MAIANO, Giuliano da
(b. 1432, Maiano, d. 1490, Napoli)

Biography

Italian architect, wood-carver and intarsia worker, part of a family of artists. The brothers Giuliano da Maiano, Giovanni da Maiano I (1439-1478) and Benedetto da Maiano ran one of the most versatile and productive workshops in Florence in the later 15th century. They were sons of the mason Leonardo d'Antonio da Maiano and were brought up in the quarry village of Maiano, outside Florence. Giuliano was the administrative head of the workshop, which produced secular and ecclesiastical furniture and executed sculpture in a wide variety of media, as well as designing and building numerous architectural projects. They worked throughout Tuscany and also in Naples. Giovanni I is mentioned in payments (1473-77) for work at Santissima Annunziata, Florence, but nothing is known of his specific contribution to the family's enterprises. Giovanni da Maiano II (c. 1486-c. 1542) was the son of Benedetto da Maiano and was one of the first generation of Italian sculptors to introduce the Renaissance style to the English court at the time of Henry VIII.

As capomaestro of Florence Cathedral and Court Architect to Alfonso, Duke of Calabria (later Alfonso II, King of Naples), Giuliano was recognized in his lifetime as the outstanding architect of his generation. He made an important contribution to spreading the Renaissance style to southern Italy, and his ambition to enlarge the scale and scope of Italian architecture from the smaller scale employed in the early Renaissance, although not entirely successful, paved the way for the next generation's creation of the truly monumental architecture of the High Renaissance.