The Master Who Lived In Medici Palace, Taught Michelangelo, And Finished Donatello’s Work, Rises After More Than Five Centuries

Aug 21, 2019 201

BY: Natasha Gural

Bertoldo di Giovanni lived in the mansion of Lorenzo the Magnificent. Upon his master Donatello’s death, Bertoldo finished the bronze pulpit reliefs from the life of Christ commissioned to grace the church that serves as the burial place of generations of the Medici family. Bertoldo may have led Michelangelo to fame. The self-promoting Michelangelo may be responsible for Bertoldo’s erasure in art history.

Now it’s Bertoldo’s turn, after more than five centuries, to be celebrated as a master of the Italian Renaissance. Lorenzo de' Medici, the unofficial ruler of the Florentine Republic and the most influential patron of the Italian Renaissance, shared his home with sculptor Bertoldo. It’s highly likely that Bertoldo was responsible for Michelangelo’s first visit to the Medici palace, inviting his then-15-year-old student to the seat of Florentine culture and power in 1490.

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