(b. ca. 1455, Firenze, d. 1499, Firenze)


Italian sculptor, military engineer, bronze founder, and medallist. Like his collaborator Bertoldo di Giovanni, he may have started his working life as a servant in the house of Lorenzo de' Medici. An 'Adriano nostro' is recorded delivering letters for Lorenzo in 1483 and again in March 1484, when Lorenzo referred to him as 'Adriano formerly our groom' (staffiere). He worked at courts in Italy and also in Germany, where he produced one of his best-known works, a bronze bust of Elector Frederick III the Wise in contemporary costume (Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden).

Adriano is first recorded as a bronze founder in an inscription on the base of the Bellerophon and Pegasus (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna), a bronze statuette designed by Bertoldo di Giovanni in Florence during the early 1480s. Adriano then moved to Naples, serving King Ferrante I as military engineer and artillery founder. He also produced medals of members of the house of Aragon and their court poet Giovanni Pontano. In 1495 Adriano was serving Elizabetta Gonzaga, Duchess of Urbino, and then her brother Gianfrancesco Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua. By 1498 he was working in Germany at the court of Elector Frederick.

The surviving sculptures by Adriano include the bust of Frederick the Wise (Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden) dated 1498; a bust of Pontano (in the Palazzo Bianco, Genoa); a bronze group of Venus and Cupid in Vienna (the Venus by itself is at Philadelphia); a signed figure of Pan; an attributed figure of Hercules; and the bronze group of Bellerophon and Pegasus by Bertoldo (in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna), which was cast by Adriano. The sixteen medals ascribed to Adriano include some pieces with exceptionally beautiful portrait heads.