Bonacolsi, Pier Jacopo di Antonio Alari; Alari Bonacolsi, Pier Jacopo; L'Antico; Antico, Pier Jacopo di Antonio Alari Bonacolsi, called
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Pier Jacopo di Antonio Alari Bonacolsi, called Antico, was a famous Mantuan sculptor who worked in bronze. He was probably born in that city, he is first documented in 1479, and is known to have been married and to have had children by 1499.
Antico spent the period from about 1480 until his death in the service of the Gonzaga courts. He may have been first employed by the Marquess Federigo Gonzaga in Mantua, but he is more associated with the marquess's brother, Gianfrancesco Gonzaga di Rodigo, lord of Bozzolo (1445-1496). Antico then went to Mantua, to Rome in 1497, and back to Bozzolo, where he was employed by Bishop Lodovico Gonzaga. He appears to have remained Lodovico's employ in Gazzuolo between 1501 and 1528 while working for Marchioness Isabella d'Este at Mantua. The artist is recorded as restoring antique marble statues in Rome, but his greatest works are statuettes, busts, and reliefs in bronze, mainly commissioned by Gianfrancesco Gonzaga. His sculptures have a classical character derived from antique sources, and they conform to Mantegna's figurative style.
[This is the artist's biography published in the NGA systematic catalogue of Renaissance medals.]