Desiderio da Settignano (c.1430-1464)

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Jesus and John

Desiderio da Settignano was an Italian sculptor active during the Renaissance. He came from a family of stone carvers and stone masons in Settignano, near Florence. His work shows the influence of Donatello, specifically his use of low reliefs.

In 1450-55 he finished a frieze with cherubims in the Pazzi Chapel of Santa Croce in Florence. In 1453 he immatriculated in the Guild of Stone and Wood Craftsmen of the city, and later executed the Tomb of chancellor Carlo Marsuppini in the same church, inspired to Bernardo Rossellino’s tomb of Leonardo Bruni. It shows the defunct lying on the sarcophagus, with a triumphal arch, supported by pilasters, hanging over him. Of circa 1455 is the bust of Marietta Strozzi, now in Berlin, and a Maledeine in polychrome wood, for the church of Santa Trinita in Florence; the latter’s soft rendering has been favorably compared to the seemingly ageing of the contemporary Donatello’s work.


The Young St. John the Baptist, 1450-1453

In 1461 he finished a Tabernacle for the Sacrament Chapel in San Lorenzo. He died in Florence in 1464. The most famous of his pupils is Simone Ferrucci.


A Little Boy, Bust 1455-1460

Selected works

  • The tomb of Carlo Marsuppini in Santa Croce, Florence
  • Coat of Arms of the Gianfigliazzi and Minerbetti Families (c.1445-50) – stone
  • Beauregard Madonna (c.1455) – marble relief
  • A Little Boy (c.1455-1460) – marble bust
  • Virgin and Child (c.1455-1460) – marble relief
  • The Christ Child (c. 1460) – marble bust
  • The Altar of the Sacrament in San Lorenzo, Florence (completed in 1461)
  • Saint Jerome in the Desert (c.1461) – marble

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