Bartolommeo (or Baccio) Bandinelli, actually Bartolommeo Brandini (17
October 1493 – shortly before 7 February 1560), was a Renaissance
Italian sculptor, draughtsman and painter.
2 Selected works
3 See also
6 Further reading
7 Exhibition catalog
Baccio Bandinelli - Drawing of monument for
Pope Leo X
Pope Leo X and Clement
The cartoon of the Battle of Cascina by Michelangelo.
Hercules and Cacus.
Bandinelli was the son of a prominent Florentine goldsmith, and
first apprenticed in his shop. As a boy, he was apprenticed under
Giovanni Francesco Rustici, a sculptor friend of Leonardo da Vinci.
Among his earliest works was a Saint Jerome in wax, made for Giuliano
de' Medici, identified as Bandinelli's by John Pope-Hennessy.
Giorgio Vasari, a former pupil in Bandinelli's workshop, claimed
Bandinelli was driven by jealousy of
Benvenuto Cellini and
Michelangelo; and recounts that:
(When) the cartoon of
Michelangelo in the Council Hall ("Battle of
Cascina" at Palazzo Vecchio) was uncovered, and all the artists ran
to copy it, and Baccio (most frequently) among (them),... having
counterfeited the key of the chamber. In... 1512, Piero Soderini was
deposed and the...
Medici reinstated. In the tumult, therefore,
Baccio, being by himself, secretly cut the cartoon into several
Some said he did it that he might have a piece of the cartoon always
near him, and others that he wanted to prevent other youths from
making use of it; others again say that he did it out of affection for
Leonardo da Vinci, or from the hatred he bore to Michelangelo. The
loss anyhow to the city was no small one, and Baccio's fault very
Bandinelli's lifelong obsession with
Michelangelo is a recurring theme
in assessments of his career.
Bandinelli was a leader in the group of Florentine Mannerists who were
inspired by the revived interest in
Donatello attendant on the
installation of Donatello's bas-relief panels for the pulpit in San
Lorenzo, 1515. The artist presented his relief of the Deposition to
Charles V at Genoa in 1529; though the relief has been lost, a bronze
from it by
Antonio Susini in 1600 (Musée du Louvre) shows the
decisive inspiration of Donatello's emotional pitch and intensity;
Bandinelli made several drawings of the
Donatello reliefs, though
later in life he disparaged them in a letter to Cosimo I de'
His sculptures have never inspired the admiration given those of
Michelangelo, especially the colossal (5.05 m) marble group of
Hercules and Cacus
Hercules and Cacus (completed in 1534) in the Piazza della Signoria,
Florence, and Adam and Eve in the Museo Nazionale del Bargello, which
both stand within sight of some of Michelangelo's masterworks. Vasari
said of him "He did nothing but make bozzetti and finished little",
and modern commentators have remarked on the vitality of Bandinelli's
terracotta models contrasted with the finished marbles: "all the
freshness of his first approach to a subject was lost in the laborious
execution in marble... A brilliant draughtsman and excellent
small-scale sculptor, he had a morbid fascination for colossi which he
was ill-equipped to execute. His failure as a sculptor on a grand
scale was accentuated by his desire to imitate Michelangelo."
Hercules and Cacus
Hercules and Cacus was commissioned by the
Medici pope Clement VII,
who had been shown a wax model. The supplied block of
was not big enough to execute Bandinelli's wax model. He had to make
new wax models, one of which was chosen by the pope as the final
draft. Bandinelli had already carved the sculpture as far as the
abdomen of Hercules, when during the 1527 Sack of Rome, the pope was
taken prisoner. Meanwhile, in Florence, republican enemies of the
Medici took advantage of the chaos to exile Ippolito de' Medici.
Bandinelli, a supporter of the Medici, was also exiled. In 1530
Emperor Charles V retook
Florence after a long siege. Pope Clement VII
subsequently installed his illegitimate son Alessandro de'
duke of Tuscany. Bandinelli then returned to
Florence and continue
work on the statue till completed in 1534, and transported from the
Opera del Duomo to its present marble pedestal. But from the moment it
was unveiled, it faced ridicule; Cellini compared the ponderous group
to 'a sack full of melons'. Afterwards, the Bandinelli tried to
sabotage Cellini's career. The statue was restored between February
and April 1994.
Bandinelli's drawings, which have in the past masqueraded as
Michelangelos in connoisseurs' collections, have come into their own
in the later twentieth century.
Among Bandinelli's pupils were Vasari and Francesco de' Rossi (Il
Salviati). His sons Clemente, a collaborator in his studio, and
Michelangelo Bandinelli were also sculptors.
Baccio Bandinelli's works include:
copy of Laocoon, at the time in the Cortile del Belvedere,
Pope Leo X
Pope Leo X as a gift to François I. Bandinelli
boasted that he would exceed the original, and when he was finished,
after a hiatus during the pontificate of Adrian VI, the
Clement VII could not bear to part with it, sent some antiquities to
the King of France in its stead, and sent Baccio's
Florence. It remains at the Uffizi.
Tombs of the
Medici popes Leo X and
Clement VII in Santa Maria sopra
Bust of Cosimo I de'
Medici (c. 1539–40) (Metropolitan Museum of
Art, acc. no. 1987.280) This had been locked away in a vault in a
Swiss bank until a dealer's tip led the curator
Olga Raggio to its
Monument to Giovanni delle Bande Nere (1540–54), a seated figure on
a magnificent pedestal, in piazza San Lorenzo, Florence
Pietà in the Basilica della Santissima Annunziata, Florence, where
Bandinelli portrayed himself in the figure of Joseph of Arimathea.
Bandinelli is buried in the chapel, with his wife Giacoma Doni.
Orpheus, now in the courtyard of the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi,
Pietà by Baccio Bandinelli, Basilica della Santissima Annunziata,
Ceres and Apollo (1552–1556) for niches in the façade of
Buontalenti's grotto in the Boboli Gardens
Orpheus for Palazzo Vecchio, now in the courtyard of the Palazzo
Medici-Riccardi. One of Bandinelli's few signed works.
Works for the Duomo, Florence, including the high altar and its Adam
and Eve (1551), now in the
Bargello and Pietà now in the crypt of
Santa Croce; much-praised bas-reliefs made for the enclosure of the
choir, designed by the architect Giuliano di Baccio d'Angnolo (1555),
now in the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo; Saint Peter, one of eight
apostles by various sculptors in the piers of the crossing.
Works in Palazzo Vecchio, including, in the Audience Hall, a statue of
Grand Duke Cosimo I de'
Medici and one of
Pope Leo X
Pope Leo X blessing
(finished after Bandinelli's death by Vincenzo de' Rossi)
God the Father (1549) in Santa Croce cloister
Andrea Doria as Neptune, outside
Bargello are also a number of lesser works: Noah (bas-relief),
portrait busts of Eleonora di Toledo and Cosimo I de' Medici, Venus,
Leda, Hercules, Bacchus Cleopatra and a portrait bust of an unknown
A youthful portrait by
Andrea del Sarto
Andrea del Sarto c. 1517 is conserved at the
Portrait of a Lady known as Smeralda Bandinelli
Portrait of a Lady known as Smeralda Bandinelli by Botticelli
^ The date of his burial.
^ The paintings that may be attributed to Bandinelli are only a
Michelangelo de Viviano de Brandini of Gaiuole and his noble wife
Catarina, a daughter of Taddeo Ugolino. Bandinelli produced a
falsified genealogy connecting him with the noble Bandinelli of Siena
in preparation for his induction into the chivalric Order of St James
by Charles V, in Rome, 1530.
^ Kathleen Weil-Garris, "Bandinelli and Michelangelo: A Problem of
Artist's Identity", in Art the Ape of Nature: Studies in Honor of H.W.
Jansen ed. by M. Barasch and L.F. Sandler (New York) 1981.
^ Christopher Fulton, "Present at the Inception:
Donatello and the
Origins of Sixteenth-Century Mannerism" Zeitschrift für
Kunstgeschichte 60.2 (1997, pp. 166–199) p. 174 and fig. 9.
^ Fulton 1997:178 note 15
^ Kurz, Otto (November 1944). "A Model for Bandinelli's Statue of
Cosimo I". The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs. Vol. 85
no. 500. p. 280. The terracotta bozzetto is at the
Wallace Collection, London.
^ Fox, Margalit (February 5, 2009). "Olga Raggio, a Scholar and Art
Curator, Dies at 82". The New York Times.
^ Bandinelli's penchant for self-portraits, both hidden and overt, is
well documented. Bandinelli's terracotta Head of Saint Paul, Ashmolean
Museum, Oxford, is actually a self-portrait. Izabella Galicka and
Hanna Sygietyńska, "A Newly Discovered Self-Portrait by Baccio
Bandinelli" The Burlington Magazine 134, No. 1077 (December 1992, pp.
805–807) p. 805 note.
Giorgio Vasari, Vite...: Baccio Bandinelli. The classic brief
anecdotal account of Baccio's career.
Touring Club Italiano, Firenze e Dintorni (1922) 1964.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Baccio Bandinelli.
Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article
Louis A. Waldman, Baccio Bandinelli and Art at the
Medici Court: A
Corpus of Early Modern Sources (Philadelphia: American Philosophical
Paola Barocchi, ed. Scritti d'arte del Cinquecento. (Milan: Ricciardi,
1974. (pp. 1359–1411: Baccio Bandinelli: Il Memoriale)
Roger Ward, Baccio Bandinelli, 1493-1560: Drawings from British
Collections. (Cambridge: Fitzwilliam Museum) 1988. Exhibition
catalogue of seventy-four Bandinelli drawings. ISBN 0-914160-06-0
Leonardo da Vinci: anatomical drawings from the Royal Library, Windsor
Castle, exhibition catalog fully online as PDF from The Metropolitan
Museum of Art, which contains material on
Bartolommeo Bandinelli (see
ISNI: 0000 0000 8060 6651
BNF: cb14961030p (data)