Past Exhibition

Bertoldo di Giovanni: The Renaissance of Sculpture in Medici Florence
September 18, 2019 to January 12, 2020
bronze statue of young man bearing shield and club

The Frick Collection presented the first-ever exhibition on the Florentine sculptor Bertoldo di Giovanni (ca. 1440–1491), a renowned student of Donatello, a teacher of Michelangelo, and a great favorite of Lorenzo “il Magnifico” de’ Medici, his principal patron. More than twenty statues, reliefs, medals, and statuettes — constituting nearly his entire extant oeuvre — were on view exclusively at the Frick, which houses the only sculptural figure by Bertoldo 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: The Renaissance of Sculpture in Medici Florence brought into focus the sculptor’s unique position at the heart of the artistic and political landscape in fifteenth-century Italy.

Bertoldo di Giovanni was the latest in a series of acclaimed Frick shows on Renaissance sculptors and is organized by Aimee Ng, Curator; Alexander J. Noelle, 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. This important project was the result of a creative partnership with a major lender to the exhibition, the esteemed Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence.

The accompanying catalogue, published in association with D Giles Ltd, London, and featuring contributions from an international group of scholars, is by far the most substantial text on Bertoldo ever produced.

Major support for the exhibition was provided by the Robert H. Smith Family Foundation, Margot and Jerry Bogert, Mrs. Daniel Cowin in honor of Ian Wardropper, The Melanie and Matthew McLennan Foundation, and Peter Marino Architect. Additional funding was generously provided by Kathleen Feldstein, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Peter D. Pritchard, Dino and Raffaello Tomasso, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, Dr. Stephen K. Scher and Janie Woo Scher, the Malcolm Hewitt Wiener Foundation, and Daniel Katz.

Bertoldo di Giovanni (1420/30–1491), Shield Bearer, ca. 1470–80. Copper alloy, with extensive traces of gilding, 8 13/16 × 3 3/4 × 2 3/4 in. (22.4 × 9.5 × 7 cm). The Frick Collection, New York. Photo: Michael Bodycomb

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