Skip to main
Featured Grant
History of Art
June 17, 2020

Exhibition gallery view of Bertoldo di Giovanni: The Renaissance of Sculpture in Medici Florence.

Michael Bodycomb

The Kress Foundation awarded the Frick Collection a $10,000 grant to support educational programming associated with the exhibition Bertoldo di Giovanni: The Renaissance of Sculpture in Medici Florence, which opened in September 2019. The following description of the exhibition and its related programming is taken directly from the final report submitted by the Frick collection.

Bertoldo di Giovanni, Shield Bearer, ca. 1470–80, gilt bronze, H 8 7/8 inches, The Frick Collection, New York.

Michael Bodycomb

A renowned student of Donatello, a teacher of Michelangelo, and a great favorite of Lorenzo “il Magnifico” de’ Medici, Bertoldo di Giovanni (ca. 1440–1491) was one of the first artists to create statuettes in bronze. Astonishingly, Bertoldo di Giovanni: The Renaissance of Sculpture in Medici Florence, is the first ever exhibition on the artist. More than twenty statues, reliefs, medals, and statuettes—constituting nearly Bertoldo’s entire extant oeuvre—were on view exclusively at the Frick, which houses his only sculptural figure outside of Europe. The exhibition highlighted the ingenuity of the artist’s designs across media, including bronze, wood, and terracotta, and provided the first chance to fully explore longstanding questions of attribution, function, groupings, and intended display. Bertoldo di Giovanni brought into focus the sculptor’s unique position at the heart of the artistic and political landscape in fifteenth-century Italy.

Bertoldo di Giovanni, the latest in a series of shows on Renaissance sculptors, was organized by Aimee Ng, Curator; Alexander J. Noelle, former Anne L. Poulet Curatorial Fellow; and Xavier F. Salomon, Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator; with the assistance of Julia Day, Conservator, who coordinated and conducted extensive scientific analysis of the objects.

The accompanying catalogue was written by the exhibition’s organizers, along with contributions from an international group of scholars. It is by far the most substantial text on Bertoldo ever produced.

The education department presented the following lectures related to Bertoldo di Giovanni, all of which are currently available to view on the Frick Collection’s website: