Bartolomeo Ammannati (18 June 1511 – 13 April 1592) was an
Italian architect and sculptor, born at Settignano, near Florence. He
Baccio Bandinelli and
Jacopo Sansovino (assisting on the
design of the Library of St. Mark's, the Biblioteca Marciana, Venice)
and closely imitated the style of Michelangelo.
He was more distinguished in architecture than in sculpture. He worked
Rome in collaboration with Vignola and Vasari), including
designs for the Villa Giulia, but also for works and at Lucca. He
labored during 1558–1570, in the refurbishment and enlargement of
Pitti Palace, creating the courtyard consisting of three wings with
rusticated facades, and one lower portico leading to the amphitheatre
in the Boboli Gardens. His design mirrored the appearance of the main
external façade of Pitti. He was also named Consul of Accademia delle
Arti del Disegno of Florence, which had been founded by the Duke
Cosimo I in 1563.
Garden entrance of the Ammannati Courtyard in the Pitti Palace.
In 1569, Ammanati was commissioned to build the Ponte Santa Trinita, a
bridge over the Arno River. The three arches are elliptic, and though
very light and elegant, has survived, when floods had damaged other
Arno bridges at different times. Santa Trinita was destroyed in
1944, during World War II, and rebuilt in 1957.
Ammannati designed what is considered a prototypic mannerist
sculptural ensemble in the Fountain of Neptune (Fontana del Nettuno),
prominently located in the
Piazza della Signoria
Piazza della Signoria in the center of
Florence. The assignment was originally given to the aged
Bartolommeo Bandinelli; however when Bandinelli died, Ammannati's
design, bested the submissions of
Benvenuto Cellini and Vincenzo
Danti, to gain the commission. From 1563 and 1565, Ammannati and his
assistants, among them Giambologna, sculpted the block of marble that
had been chosen by Bandinelli. He took Grand Duke
Cosimo I as model
for Neptune's face. The statue was meant to highlight Cosimo's goal of
establishing a Florentine Naval force. When the work on the ungainly
sea god was finished, and sited at the other corner of the Palazzo
Michelangelo David statue, the then 87-year-old sculptor,
is said to have scoffed at Ammannati that he had ruined a beautiful
piece of marble, with the ditty: "Ammannati, Ammanato, che bel marmo
hai rovinato!" Ammannati continued work on this fountain for a
decade, adding around the perimeter a cornucopia of demigod figures:
bronze reclining river gods, laughing satyrs and marble sea horses
emerging from the water.
In 1550 Ammannati married Laura Battiferri, an elegant poet and an
accomplished woman. Later in his life he had a religious crisis,
Counter-Reformation piety, which resulted in condemning
his own works depicting nudity, and he left all his possessions to the
He died in
Florence in 1592.
Victory (1540), marble, Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence.
Leda with the Swan, marble, also in Bargello, Florence.
Venus (1558–59), marble, Prado Museum, Madrid.
Parnassus (1563), marble, Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence.
Allegory of Winter (1563–65), stone, Villa Medici, Castello.
Goddess Opi (1572–75), bronze, Palazzo Vecchio, Florence.
The Jesuit College in Rome, 1582–84, was one of Ammannati's later
Venus, a variation on the classical type known as Venus Pudica.
However, the arms are the result of an 18th-century restoration, as
the original had the arms cut off in order to allow water to flow out.
Parco di Villa Reale di Castello (Villa di Castello) Fountain of
January (Fontana del Gennaio) in
Christ and Canaanite woman by Alessandro Allori. Commissioned by
Ammannati for funeral of his wife poet
Laura Battiferri (painted as
old woman with the book).
^ a b c d e One or more of the preceding
sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public
domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Ammanati, Bartolomeo".
Encyclopædia Britannica. 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
^ Isabella de' Medici, by Caroline P. Murphy, page 76. Murphy only
mentions the phrase Ammannati Ruinati as Michelangelo's words. It
appears the statue received a cool public welcome relative to the
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bartolomeo Ammannati.
Bartolomeo Ammannati in the "History of Art"
ISNI: 0000 0001 0837 1832
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