DANTI, Vincenzo
(b. 1530, Perugia, d. 1576, Perugia)


Italian sculptor, architect and writer, part of a family of artists, scientists and writers. The members of the Danti family (originally the Rainaldi: the name was changed out of admiration for Dante Alighieri) are said to have pursued artistic and literary careers over several generations. Vincenzio Danti was a leading Florentine Mannerist sculptor, and one of the most distinguished sculptors in 16th-century Italy. He also wrote a celebrated treatise on proportion.

Vincenzo Danti was probably trained by his father, Giulio Danti, and was enrolled in the Perugian guild of goldsmiths in 1548. Danti studied grammar and rhetoric and was sent while still a youth to Rome, where he studied anatomy with Michelangelo and Daniele da Volterra. Even peripheral contact with such circles, which also included Juan de Valverde, whose Historia del cuerpo humano (1556) is connected with Danti’s later treatise, might explain the beginnings of Danti’s interest in the theory and practice of anatomy.

His art was strongly influenced by Michelangelo. He executed a statue of Pope Julius III (1555) in the Cathedral, Perugia, but later worked in the Baptistry, Florence, where he completed Sansovino's Baptism of Christ and produced his greatest work, the Beheading of St John the Baptist.