CIUFFAGNI, Bernardo
(b. 1385, Firenze, d. 1457, Firenze)

Biography

Italian sculptor. His name first appears on the rolls of Florence Cathedral in 1409. The following year he was commissioned to provide the seated figure of St Matthew (Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence) for the main portal of the cathedral, the other three evangelists having already been assigned to Nanni di Banco, Niccolò di Piero Lamberti and Donatello. Completed in 1415, the St Matthew displays Ciuffagni's talent for eclecticism rather than originality, and records testify to a degree of suspicion on behalf of the other three sculptors at the newcomer's interest in their work. Ciuffagni continued to enjoy official favour in Florence, and widely attributed works include a prophet for the Porta della Mandorla (c. 1415), a statue of Joshua for the campanile façade (begun c. 1415-17, finished, probably by another artist, 1421; Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence) and a statue of St Peter for the Butchers' Guild at Orsanmichele (c. 1415; in situ).

In 1415 Ciuffagni left Florence, most probably for Venice, where he is thought to have collaborated with Niccolò di Piero Lamberti and Piero di Niccolò Lamberti on the façade of San Marco, before returning to Florence in 1422. The Cathedral Works again provided work, in 1423 commissioning the statue of Isaiah for the campanile, which, though finished in 1427, was placed instead on the cathedral façade. Vasari's assertion that Ciuffagni worked on San Francesco, Rimini, repeats an earlier, unfounded tradition that has basis in neither stylistic nor documentary evidence. He appears to have ceased working in the late 1430s.