Giovanni Antonio Amadeo
Giovanni Antonio Amadeo (c. 1447 –
August 27 or 28, 1522) was an Italian early Renaissance
sculptor, architect, and engineer.
Amadeo was born in Pavia. In
1470 he was commissioned by Bartolomeo Colleoni to complete his
funerary chapel, the Cappella Colleoni in Bergamo, which had
been begun by Guiniforte and Francesco Solari. Amadeo added
polychrome decoration and many sculptures in the ancient style
including medallions, small columns, busts, reliefs of
"Histories from the Old Testament" and "Histories of Hercules".
Amadeo also designed the funerary monument to Medea Colleoni,
which was intended for the church of Santa Maria della Basella
in Urgnano. The condottiero's tomb was realized in collaboration
with other artists, with Amadeo providing the reliefs of the
lower sarcophagus and of the smaller upper sarcophagus, as well
seven statues of the Virtues.
Amadeo was also commissioned by
Duke Galeazzo Maria Sforza to work for some years in the Certosa
di Pavia. During 1473-1476, Amadeo realized half of the
bas-reliefs in the right side of the façade. In 1480 he finished
the arch of the Persian Martyrs in the Olivetani Monastery of
Cremona (four marble reliefs remain today, dated 1484). Also
attributed to him are two statues of Justice and Temperance in
Cremona, and reliefs in the National Antiquity Museum of Parma.
In 1485 he collaborated with his brother-in-law Pietro Antonio
Solari in the Ospedale Maggiore of Milan, a project of which he
was made director ten years later.
Amadeo was then active in the
decoration of the Milan Cathedral. He collaborated with Donato
Bramante on the facade of Santa Maria presso San Satiro in
Milan. In 1488 Amadeo was commissioned by Cardinal Ascanio
Sforza, the direction of works of the new Pavia Cathedral, again
with Bramante having a minor role. In this period he worked also
as Ducal engineer for Ludovico il Moro, designing fortifications
at Chiavenna and Piattamale, as well as repairing of roads and
bridges in Valtellina and (in the 16th century) hydraulic works;
for Ludovico he also realized a Loggia in the Ducal Palace of
Vigevano, as well as some statues for the Milanese Cathedral.
From 1495 Amadeo directed the works of the church of Santa Maria
presso San Celso at Milan. From 1497 he directed works at the
Milan Cathedral, finishing the tambour in 1500.
In the 16th century, Amadeo
designed the church of Santa Maria di Canepanova, also in Pavia.
In 1501 he sculpted reliefs with "Stories of the Carthusians"
and "life of St. Bruno" for the Certosa of Pavia. In 1982 it has
been proven that the Sanctuary of Santa Maria alla Fontana,
attributed for many years to Leonardo da Vinci was in fact
designed by Amadeo. In 1508 he also presented a model for the
spire of the Milan Cathedral, which was not executed.
To Amadeo has been also
attributed the notable façade of the Cathedral of Lugano,
considered a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture.
He died in Milan in 1522.