Nanni di Banco

Nanni di Banco
born 1384/90?, Florence, Republic of Florence
died 1421, Florence

Florentine sculptor.

Trained by his father, a sculptor who worked on the cathedral of Florence, Nanni received his first important commission from that cathedral, a life-size marble statue of the prophet Isaiah. The classically influenced Four Crowned Saints (с 1411–13) for Or San Michele is considered his masterpiece. He is thought to have been the teacher of the Della Robbia family. His work exemplifies the stylistic transition from Gothic to Renaissance in early 15th-century Italy.

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▪ Italian sculptor
born 1384/90?, Florence [Italy]
died 1421, Florence

      Florentine sculptor whose works exemplify the stylistic transition from the Gothic to the Renaissance that occurred in Italy in the early 15th century.

 Nanni was trained by his father, Antonio di Banco, a sculptor who worked with Niccolò d'Arezzo on the Cathedral of Florence. It is not surprising, therefore, that Nanni's first important work, a life-size marble statue of the prophet Isaiah, was commissioned for the cathedral. Installed on the cathedral's western facade, this figure is more Gothic in feeling than his later, more classical works for the guilds of the Or San Michele in Florence. Of the latter, the “Quattro Coronati” (“Four Crowned Saints”; c. 1411–13) is considered his masterpiece. Influenced by antique art, the four saints are dressed in firmly modeled Roman togas and have heads that strongly resemble the ancient portrait busts of Roman senators that Nanni had studied. The group of figures is bound together by the spatial relation of each to the other and by a kind of mute conversation in which they all seem to be engaged.

      A relief of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary that was placed above the Mandorla Gate (Porta della Mandorla) was begun about 1414. This was his last major work and was probably finished posthumously by Luca della Robbia, who is generally thought to have been Nanni's student.

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