By Martina Bollini

Italian sculptor Mino da Fiesole, also known as Mino di Giovanni, died on 11 July 1484 in Florence. Born in Poppi (Tuscany) in 1429, Mino was trained in Florence, possibly by Antonio Rossellino. Mino is chiefly remembered for his portrait busts, among the earliest Renaissance portrait sculptures. Sitters include eminent politicians such as Piero de’ Medici and wealty merchants as Niccolò Strozzi.

Mino spent prolonged stays in Rome, where he is recorded in 1454, in 1463, and from roughly 1473 to 1480. Here, he studied classical sculpture and worked as a tomb sculptor, often in conjunction with Andrea Bregno. Between 1455 and 1456 Mino moved at the Aragon court in Naples. 

Mino’s most famous works are the tombs in the Florentine Badia: the first, completed in 1468, was a private commission for the jurist Bernardo Giugni. The second, built in the following decades, honored the memory of Count Hugo of Tuscany, founder of the Badia.

Reference: F. Sorce, MINO da Fiesole, in Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, vol. 74 (2010).

Further reading: S. E. Zuraw, The Public Commemorative Monument: Mino da Fiesole’s Tombs in the Florentine Badia, in The Art Bulletin, vol. 80, No. 3 (Sep., 1998), pp. 452-477.

Piero di Cosimo de’ Medici, known as il Gottoso, 1453-54, Florence, Bargello National Museum

Niccolò di Leonardo Strozzi, 1454, Berlin, Staatliche Museen

Young Saint John the Baptist, 1466, New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Funerary monument of pope Paul II (with Giovanni Dalmata or Ducnović) – The Last Judgment, 1475-1477, Vatican, Saint Peter’s

Funerary monument of Count Hugo of Tuscany, 1469-1481, Florence, Badia Fiorentina

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