- Mino da Fiesole
- Papiano / Arezzo, 1429 - Fiesole, 1484
- Biographical information:
Born in 1429 in Papiano near Poppi in Casentino, Mino trained in Florence, where he also commenced his own activity as a sculptor specialised in marble. He was a pupil of Antonio Rossellino and of Desiderio da Settignano, from whom he apprised the minute and polished working of the material. He probably also penetrated the circle of Michelozzo, as suggested by his strong sense of architectural structure.
Having entered the entourage of Piero de’ Medici, he executed the portrait that was originally in Palazzo Medici (1453; Florence, Museo del Bargello), the first dated bust of the Renaissance. This was followed by numerous other portrait busts of various personages, some of whom he got to know during his frequent trips to the south of Italy where he elaborated his study of antique portraiture. In Rome he sculpted the portrait of Niccolò Strozzi in 1454 (Berlin, Staatliche Museen), in Naples that of Astorgio Manfredi in 1455 (Washington, National Gallery), and in Florence those of Giovanni de’ Medici and Rinaldo della Luna (1461; Museo del Bargello).
In 1463, in Rome again, he worked on the benediction loggia of Pius II Piccolomini. In the following year, in Florence, he entered the service of Dietisalvi Neroni, and executed a portrait bust of him (Louvre). In 1465 Mino completed the lavabo in the northern sacristy of the Duomo of Florence. After this he executed a number of commissions of an architectural slant of greater prestige, most of them in the form of funerary monuments. He created the Neroni altar for San Lorenzo (circa 1467-70; Florence, Badia Fiorentina), the tomb of Bernardo Giugni (1466) and that of Count Ugo of Tuscany (from 1469) for the Badia Fiorentina, and the funeral chapel for Bishop Salutati in the Duomo of Fiesole (circa 1466). Moreover, he also worked on a tabernacle for the Duomo of Volterra (1471) and on the reliefs for the pulpit in the Duomo of Prato. In the interim he also produced less demanding works, such as Madonna and Child reliefs destined to private devotion, tabernacle frames and baptismal fonts.
Between 1474 and 1480 he executed numerous works - including many funerary monuments - in Rome, to the extent that it would appear he had actually moved to the papal city. Here he worked with Andrea Bregno on the tomb of Piero Riario (who died in 1474) in the church of the Santissimi Apostoli and on that of Cristoforo della Rovere (who died in 1477) in Santa Maria Del Popolo. He also sculpted the tomb of Cardinal Forteguerri (who died in 1473) in Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, and that of Francesco Tornabuoni (who died in 1480) in Santa Maria sopra Minerva. In Santa Maria Maggiore he set up the altar of San Girolamo, made for the French cardinal, Guillaume d’Estouteville (reliefs in the Museo di Palazzo Venezia in Rome). His Roman activity is frequently confused with that of Mino del Reame, a namesake who originated from the Kingdom of Naples.
When he returned to Florence after 1480 he completed the tomb of Count Ugo in the Badia and commenced work on a large tabernacle in Sant’Ambrogio. He died in 1484, leaving this latter work unfinished.
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