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Bartolomeo Bellano

Paduan, 1437/1438 - 1496/1497

Vellano, Bartolomeo

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Bellano (Vellano) was born in Padua, and he died there between 1496 and 1497. He is called "goldsmith" in an early document, but his earliest sculptural activity was as an assistant to Donatello, in connection with work on the Judith and Holofernes in the Palzzo Vecchio, Florence. From 1463 to Donatello’s death in 1466, Bellano helped with work on the pulpits in San Lorenzo, Florence. In 1467, in Perugia, he produced a large statue of Pope Paul II, which was destroyed in 1798. He may also have worked in Rome for that pope, as Vasari notes that Bellano made many small works in marble and bronze and worked as an architect on the Palazzo Venezia. Bellano was again in Padua between 1469 and 1472 and in 1479 went with Gentile Bellini to work for Mehmed II, sultan of Turkey. He returned to Venice in 1480 and spent the rest of his life in Padua. Between 1484 and 1490 he produced his masterpiece, a set of ten bronze reliefs for the Santo in Padua.

Only two medals have been accepted as Bellano's work, although neither of them has much aesthetic merit, being cramped in style and coarse in execution.[1] The Kress Collection at the NGA includes a plaquette ascribed to Bellano (NGA 1957.14.139).

[1] NGA 1957.14.765.a,b and a medal of Bartolommeo Cepola of Verona (George Francis Hill, A Corpus of the Italian Medals of the Renaissance before Cellini, 2 vols., London, 1930: no. 541).

[This is the artist's biography published in the NGA systematic catalogue of Renaissance medals.]

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