Monument of Bartolomeo Colleoni

Venice, Italy

Monument of Bartolomeo Colleoni

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The Equestrian statue of Bartolomeo Colleoni is a Renaissance sculpture in Campo Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Venice, Italy, by Andrea del Verrocchio in 1480–1488. Portraying the condottiero Bartolomeo Colleoni (who served for a long time under the Republic of Venice), it has a height of 395 cm excluding the pedestal. It is the second major equestrian statue of the Italian Renaissance, after Donatello's equestrian statue of Gattamelata (1453).

In 1475, the Condottiero Colleoni, a former Captain General of the Republic of Venice, died and by his will left a substantial part of his estate to the Republic on condition that a statue of himself should be commissioned and set up in the Piazza San Marco. In 1479 the Republic announced that it would accept the legacy, but that (as statues were not permitted in the Piazza) the statue would be placed in the open space in front of the Scuola of San Marco. A competition was arranged to enable a sculptor to be selected. Three sculptors competed for the contract, Verrocchio from Florence, Alessandro Leopardi from Venice and Bartolomeo Vellano from Padua. Verrocchio made a model of his proposed sculpture using wood and black leather, while the others made models of wax and terracotta. The three models were exhibited in Venice in 1483 and the contract was awarded to Verrocchio. He then opened a workshop in Venice and made the final wax model which was ready to be cast in bronze, but he died in 1488, before this was done.

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