16, 18, 19,21, 86, 177, 
189, 206 

SALI, Piero, 10, 87 

Salvi, Ant. di, 169, 171 

Snntarelli Coll., 80 

Schmarsow, 90 

Sebastian, S. 8, 27, 151-158 

Sebastian S., S. Jacopo sopr' Arno, 


Sforza Galeazzo, 182-183 
Sforza drawing, 17, 211 
Shield, 134 
Signorelli, 160 
Signoria basin, 8, 156, 273 
Signoria Commissions, 8,24, 150,273 
Silver Altar, 59, 167-175, 274 
Stiver Cross, 8, 47-60, 258 
Sixtus IV. Tomb, 8, 15, 18 
Sogliani, n, 
St:i<rgia Altarpiece, 73, no. 161- 


TESTAMENT of Antonio Pollaiuolo, 


Three Saints, Ufflzi, 12, 13, 91-93 
Tobias, Accailemin, 96 
Tobias, National Gallery, 96 
Tobias, Turin, 94-97 

2 86 


Tomb of Antonio Pollaiuolo, i, 19 
Tomb of Innocent VIII, 199-206, 

Tomb of Sixtus IV., 8, 15, 18, 34, 39, 


Torre del Gallo, 116-121, 125 
Torrigio, 205 
Tours, Tomb of Children of Charles 

VIII, 77 
Tnribulnm, 215 

UCCELLO, 36, 212 

Uffizi, 40, 41, 65, 66, 80, 91, in, 128, 
129, 130, 136, 143, 144, 145, 180, 
182, 207, 213, 214, 215, 216 

Ulman, 86 

Urbino Helmet, 8, 150, 272 

VASARI, 4, 6, 10, 13,21,26, 45, 62, 67, 
69, 88, 94, 100, 101, 128, 137, 151, 
152, 163, 176, 187, 190, 211, 218 

Venice, 75 

Verrocchio, 12, '13, i, 23, 26, 52, 53, 
56, 58, 125, 145-147, 166, 169, 
170, 177, 179, 213 

Verrocchio Sketch Book, 74, 158 

Victoria and Albert Museum, 39,40, 
82, 85, 125 

Vienna, 74, 214 

Virtues of Mercatanzin, 12, 23, 

136-149, 267 

WILTON House Drawings, 76, 213 
YOUNG Warrior, Bargello, 82 

Printed by BAI.I.ANTVNE &> Co. LIMITED 
Tavistock Street, London 



Gruttwell, Maud 

Antonio Pollaiuolo