Andrea del Verrocchio
* 1435 Florenz
† 1488 Venedig
Andrea del Verrocchio counts among the leading artists of early Florentine Renaissance, and not only for his activity as teacher of Leonardo da Vinci.
Andrea del Verrocchio was born Andrea di Michele Cioni at Florence in either 1435 or 1436. He was trained by a goldsmith. However, Andrea del Verrocchio decided to pursue a different career: He began to work as painter and sculptor. His paintings show influences from the Pollaiuolo and Andrea del Castagno; his stone or bronze sculptures, such as the famous "David" in the Florentine Bargello are a combination of a strong realism and a slender elegance.
Andrea del Verrocchio soon became an acknowledged artist in his hometown, especially his sculpting was highly appraised. He was in contact with the Medici, who supported him with numerous commissions.
Additionally, Andrea del Verrocchio operated a large and industrious studio, from which painters such as Leonardo da Vinci, Pietro Perugino and Lorenzo di Credi emerged. Also Sandro Botticelli is said to have spent some time with Andrea del Verrocchio in the1460s. Works from the studio of Andrea del Verrocchio are characterized by a great virtuosity in many genres (painting, sculpting, architecture) and by an analytic precision in drawing and modeling.
In 1483 Andrea del Verrocchio reopened his studio in Venice, where he worked on the powerful equestrian statue of Condottiere Bartolomeo Colleoni, a main work of Renaissance sculpting. Despite long-lasting works on this masterpiece, the beginning was made in 1480, Andrea del Verrocchio did not live to see cast and mounting of his work. He died at Venice in1488.