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MICHELOZZO DI BARTOLOMMEO (1391-1472?)

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Originally appearing in Volume V18, Page 371 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MICHELOZZO DI BARTOLOMMEO (1391-1472?), Italian sculptor, was a Florentine by birth, the son of a tailor, and in early life a pupil of Donatello. He worked in marble, bronze and silver. The statue of the young St John over the door of the Duomo at Florence, opposite the Baptistery, is by him; and he also made the beautiful silver statuette of the Baptist on the altar-frontal of San Giovanni. Michelozzo's great friend and patron was Cosimo dei Medici, whom he accompanied to Venice in 1433 during his short exile. While at Venice, Michelozzo built the library of San Giorgio Maggiore, and designed other buildings there. In 1428, together with Donatello, he erected an open-air pulpit at an angle of the cathedral of St Stephen at Prato. The magnificent Palazzo dei Medici at Florence built by Cosimo, was designed by him; it is one of the noblest specimens of Italian 15th-century architecture, in which the great taste and skill of the architect has combined the delicate lightness of the earlier Italian Gothic with the massive stateliness of the classical style. With great engineering skill Michelozzo shored up, and partly rebuilt, the Palazzo Vecchio, then in a ruinous condition, and added to it many important rooms and staircases. When, in 1437, through Cosimo's liberality, the monastery of San Marco at Florence was handed over to the Dominicans of Fiesole, Michelozzo was employed to rebuild the domestic part and remodel thechurch. For Cosimo I. he designed numerous other buildings, mostly of great beauty and importance. Among these were a guest-house at Jerusalem for the use of Florentine pilgrims, Cosimo's summer villa at Careggi, and the strongly fortified palace of Cafagiuolo in Mugello. For Giovanni dei Medici, Cosimo's son, he built a very large and magnificent palace at Fiesole. In spite of Vasari's statement that he died at the age of sixty-eight, he appears to have lived till 1472. He is buried in the monastery of San Marco, Florence. Though skilled both as a sculptor and engineer, his fame chiefly rests on his architectural works, which claim for him a position of very high honour even among the greatest names of the great 15th-century Florentines. See Hans Stegmann, Michelozzo di Bartolommeo, eine kunstgeschichtliche Studie (1888) ; Fritz Wolff, Michelozzo di Bartolommeo (t9oo) ; cf. also Hans Semper, Donatello (1887).
End of Article: MICHELOZZO DI BARTOLOMMEO (1391-1472?)
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