Alessandro Leopardi

Man of bronze

Detail from Leopardi's flagstaffs

Alessandro Leopardi (1466-1512) was a classicizing sculptor, one of several who submitted designs for the Colleoni monument, a competition he lost to Andrea Verrocchio.

In 1487, Leopardi was banished for five years from Venice on allegations of fraud, but in 1490 he was recalled by the Senate; Verrocchio had died in 1488, leaving only the clay model of the sculpture, and to receive the bequest in Colleoni's will, the statue had to be erected. Leopardi was given the job of casting it and making the pedestal underneath, signing his name on the horse's girth strap.

The casting was such a success Leopardi also won the job of sculpting and casting the ornate flagstaffs in Piazza San Marco.

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