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Cover for The Sculptures of Andrea del Verrocchio

The Sculptures of Andrea del Verrocchio

Andrew Butterfield


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Andrea del Verrocchio was the preeminent sculptor in late fifteenth-century Florence and one of the leading artists in Renaissance Europe. In every genre of statuary, Verrocchio made formal and conceptual contributions of the greatest significance, and many of his sculptures, such as the Christ and St. Thomas and the Colleoni Monument, are among the masterpieces of Renaissance art. A favorite artist of Lorenzo de’ Medici and the teacher of Leonardo da Vinci, Verrocchio was a key link between the innovations of the fifteenth century and the creations of the High Renaissance.

This beautiful catalogue raisonné is the first comprehensive and detailed study of Verrocchio’s extraordinary and innovative sculptures. Andrew Butterfield has combined careful visual analysis of the sculptures with groundbreaking research into their function, iconography, and historical context. In order to explain Verrocchio’s contributions to the different genres of Renaissance sculpture, Butterfield provides new and important information on a broad range of issues such as the typology and social history of Florentine tombs, the theoretical problems in the production of perspectival reliefs, and the origins of the Figura serpentinata. Furthermore, Butterfield draws on a spectrum of often overlooked texts to elucidate fundamental iconographical problems, for example, the significance of David in quattrocento Florence.

In its scope, depth, and clarity, The Sculptures of Andrea del Verrocchio will rank as one of the finest studies of an Italian sculptor ever published.

Yale University Press, 9780300071948, 272pp.

Publication Date: December 22, 1997

About the Author

Andrew Butterfield is curator in the department of sculpture at Christie’s, New York.