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Alfonso Lombardi

Maestro of Terracotta

Lamentation of Christ in Bologna's Cathedral

A native of Ferrara, sculptor Alfonso Lombardi (ca. 1497-1537) was trained in the circles of Este court, creating small figures and medals of the ducal family (all of which have unfortunately been lost) that first made his reputation.

At age 20 Lombardi moved to Bologna, where he spent the rest of his life and left all his work, starting with the terracotta statue of Hercules battling the Hydra, in the Palazzo d'Accursio. It was such a success that he was immediately commissioned by the most important confraternity in Bologna, the ConfraternitĂ  dei Battuti Bianchi, to make a terracotta tableau on the Death of the Virgin for the Oratory of Santa Maria della Vita, a powerful work that would see him always employed thereafter. He worked on decorative elements in San Domenico (the Arca and Cappella Ghisilardi) side by side with Michelangelo and the great Sienese sculptor Baldassarre Peruzzi.

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Renaissance Art and Architecture

Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Image by Didier Descouens, Creative Commons License