Italian architect and sculptor.
Nothing is known of Bregno’s activity until his arrival in Rome in
the 1460s, although his early works betray a Lombard training.
During the pontificate of Sixtus IV he became the most popular and
prolific sculptor of his day, with a large and well-organized
bottega. He worked mainly on the decoration of tombs of prelates and
dignitaries of the papal court. Bregno became famous in his lifetime
and was mentioned, together with Verrocchio, by Giovanni Santi in La
vita e le geste di Federico di Montefeltro duca d’Urbino, written
between 1484 and 1487. The writer of a funeral epitaph actually
compared him with Polykleitos. Bregno’s work is characterized by
great refinement and technical skill. Although he was often not
particularly inventive, he was certainly a fine sculptor of
grotesques and other forms of ornamentation. He soon fell under the
influence of Tuscan models, probably as a result of his contact with
Mino da Fiesole, with whom he worked in Rome. There his style became
more classical and its design more compact, with precise references
to antique sculpture: documents show that he possessed a collection
of antique objects recovered from excavations. He was also a friend
of Platina, who held him in high esteem, as he wrote in a letter to
Lorenzo the Magnificent.
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