The High Renaissance
- 1 - 2 - 3
Architecture - 4
Sculpture - 5

Painting - 6

Sculpture - 7
Architecture - 8
The High Renaissance & Mannerism
Leonardo da Vinci
Donato Bramante
Filippino Lippi
Andrea Sansovino
Giovanni della Robbia
Baldassarre Peruzzi
Sebastiano del Piombo
Andrea del Sarto
Matthias Grunewald
Albrecht Durer
Dosso Dossi
Carlo Crivelli
Lucas Cranach the Elder
Lorenzo Lotto
Albrecht Altdorfer
Hans Baldung Grien
Hans Holbein the Younger

Francois Clouet

Nicholas Hilliard

Jan Gossaert (Mabuse)
Joachim Patinir
Pieter Aertsen
Pieter Brueghel the Elder
Barthel Bruyn
Lucas van Leyden

Rosso Fiorentino
Federico Barocci
Agnolo Bronzino
Giorgio Vasari
Sofonisba Anguissola
Jacopo Tintoretto
El Greco
Girolamo Savoldo
Jacopo Bassano

Paolo Veronese
Alonzo Sanchez Coello
Hans Burgkmair

Jean Goujon

Germain Pilon
Tilman Riemenschneider
Adriaen de Vries

Alonso Berruguete
Baccio Bartolommeo
Benedetto Briosco
Benvenuto Cellini
Leone Leoni
Pompeo Leoni
Alessandro Vittoria
Giovanni da Bologna

Hector Sohier
Pierre Lescot
Giulio Romano
Pirro Ligorio
Bartolomeo Ammanati
Jacopo Sansovino
Andrea Palladio
Giacomo Vignola
Giacomo della Porta
Vittore Carpaccio
Francesco del Cossa
Vincenzo Foppa
Lorenzo Costa
Francesco Francia
Bernardino Luini
Joos van Cleve
Italian sculptors of the later sixteenth century fail to match the achievements of the painters. Perhaps Michelangelo's overpowering personality discouraged new talent in this field, but the dearth of challenging new tasks is a more plausible reason. In any case, the most interesting sculpture of this period was produced outside of Italy, and in Florence—after the death of Michelangelo in 1564—the leading sculptor was a Northerner.

Mannerism, First and Second Phases


If the anticlassical phase of Mannerism, represented by the style of Rosso and Pontormo, has no sculptural counterpart, the work of the Spaniard Alonso Berruguete (c. 1489-1561) most closely approaches it. Berruguete had been associated with the founders of the anticlassical trend in Florence about 1520; his St. John the Baptist, one of the reliefs carved 20 years later for the wood choir stalls of Toledo Cathedral, still reflects this experience. The angular, emaciated body, clawlike hands, and fixed, wide-eyed stare recall the otherworldly expressiveness of Rosso's Descent from the Cross.


Alonso Berruguete

Alonso Berruguete, (born c. 1488, Paredes de Nava, Castile [now in Palencia, Spain]—died 1561, Toledo, Castile), the most important Spanish sculptor of the Renaissance, known for his intensely emotional Mannerist sculptures of figures portrayed in spiritual torment or in transports of religious ecstasy.

After studying under his father, the painter Pedro Berruguete, Alonso went to Italy (c. 1504/08). Most of his sojourn was spent in Florence and Rome, where he was influenced by the works of Michelangelo and such examples of Hellenistic sculpture in the Vatican collections as the Laocoön. Berruguete’s painting of Salome (Uffizi Gallery, Florence) suggests that his Italian paintings were in the early Mannerist style of Jacopo da Pontormo and Rosso Fiorentino.

Berruguete returned to Spain in about 1517, and in 1518 he was made court painter to Charles V and settled at Valladolid. Because he did not follow the emperor to Germany in 1520, however, he received no royal commissions for paintings. Berruguete turned, therefore, to sculpture and architecture, and in the period 1518–21 executed sculpture for the tomb of Juan Selvagio in the church of Santa Engracia at Zaragossa, carved the relief of the Resurrection in the cathedral of Valencia (c. 1517), and submitted plans in 1521 for the Capilla Real (Royal Chapel) in Granada, which, not meeting with official approval, were never realized. Among his major sculpture commissions of the Valladolid period were the retables, or altarpieces, for the monastery of La Mejorada at Olmedo (1526), for San Benito at Valladolid (1527–32), for the Colegio de los Irlandeses at Salamanca (1529–32), and for the Church of Santiago at Valladolid (1537).

In 1539 the great Spanish humanist and art patron Juan Pardo Cardinal Tavera asked Berruguete to Toledo to execute the choir stalls of the Toledo Cathedral (1539–43), as well as the alabaster Transfiguration at the west end of the choir (1543–48). These carvings are somewhat more moderate and classical in feeling than his earlier works. At the time of his death Berruguete was working on the tomb for Cardinal Tavera (1552–61) in the Hospital de San Juan Bautista at Toledo. Berruguete’s use of a rather rich and extravagant but delicate ornamentation in his church decorations is typical of Spain’s Plateresque style.

Encyclopædia Britannica



Alonso Berruguete. St. John the Baptist с. 1540.
Wood, 80 x 49 cm. Toledo Cathedral, Spain;

Cathedral, Toledo

St Sebastian
Polychrome wood
National Museum of Religious Carvings, Valladolid;

St Christopher
Polychrome wood
National Museum of Religious Carvings, Valladolid;

The Sacrifice of Isaac
Polychrome wood
National Museum of Religious Carvings, Valladolid

Adoration of the Magi
Polychrome wood
National Museum of Religious Carvings, Valladolid

Oil on wood, 88 x 71 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Madonna and Child with the Young St John
Oil on panel
Palazzo Vecchio, Florence
Bandinelli (or Baccio) Bartolommeo
actually Bartolommeo Brandini (October 17, 1493 – shortly before February 7, 1560), was a prominent Renaissance Italian sculptor, draughtsman and painter.

Baccio Bartolommeo. Self-Portrait
c. 1530
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston


Bandinelli was the son of a prominent Florentine goldsmith, and first apprenticed in his shop. As a boy, he was apprenticed under Giovanni Francesco Rustici, a sculptor friend of Leonardo da Vinci. Among his earliest works was a Saint Jerome in wax, made for Giuliano de' Medici, identified as Bandinelli's by John Pope-Hennessy

Giorgio Vasari, a former pupil in Bandinelli's workshop, claimed Bandinelli was driven by jealousy of Benvenuto Cellini and Michelangelo; and recounts that:

"(When) the cartoon of Michelangelo in the Council Hall ("Battle of Cascina" at Palazzo Vecchio) was uncovered, and all the artists ran to copy it, and Baccio (most frequently) among (them),... having counterfeited the key of the chamber. In ... 1512, Piero Soderini was deposed and the ... Medici reinstated. In the tumult, therefore, Baccio, being by himself, secretly cut the cartoon into several pieces."
"Some said he did it that he might have a piece of the cartoon always near him, and others that he wanted to prevent other youths from making use of it; others again say that he did it out of affection for Leonardo da Vinci, or from the hatred he bore to Michael Angelo. The loss anyhow to the city was no small one, and Baccio's fault very great." Bandinelli's lifelong obsession with Michelangelo is a recurring theme in assessments of his career.
Bandinelli was a leader in the group of Florentine Mannerists who were inspired by the revived interest in Donatello attendant on the installation of Donatello's bas-relief panels for the pulpit in San Lorenzo, 1515. The artist presented his relief of the Deposition to Charles V at Genoa in 1529; though the relief has been lost, a bronze from it by Antonio Susini in 1600 (Musée du Louvre) shows the decisive inspiration of Donatello's emotional pitch and intensity; Bandinelli made several drawings of the Donatello reliefs, though later in life he disparaged them in a letter to Cosimo I de' Medici.

His sculptures have never inspired the admiration given those of Michelangelo, specially the colossal (5.05 m) marble group of Hercules and Cacus (completed in 1534) in the Piazza della Signoria, Florence, and Adam and Eve in the Museo Nazionale del Bargello, which both stand within sight of some of Michelangelo's masterworks. Vasari said of him "He did nothing but make bozzetti and finished little", and modern commentators have remarked on the vitality of Bandinelli's terracotta models contrasted with the finished marbles: "all the freshness of his first approach to a subject was lost in the laborious execution in marble... A brilliant draughtsman and excellent small-scale sculptor, he had a morbid fascination for colossi which he was ill-equipped to execute. His failure as a sculptor on a grand scale was accentuated by his desire to imitate Michelangelo."

Hercules and Cacus was commissioned by the Medici pope Clement VII, who had been shown a wax model. The supplied block of Carrara marble wasn't big enough to execute Bandinelli's wax model. He had to make new wax models, one of which was chosen by the pope as the final draft. Bandinelli had already carved the sculpture as far as the abdomen of Hercules, when during the 1527 Sack of Rome, the pope was taken prisoner. Meanwhile, in Florence, republican enemies of the Medici took advantage of the chaos to exile Ippolito de' Medici. Bandinelli, a supporter of the Medici, was also exiled. In 1530 Emperor Charles V retook Florence after a long siege. Pope Clement VII subsequently installed his illegitimate son Alessandro de' Medici as duke of Tuscany. Bandinelli then returned to Florence and continue work on the statue till completed in 1534, and transported from the Opera del Duomo to its present marble pedestal. But from the moment it was unveiled, it faced ridicule; Cellini compared the ponderous group to 'a sac full of melons'. Afterwards, the Bandinelli tried to sabotage Cellini's career. The statue was restored between February and April 1994.

Bandinelli's drawings, which have in the past masqueraded as Michelangelos in connoisseurs' collections, have come into their own in the later twentieth century.

Among Bandinelli's pupils were Giorgio Vasari and Francesco de' Rossi (Il Salviati). His sons Clemente Bandinelli, a collaborator in Baccio's studio, and Michelangelo Bandinelli were also sculptors.


Hercules and Cacus

Pietà by Baccio Bandinelli, Basilica della Santissima Annunziata, Florence

Sleeping Hercules


Bust of Cosimo I; Tjte colossale
Benedetto Briosco
(b Milan, c. 1460; d ?Milan, after April 1514).

Italian sculptor. The first notice of his activity dates from 1477, when he and his brother-in-law Francesco Cazzaniga were employed as sculptors on the monument to Giovanni Borromeo and Vitaliano Borromeo (Isola Bella, Palazzo Borromeo, chapel), which was executed for S Francesco Grande, Milan. By 1482 he had begun employment for the Works of Milan Cathedral and in 1483 was paid for carving a figure of S Apollonia (untraced). Although he was a master figure sculptor at the cathedral until the middle of 1485, the other work he did there remains unknown. During 1483–4 it is likely that he assisted Francesco and Tommaso Cazzaniga in the execution of the tomb of Cristoforo and Giacomo Antonio della Torre (Milan, S Maria delle Grazie). In 1484 he and the Cazzaniga brothers began work on the tomb of Pietro Francesco Visconti di Saliceto destined for the Milanese church of S Maria del Carmine (destr.; reliefs in Cleveland, OH, Mus. A.; Kansas City, MO, Nelson-Atkins Mus. A.; and Washington, DC, N.G.A.; architectural elements in Paris, Louvre). This project was completed by Briosco and Tommaso Cazzaniga following Francesco Cazzaniga’s death at the beginning of 1486. In the same year Benedetto and Tommaso were commissioned to finish the tomb of Giovanni Francesco Brivio (Milan, S Eustorgio), designed and begun by Francesco. Briosco’s hand is virtually impossible to distinguish in these collaborative works. In 1489 the Apostolic Prothonotary and ducal councillor Ambrogio Griffo engaged Briosco to execute his funerary monument, to be installed in the church of S Pietro in Gessate, Milan. This tomb, which in its original form consisted of an effigy mounted on a high rectangular sarcophagus, appears to be Briosco’s first major independent work and represents a significant break with Lombard tradition; although its design may to some extent have been influenced by Giovanni Antonio Amadeo’s tomb to Medea Colleoni (Bergamo, Colleoni Chapel), it was free-standing and entirely secular in content. In 1490 Briosco returned to Milan Cathedral, where he was engaged to carve four life-size statues each year until he or his employers should cancel the arrangement. Although he worked at the cathedral until mid-1492, only a figure of St Agnes (Milan, Mus. Duomo) is documented from this period.

From around 1492 Benedetto Briosco was involved in the sculptural program of the Certosa di Pavia. He collaborated on the decoration of the façade with Giovanni Antonio Amadeo, and after the death of Amadeo he took over as sole director of the design and sculpting of the main portal (1501-1507).

Benedetto Briosco.
La fondazione della Certosa di Pavia
Benvenuto Cellini.
The second, elegant phase of Mannerism appears in countless sculptural examples in Italy and abroad. The best-known representative of the style is Benvenuto Cellini (1500-1571), the Florentine goldsmith and sculptor who owes much of his fame to his picaresque autobiography. The gold saltcellar for King Francis I of France, Cellini's only major work in precious metal to escape destruction, displays the virtues and limitations of his art. To hold condiments is obviously the lesser function of this lavish conversation piece. Because salt comes from the sea and pepper from the land, Cellini placed the boat-shaped salt container under the guardianship of Neptune, while the pepper, in a tiny triumphal arch, is watched over by a personification of Earth. On the base are figures representing the four seasons and the four parts of the day.

The entire object thus reflects the cosmic significance of the Medici tombs, but on this miniature scale Cellini's program turns into playful fancy. We recognize it as a conceit on the same order as Vasari's Perseus and Andromeda. Cellini wants to impress us with his ingenuity and skill, and to charm us with the grace of his figures. The allegorical significance of the design is simply a pretext for this display of virtuosity. When he tells us, for instance, that Neptune and Earth each have a bent and a straight leg to signify mountains and plains, form is completely divorced from content. Despite his boundless admiration for Michelangelo, Cellini creates elegant figures that are as elongated, smooth, and languid as Parmigianino's.

Benvenuto Cellini. Saltcellar of Francis I. 1539-43. Gold with enamel, 26 x 33.3 cm. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
Parmigianino also strongly influenced Francesco Primaticcio (1504-1570), Cellini's rival at the court of Francis I. A man of many talents, Primaticcio designed the interior decoration of some of the main rooms in the royal chateau of Fontainebleau, combining painted scenes and a richly sculptured stucco framework. The section shown in figure 696 caters to the same aristocratic taste that admired Cellini's saltcellar. The four maidens are not burdened with any specific allegorical significance—their role recalls the nudes of the Sistine Ceiling—but perform a task for which they seem equally ill-fitted: they reinforce the piers that sustain the ceiling.

Primaticcio. Frieze
Camera degli Stucchi, Palazzo del Te, Mantua
Leone Leoni

Leone Leoni, (born 1509, Arezzo, republic of Florence [Italy]—died 1590, Milan), Florentine sculptor, goldsmith, and medalist who had significant influence on Spanish sculpture.

During much of his career, Leoni was master of the imperial mint in Milan. His portrait medals of the Spanish court and his work on the high altar of the palace-monastery of El Escorial, produced in collaboration with his son Pompeo, have a refined, classical quality. Leoni’s “Bust of Emperor Charles V” (1553–55) shows his powers of observation and deep sensitivity.

Other well-known works include “Charles V Restraining Fury” (1549–55) and “Charles V Triumphant over Discord,” which has removable armour. Leoni’s palatial residence in Milan, Casa Degli Omenoni (1565–70), is a tribute to the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius; six larger-than-life-size sculptures of barbarians (possibly representing Aurelius’ conquests) project from the house’s facade.

Pompeo Leoni

Pompeo Leoni, (born 1533, Milan [Italy]—died October 13, 1608, Madrid, Spain), Italian late Renaissance sculptor and medalist who, like his father, Leone, was known for his expressive sculpture portraits.

In 1556 Pompeo went to Spain to help his father. He produced a large-scale sculpture for the wedding of King Philip II and Anna of Austria in 1570. Also in that year, under the patronage of Philip II, he produced his most famous work, the bronze effigy portraits of the Holy Roman emperors Charles V and Philip II and their families, which now stand on either side of the main altar of the church of the monastic palace at El Escorial.

Leoni was appointed to serve the regent, Joan of Austria, and made Madrid his home. From 1576 to 1587 he worked on the tomb of Fernando de Valdés, archbishop of Sevilla (Seville) and inquisitor general, which has life-size marble figures. The Spanish influence on Leoni’s work is evident in his use of jewels.


Leone Leoni and Pompeo Leoni. The Emperor Charles V Restraining Fury
Bronze, height 174 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid
Alessandro Vittoria
Alessandro Vittoria (1525–1608) was an Italian Mannerist sculptor of the Venetian school, "one of the main representatives of the Venetian classical style" and rivalling Giambologna as the foremost sculptors of the late 16th century in Italy.

Vittoria was born in the Italian city of Trent and was the son of a tailor. Vittoria was trained in the atelier of the architect-sculptor Jacopo Sansovino; he was a contemporary of Titian whose influence can be detected in his compositions. He was a virtuoso in terracotta, often presented with gilded surfaces, marble and bronze. Like all Italian sculptors of his generation, Vittoria was influenced also by Michelangelo and by the Florentine Mannerist, Bartolomeo Ammanati. The closeness of his associations in projects by architects Sansovino, Sanmicheli and Palladio, working with painters Titian, Tintoretto and Veronese placed him squarely among the protagonists of the Cinquecento art world in late 16th-century Venice.

A Lady of the Zorzi Family, terra cotta of 1570/1580 in the National Gallery of Art.Vittoria was first trained in his native city, Trento, then moved to Venice, where his long artistic relationship with Sansovino was a stormy one. After one quarrel with Sansovino, he removed from Venice and worked in Vicenza, where he collaborated with Veronese on the decorations of the Villa Barbaro at Maser (1560–62) before returning. The two masters worked jointly on great sculptural commissions until Sansovino's death. Vittoria took up his studio and completed Sansovino's unfinished commissions. One of his pupils was Camillo Mariani.

He died at Venice in 1608. His tomb, with his self-portrait bust, is in the church of San Zaccaria.

Vittoria is known for his classicising portrait busts, a genre that scarcely existed in Venice before him, and for medals as well as for his full-length figures, some of which surmount Sansovino's Biblioteca Marciana.


Alessandro Vittoria. Ottavio Grimani
Giovanni da Bologna
Cellini, Primaticcio, and the other Italians employed by Francis I at Fontainebleau made Mannerism the dominant style in mid-sixteenth-century France.

Their influence went far beyond the royal court. It reached Jean de Bologne (1529-1608), a gifted young sculptor from Douai in northern France, who went to Italy about 1555 for further training. He stayed and became, under the Italianized name of Giovanni Bologna, the most important sculptor in Florence during the last third of the century. His over-lifesize marble group. The Rape of the Sabine Woman, won particular acclaim, and still has its place of honor near the Palazzo Vecchio.

The subject, drawn from the legends of ancient Rome, seems an odd choice for statuary. The city's founders, an adventurous band of men from across the sea, so the story goes, tried vainly to find wives among their neighbors, the Sabines, and resorted at last to a trick. Having invited the entire Sabine tribe into Rome for a peaceful festival, they fell upon them with arms, took the women away by force, and thus ensured the future of their race. Actually, the artist designed the group with no specific subject in mind, to silence those critics who doubted his ability as a monumental sculptor in marble. He selected what seemed to him the most difficult feat, three figures of contrasting character united in a common action. Their identities were disputed among the learned connoisseurs of the day, who finally settled on The Каре of the Sahine Woman as the most suitable title.

Here, then, is another artist who is noncommittal about subject matter, although his unconcern had a different motive from Veronese's. Like Cellini's, Bologna's purpose was virtuoso display. His self-imposed task was to carve in marble, on a massive scale, a sculptural composition that was to be seen not from one but from all sides; this had hitherto been attempted only in bronze and on a much smaller scale. He has solved this purely formal problem, but at the cost of insulating his group from the world of human experience. These figures, spiraling upward as if confined inside a tall, narrow cylinder, perform their well-rehearsed choreographic exercise with ease; yet, like much Hellenistic sculpture, it is ultimately devoid of emotional meaning. We admire their discipline but we find no trace of genuine pathos.


Giovanni da Bologna. Hercules and the Centaur
Marble, height 269 cm
Loggia dei Lanzi, Florence