Pierre Jacobo Alari Bonacolsi (ca. 1460 - 1528)

alias Antico

Apollo Belvedere

Pier Jacopo Alari Bonacolsi known as Antico, Apollo  Belvedere, Mantua, 1497/98
Pier Jacopo Alari Bonacolsi known as Antico, Apollo Belvedere, Mantua, 1497/98

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Pierre Jacobo Alari Bonacolsi

ca. 1460 - 1528

Antico, who may have been trained initially as a goldsmith, was active at the court of the Gonzaga beginning in 1479. It was there that he produced most of his major works for various members of the Gonzaga family, including – from about 1500 onward – Isabella d’Este. In small bronzes, he replicated the most celebrated classical artworks from the Vatican collection, including the Apollo Belvedere. A special hallmark of his works is the fire gilding of individual parts. Also widely noted were his small-scale reproductions of many famous sculptures, which he carefully adapted to suit contemporary taste. Records indicate that he was in Rome several times and was also entrusted with the restoration of ancient sculptures. His self-chosen pseudonym “Antico” is to be understood as a programmatic declaration.

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