Baccio Bandinelli

Dates1493 - 1560

Few artists have been as reviled by their peers as Baccio Bandinelli. Megalomania, greed, social climbing--these were his most conspicuous characteristics. For Bandinelli, wealth, nobility, and literary prowess were ways of proving that artists were more than mere craftsmen. Unfortunately, rather than concentrating on creating his best art, the talented sculptor squandered his time and gifts scheming to receive every commission offered by the Medici, then often spent inadequate time executing them.

Bandinelli's father, a prominent Florentine goldsmith, was his most influential teacher, exposing him to Leonardo da Vinci's drawings and sculpture. Bandinelli studied ancient and contemporary sculpture, but most of all he studied Michelangelo, becoming first his imitator, then his rival.

Bandinelli's greatest talent was disegno, that combination of design and drawing underlying Italian Renaissance art. He was also a gifted teacher. He founded one of the earliest academies at the Vatican in 1531 and created another in Florence around 1550.