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Benedetto da Maiano

Naturalist Sculptor

Pulpit, Santa Croce

Benedetto da Maiano, born at Maiano near Fiesole (1442–97), started out as a woodcarver, working with his father, and studied under Antonio Rossellino; his exceptional talent soon made him one of the most sought-after sculptors in Italy.

Best known for his reliefs, as in the pulpit in Santa Croce, Benedetto also made many busts for aristocratic patrons. He also worked as an architect, contributing to the building of the Palazzo Strozzi; other works are in the Bargello.

Benedetto's brother Giuliano da Maiano (1442-97) was also a sculptor and architect (the Palazzo Antinori, on Via de' Tournabuoni). The brothers worked together on many decorative projects in Florence, including the rich coffered ceilings in the Palazzo Vecchio; Giuliano spent much of his later career working in Naples and other cities.

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: Sailko