Bertoldo di Giovanni: The Renaissance of Sculpture in Medici Florence at The Frick Collection, September 18, 2019 – January 12, 2020

“The Frick Collection presents the first exhibition devoted to the Renaissance sculptor Bertoldo di Giovanni (ca. 1440–1491). It shines a long-overdue light on the ingenuity and prominence of the Florentine artist, who was a student of Donatello, a teacher of Michelangelo, a favorite of Lorenzo de’ Medici, and an active collaborator with many other artists. By uniting nearly his entire extant oeuvre—more than twenty statuettes, reliefs, medals, a life-sized statue, and a monumental frieze never before shown outside of Italy—the show demonstrates the artist’s creative process and ingenious design across media, his engaging lyrical style, and especially, the essential role he played in the development of Italian Renaissance sculpture. Indeed, Bertoldo was one of the earliest sculptors since antiquity to create statuettes in bronze, an art form that became ubiquitous in prestigious collections during the fifteenth century and thereafter.” — The Frick Collection

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Bertoldo di Giovanni. Shield Bearer, ca. 1470–80. Gilt bronze. H 8 7/8 inches. The Frick Collection, New York. Photo: Michael Bodycomb

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Bertoldo di Giovanni. Shield Bearer, ca. 1470–80. Gilt bronze. H 8 7/8 inches. © Liechtenstein: The Princely Collections, Vaduz-Vienna

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Bertoldo di Giovanni. Hercules on Horseback, ca. 1470–75. Bronze. H 10 3/4 inches. Galleria Estense, Modena. Su concessione del Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali – Archivio fotografico delle Galleria Estense; photo: Carlo Vannini

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Bertoldo di Giovanni and collaborators. Frieze for the Portico of the Medici Villa at Poggio a Caiano, ca. 1490. Glazed terracotta, 22 7/8 x 571 1/4 inches. Villa Medicea di Poggio a Caiano, Polo Museale della Toscana. Gabinetto Fotografico delle Gallerie degli Uffizi

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Bertoldo di Giovanni. Orpheus, ca. 1471. Bronze. H 17 1/8 inches. Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence. Su concessione del Ministero per i beni e le attività culturali; photo Mauro Magliani

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Designed by Bertoldo di Giovanni, executed by Adriano Fiorentino. Bellerophon Taming Pegasus, ca. 1480–82. Bronze. H 12 3/4 inches. Kunstkammer, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. Photo: KHM-Museumsverband

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Bertoldo di Giovanni. Battle, ca. 1480–85. Bronze, 17 3/4 x 39 1/8 inches. Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence. Su concessione del Ministero per i beni e le attività culturali; photo Mauro Magliani

Xavier F. Salomon comments, “The Frick is the only institution outside of Europe that owns a statuette by Bertoldo, and we have long desired the opportunity to study and present this artist’s work in great depth. We are thrilled that the resulting monographic display—on view only in New York—will finally bring into focus Bertoldo’s unique position at the heart of the artistic and political landscape of fifteenth-century Florence. Most appropriately our team has enjoyed working on this project in partnership with that city’s esteemed Museo del Bargello.”

The exhibition was organized by Aimee Ng, Curator; Alexander J. Noelle, Anne L. Poulet Curatorial Fellow; and Xavier F. Salomon, Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator, with the assistance of Julia Day, Conservator.

Images courtesy The Frick Collection.