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ALESSANDRO VITTORIA (1525-1608)

Giorgio Vasari's Lives of the Artists



LIKEWISE A DISCIPLE of Jacopo was Alessandro Vittoria of Trento, a most excellent sculptor and much the friend of study, who with a very beautiful manner has shown in many works that he has executed, as well in stucco as in marble, that he has a ready brain and a lovely style, and that his labors are worthy to be held in estimation. By the hand of this Alessandro, in Venice, at the principal door of the Library of San Marco, are two great women of stone, each ten palms high, which are full of grace and beauty and worthy to be much extolled. [See left; 1550s] He has made four figures for the tomb of the Contarini in the Santo of Padua, two slaves, or rather, captives, with a Fame and a Thetis, all of stone; and an Angel ten feet high, a very beautiful statue, which has been placed upon the Campanile of the Duomo in Verona.

And to Dalmatia he sent four stone Apostles for the Duomo of Trau, each five feet tall. He made also some silver figures for the Scuola of San Giovanni Evangelista in Venice; very gracious, all in full relief, and a silver statue of St. Theodore, two feet high and fully in the round. For the Chapel of the Grimani, in San Sebastiano, he wrought two figures in marble, each three feet high; and then he made a Pieta, with two figures of stone, held to be good, which are at San Salvadore in Venice. He made a Mercury, held to be a good figure, for the pulpit of the Palazzo di San Marco, which looks out over the Piazza; and for San Francesco della Vigna he made three figures large as life--St. Anthony, St. Sebastian, and St. Rocco--all of stone and full of beauty and grace, and well wrought. For the Church of the Crocicchieri he made in stucco two figures each six feet high, very beautiful, which are placed on the high-altar; and of the same material he made, as has been already told, all the ornaments that are in the vaulting of the new staircase of the Palazzo di San Marco, with various patterns of compartments in stucco, where Battista Franco afterwards painted in the spaces the scenes, figures, and grotesques that are there.

In like manner, Alessandro executed the ornaments of the staircase of the Library of San Marco, all works of great mastery; and a chapel for the Friars Minor, and in the altar-piece of marble, which is very large and very beautiful, the Assumption of Our Lady in half-relief, with five great figures below which have in them something of the grand and are made with a beautiful manner, a lovely and dignified flow of draperies, and much diligence of execution; which figures of marble--St. Jerome, St. John the Baptist, St. Peter, St. Andrew, and St. Leonard--each six feet high, are the best of all the works that he has done up to the present. And as a crown to that chapel, on the frontispiece, are two figures likewise of marble, each eight feet high and very graceful. The same Vittoria has executed many portraits in marble and most beautiful heads, which are good likenesses, such as that of Signor Giovan Battista Feredo, placed in the Church of Santo Stefano, that of Camillo Trevisano, the orator, placed in the Church of SS Giovanni e Polo; the most illustrious Marc'Antono Grimani, likewise placed in the Church of San Sebastiano; and in San Gimignano, the rector of that church. He has also portrayed Messer Andrea Loredano, M. Priano da Lagie, and two brothers of the Pellegrini family--Messer Vincenzio and Messer Giovan Battista--both orators. And since Vittoria is young and a willing worker, talented, amiable, desirous of acquiring name and fame, and, lastly, very gentile, we may believe that if he lives, we are destined to see most beautiful works come from him from day to day, worthy of his name of Vittoria, and that if his life endures, he is like to be a most excellent sculptor and to win the palm from all the others of that country.





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