Andrea Sansovino

A Much Travelled Chiseller

Baptism of Christ from the Baptistry

Born in Monte San Sovino near Arezzo, Andrea Contucci del Monte San Savino, but now always Sansovino for short (c. 1467–1529) learned his trade from Antonio Pollaiuolo. Among his first works are sculptures in Santo Spirito but spent much of his career outside of Florence, in Portugal, Volterra, Loreto and Rome. He returned to do the figures of the Baptism of Christ over the east door of the Baptistry (1505).

Andrea's own star pupil, Jacopo Tatti, adopted the name 'Sansovino' from his master and left a Bacchus in the Bargello and a statue of St James for the Duomo. He created the elaborate staging for a triumphal entry of Leo X into Florence, then followed the pope to Rome where he stayed until the Sack of 1527, before heading off to fame and fortune as chief resident sculptor and architect in Venice.

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