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Rossellino, Bernardo

ROSSELLINO, BERNARDO (1400-1464), Florentine sculptor, was no less able than his younger brother Antonio. His finest piece of sculpture is the tomb, in the Florentine Santa Croce, of Leonardo Bruni of Arezzo, the historian of Florence, executed in 1443 some years after Bruni's death; the recumbent effigy is of great merit. The inner cathedral pulpit at Prato, circular in form on a tall slender stem, was partly the work of Mino da Fiesole and partly by Bernardo Rossellino. The latter executed the minute reliefs of St Stephen and the Assumption of the Virgin. For his part in the work he received sixty-six gold florins. The South Kensington Museum possesses a relief by Bernardo, signed and dated (1456). It is a fine portrait of the physician Giovanni da S. Miniato. Bernardo's works as an architect were numerous and important, and he was also a skilful military engineer. He restored the church of S. Francis at Assisi, and designed several fine buildings at Civita Vecchia, Orvieto and elsewhere. He also built fortresses and city walls at Spoleto, Orvieto and Civita Castellana. He was largely employed by Nicholas V. and Pius II. for restorations in nearly all the great basilicas of Rome, but little trace of his work remains, owing to the sweeping alterations made during the 17th and 18th centuries. Between the years 1461 and 1464 (when he died while engaged on the Lazzari monument at Pistoia) he occupied the important post of capo-maestro to the Florentine duomo. A number of buildings at Pienza, executed for Pius II., are attributed to him; the Vatican registers mention the architect of these as M Bernardo di Fiorenza, but this indication is too slight to make it certain that the elder Rossellino is referred to (see Vasari, ed. Milanesi, iii. 93 seq.). See Wilhelm Bode, Die Italienische Plastik (Berlin, 1902).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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