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Desiderio da Settignano

( Sculptor)

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Biography Desiderio da Settignano
Desiderio da Settignano (1428-1464). One of the most sophisticated of the early Italian Renaissance sculptor Desiderio da Settignano was. He belonged to the second generation of Florentine artists, that is, to those who were no longer pioneers of the new art, but in every possible way develop his techniques and artistic principles.

. As we know, at the beginnings of Renaissance sculpture is a great reformer of Donatello, transformed almost all types of plastic from the relief to the equestrian monument
. Donatello has updated the very foundations of sculptural crafts. He has revived the forgotten since ancient times chiasmata - that is a natural formulation of the human figure, when the brunt of the body moved on one leg, shoulder lowered, the other leg bent and the corresponding arm raised. Desire for naturalness Donatello led to a new interpretation of traditional subjects, which also paved the way for a vast sculpture of development.

All Donatello's innovations were perceived by students and followers. Among them was Desiderio. True, he did not learn directly from Donatello, and was trained, apparently, in the workshop of Bernardo Rossellino. However, all work Desiderio feels undeniable influence of the great sculptor.

Like many sculptors of the Renaissance he came from a family of masons. His father was a mason, as many residents Settignano - a small town near Florence. In 1453, already coming out of the studio Rossellini, he joined the workshop of Florentine marble. In the same year he began work on the tomb of the Chancellor of the Republic of Florence Carlo Marsuppini.

In the era of the early Renaissance tomb sculpture is quite different than in the Middle Ages. It is becoming more respectable size and designed primarily to praise the merits and virtues of the deceased. Accordingly, the ideological center of the composition becomes a figure of the deceased. In the design of gravestones skillfully combined relief and free-standing sculpture, as well as architectural and ornamental decor. The complex composition gives the master an opportunity to use not only the variety of techniques, but also shaped the decision to include in the various symbols and allegories. All of the above applies to the tomb of the Chancellor Marsuppini by Desiderio placed in the church of Santa Croce. Opposite wall of the church was the tomb of the famous humanist and scientist Leonardo liar of Bernardo Rossellini.

Both structures are strikingly similar. Apparently, Desiderio specifically on the challenge of repeating compositions of his teacher, but only in general terms. In the same tomb of the details differ from one another.

The sarcophagus, which lies with the corpse, resting on a podium decorated with garlands and masks. He is flanked on two sides by pilasters, between throwing a round arch, decorated with garlands and allegorical figures. Inside the arch - a relief depicting the Madonna and Child in a medallion, supported by angels. Such is the composition of the two tombs.

However, the abundance of decorative motifs and artistic decoration details Desiderio surpassed his teacher. Figure architectural details also found in Desiderio more refined and sophisticated in the proportions. Generally Desiderio demonstrated in this work, special skills in the processing of marble surface to keep it alive, as if glowing from within. Since ancient sculptors worked, but only a few sculptors of the Renaissance achieved such heights of excellence.

. Another work, reminiscent of his composition of the architectural and sculptural forms Marsuppini tomb has become a marble tabernacle in one of the chapels of the church of San Lorenzo in Florence
. Here cutter Desiderio handles stone with greater pretentiousness, subtlety and diversity. Architectural details are entirely covered gentle frustrated. Astonishing variety of terrain - from the flat to almost free-standing statues. In addition to the purely artistic merits composition Desiderio had a profound symbolic religious meaning.

. Particular achievement of early Renaissance sculpture began work on new methods of relief: the well-known since ancient times, . in the hands of Italian sculptors, he becomes the subject of innovative search, . impetus for which was the rapid development of painting and the discovery of mathematical perspective,
. Relief make raznoobemnym, . which makes it possible to enter into a composition of multi-dimensional scene, . build on the laws of perspective space and place it in a large number of actors, . word, . ensure that the reliability of the image, . which could compete with the reality,
. Such relief is not in such numbers and not as masterful as Donatello, Desiderio made and. One of them is a central part of the tabernacles in San Lorenzo. It can be seen perfectly depicted the interior of the hall in classical style, in contrast to the doorway of which are distinguishable shapes praying angels. The play of light and shadow on the surface of the marble is so timid and elusive, that the impression of internal movement, pulsation of life in the stone.

. Among other reliefs Desiderio should be called medallions with the heads of cherubs on the facade of the Pazzi Chapel, coming in the form of the frieze directly above the colonnade
. Here, the master showed himself as a skilled physiognomist, creating a number of different facial expression and mood of the children's faces.

Early Renaissance sculpture revived the portrait genre, which was due to interest in human personality, her inner world. It is interesting to note here that portraits of men, for all the effort to master a heroic image, with remarkable precision handed individual features of the models. Women's and children's portraits, as in Desiderio, more idealized, although there remained an undoubted portrait likeness.

Women's portraits of Desiderio inspired not only by ancient images. They certainly influence early Renaissance painting - profile portraits Pisanello or the famous double portrait of Duke Federico da Montefeltro and his wife hand Piero della Francesca. Evidence of this fact that Desiderio created his portraits without calculating a circular bypass, and for the perception of two points of view - in the face and in profile. These female portrait from the National Museum in Florence (1460-1464) or a portrait of Marietta Strozzi (after 1454) from the museum Verlin-Dahlem. The image of a lovely young woman with subtle facial expressions (smile or a joke?) Is particularly attractive in the portrait of the Berlin museum. Marble handled with remarkable skill - transferred and careful delicate skin and texture of fabrics, fine details of clothing and jewelry. All this testifies to the great skill and refined taste of the sculptor. Wonder Giovanni Sanzio - Raphael's father - in his poem called Desiderio 'gifted, gentle and beautiful ". These words can be fully attributed to Desiderio sculptures, which have gained a worthy place in the history of Italian sculpture.

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