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 Andrea (di Cristoforo) Bregno

 

 

Bregno Andrea


(b Osteno, nr Lugano, 1418; d Rome, Sept 1503).

Italian architect and sculptor. Nothing is known of Bregno’s activity until his arrival in Rome in the 1460s, although his early works betray a Lombard training. During the pontificate of Sixtus IV he became the most popular and prolific sculptor of his day, with a large and well-organized bottega. He worked mainly on the decoration of tombs of prelates and dignitaries of the papal court. Bregno became famous in his lifetime and was mentioned, together with Verrocchio, by Giovanni Santi in La vita e le geste di Federico di Montefeltro duca d’Urbino, written between 1484 and 1487. The writer of a funeral epitaph actually compared him with Polykleitos. Bregno’s work is characterized by great refinement and technical skill. Although he was often not particularly inventive, he was certainly a fine sculptor of grotesques and other forms of ornamentation. He soon fell under the influence of Tuscan models, probably as a result of his contact with Mino da Fiesole, with whom he worked in Rome. There his style became more classical and its design more compact, with precise references to antique sculpture: documents show that he possessed a collection of antique objects recovered from excavations. He was also a friend of Platina, who held him in high esteem, as he wrote in a letter to Lorenzo the Magnificent.

 


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