By Martina Bollini

Baccio D’Agnolo (Bartolomeo Baglioni) died on 6 May 1543. Born in Florence in 1462, Baccio started as a wood-carver, decorating the church of Santa Maria Novella and Palazzo Vecchio. Here, he set his first steps as an architect, at the beginning of the XVI century. According to Vasari, Baccio later moved to Rome, “where he applied himself with great zeal to the study of architecture”.

In 1506 Baccio was commissioned to complete the drum of the cupola of Santa Maria del Fiore, left incomplete by Brunelleschi. Baccio’s work, though, met the same fate: his plan was indeed harshly criticized by Michelangelo, who defined it “a cage for crickets”, and thus it was never completed. Michelangelo, however, frequented Baccio’s workshop, where the most notable artists of the time used to gather. Baccio also made a wooden model for the façade of San Lorenzo (1516) based on a drawing of Michelangelo.

Among Baccio’s works are Palazzo Taddei (then Pecori-Giraldi), Palazzo Borgherini-Rosselli del Turco, Palazzo Lanfredini, the campanile of Santo Spirito and Palazzo Bartolini-Salimbeni. The façade of this palace was reputed to look “more like that of a temple than of a palace; so that Baccio was like to go out of his mind”.

Baccio died in Florence in 1543, leaving his sons Giuliano and Domenico, both architects, to carry on his work.

Reference: C. Elam, Baccio d’Agnolo, in Grove Art Online (1996).

Baccio d’Agnolo, from the Lives of Giorgio Vasari.

Campanile of Santo Spirito, 1511, Florence.

Palazzo Bartolini-Salimbeni, 1517-1520,Florence.

Palazzo Lanfredini, 1520-23, Florence. Photo credit: Firenze nei dettagli

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