BREGNO, Antonio
(active 1425-1457 in Venice)


Italian sculptor, part of a family of sculptors and architects. They were active in the 15th and the early 16th century. One of the most important and extensive family dynasties in Italian Renaissance sculpture, the Bregni came from the village of Righeggia, near Osteno on Lake Lugano. Active primarily in northern Italy (Lombardy, Emilia, and the Veneto), a few Bregni also worked in central Italy. Several Bregno artists are documented, although the precise familial relationship between most of them is still unclear. The most important artists in the family were (Antonio Bregno, Andrea Bregno, Giovanni Battista Bregno and Lorenzo Bregno.

Antonio Bregno is first mentioned with his brother Paolo Bregno in 1777, the date of an engraving by Sebastiano Giampiccoli of the tomb of Doge Francesco Foscari (d. Nov 1457) in Santa Maria dei Frari, Venice. The engraving carries the information that the tomb was 'designed and executed by the architect Paolo and the sculptor Antonio, the brothers Bregno of Como'. It would seem probable that this information was taken from a document then in the Foscari archive. The brothers presumably signed the document jointly. The designation of their professions as architect and sculptor respectively is likely to be an 18th-century anachronism; in the mid-15th century masons were not as specialized.