Antico, for the door of our “camerino” we desire something by your hand. For this reason we send to you our sculptor Gian Cristoforo who will explain our intention and give you the needed dimension. We pray that you will accept the commission willingly and that you start working immediately as you will gain honor and advantage, and we will be grateful. Mantua, March 27, 1500.
Authorization to reproduce number 37-2011.
Isabella d’Este (1474–1539)
became Antico’s principal patron after the death of her husband’s uncle, the bishop Ludovico Gonzaga, in 1511. The daughter of the Duke of Ferrara, Ercole d’Este, Isabella married the Marchese of Mantua, Francesco Gonzaga, in 1490. She became famous in her own time for her dynamic personality and cultural sophistication and was one of the few women to create a studiolo. Antico made bronzes that were preserved on cornices in her studiolo. After her husband’s death in 1519 Isabella became regent of Mantua for her son Federico Gonzaga.
Giancristoforo Romano, Isabella d’Este, after 1498, bronze, National Gallery of Art, Samuel H. Kress Collection