CARADOSSO
(b. ca. 1452, Modonico, d. 1527, ?)

Biography

Italian goldsmith, coin- and gem-engraver, jeweller, medallist and dealer (originally Cristoforo Foppa). Son of the goldsmith Gian Maffeo Foppa, from 1480 he served at the Milanese court with his father, eventually becoming personal goldsmith and jeweller to Ludovico Sforza (il Moro), Duke of Milan. In 1487 Caradosso was in Florence, where his appraisal of an antique cornelian was highly esteemed. He worked in Hungary in the service of King Matthias Corvinus, probably in August 1489; a later visit to the court was cut short by the King's death (1490).

Between 1492 and 1497 Caradosso travelled to various Italian towns to buy jewels and other precious objects for Ludovico il Moro. He visited Rome, Viterbo and Florence early in 1496, when the Medici family's possessions were sold off after the expulsion of Piero de' Medici (1471-1503) from Florence. After the fall of Ludovico il Moro in 1500, Caradosso remained for some years in Lombardy. In 1501 he was involved in negotiations to sell a number of marble busts and statues, presumably antique, to Ludovico Gonzaga, Bishop of Mantua; in 1503 he formed part of a committee to judge the plans for a door in Milan Cathedral; in 1505 he tried to persuade Isabella d'Este, Marchesa di Mantua, to buy a vase (untraced) he had made of 49 engraved crystals set in enamelled and gilt silver, but she rejected it because it was too big. He was in contact with the Mantuan court again in 1512 and in 1522-24.