MONTORSOLI, Giovanni Angelo
(b. 1507, Montorsoli, d. 1563, Firenze)

Biography

Italian sculptor and architect. After a three-year apprenticeship with Andrea di Piero Ferrucci (1465-1526), he worked as an assistant in Rome (producing rosettes on the cornices of St Peter's), Perugia and Volterra. He then went to Florence to work on the New Sacristy (Medici Chapel) and the Biblioteca Laurenziana at San Lorenzo, probably from 1524; the influence of Michelangelo was to prove decisive. Work at San Lorenzo was suspended as a result of the expulsion of the Medici in 1527, and Montorsoli decided to enter a religious order; he was inducted into the Servite Order at Santissima Annunziata in 1530, taking his vows in 1531. For his monastery church he restored the wax portraits of the Medici family, which had been destroyed in 1527, and modelled new ones of Leo X, Clement VII, Matthias Corvinus and Giacomo V d'Appiano, Duke of Piombino (untraced).

In 1532 Michelangelo recommended him to Clement VII to restore antique statues in the Vatican; his restorations of the Laokoon group and the Apollo Belvedere (both Rome, Vatican, Museo Pio-Clementino) ensured their enduring fame. In Rome Montorsoli also produced a marble portrait of Clement VII (untraced) and assisted Michelangelo on the tomb of Julius II.