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Alessandro Vittoria

Venice's Mannerist master

San Gerolamo, at the Frari, by Vittoria

One of the Italy's most important late 16th-century sculptors, Alessandro Vittoria (1525–1608) was born in Trento and a student and collaborator of Sansovino. He was influenced by Michelangelo's late Mannerist style, and became a master of terracotta, marble and bronze. He often collaborated with the leading architects (Palladio and Sanmicheli) and painters (Titian, Veronese and Tintoretto) of the Veneto. After Sansovino's death, Vittoria took over his studio and finished his projects. He was one of the first in Venice to sculpt portrait busts: one, a self portrait, marks his tomb in San Zaccaria.

Vittoria is perhaps best known for his bronze figures, including those on top of Sansovino's Biblioteca Marciana, portrait busts and medals; you'll find key works in San Francesco della Vigna, Frari, SS. Giovanni e Paolo, Santa Maria dei Miracoli, San Salvador, San Giuseppe di Castello, Madonna dell'Orto, San Giacometto and the Ca’ d’Oro. He also worked as an architect (Palazzo Balbi on the Grand Canal).

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: Wolfgang Moroder, Creative Commons License