Francesco di Giorgio Martinic. 1465/70

Bode-Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Bode-Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Berlin, Germany

The relief is probably from the former monastery of San Francesco in Siena. It is considered an early work by Francesco di Giorgio Martini, who was not only a sculptor but also a painter, engineer and architect. In its formal severity as well as its prioritization of expressive qualities over beauty of form, the relief suggests the strong influence of Donatello. But Francesco di Giorgio Martini has with consummate ease created his own notable variation on the great Florentine’s medium of the rilievo stiacciato (flattened relief). The nervously impressionistic folds of cloth, conjured up in the stone, give the marble an appearance of wax. Atmospheric qualities of this kind are also characteristic of the bronze reliefs of this master.

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