Italian Early Renaissance Sculptor and Architect, 1418-1503
Andrea Bregno was invited to move from Venice to Rome when the Venetian Paul II was elected Pope. During the pontificate of the Della Rovere Pope Sixtus IV he received many commissions and headed a large workshop, producing many wall tombs of cardinals and other figures of the papal curia with varying degrees of personal responsibility. He was famous among his contemporaries, and was compared to the Greek sculptor Polykleitos in the epitaph of his tomb in Santa Maria sopra Minerva. Raphael's father, Giovanni Santi, mentioned Bregno in the 1480s, in his biography of Federico da Montefeltro, duke of Urbino. Bregno often worked with Mino da Fiesole in Rome, and his refined Lombard manner was rendered more classical by the contact and by the example of Roman sculptures that were increasingly coming to light, of which Andrea Bregno was an early collector: a certain "Prospettivo Milanese", writing in 1499-1500 refers to a torso in the collection of a "Maestro Andrea" that seems to have been the Belvedere Torso.
He moved in humanist circles and was an esteemed friend of the humanist in Sixtus' circle, Bartolomeo Platina, the librarian of the Vatican Library. Bregno played a significant role in the standardization of an authentically classicizing style of epigraphy, in the inscriptions that accompany his tombs. In the Sistine Chapel he collaborated with Mino da Fiesole and Giovanni Dalmata to produce the little cantoria or choristers' gallery set into the wall, with its own coffered ceiling and carved marble balusters, and the marble screen.
Cappella Sistina, Vatican