PORTA, Antonio della
(active 1489-1519)

Biography

Antonio della Porta (Antonio Tamagnino), Italian sculptor, part of an Italian family of sculptors, stone masons and architects, active from the 15th century to the 17th. Originally they came from Porlezza on Lake Lugano, but they were active in the masons' lodges of Milan Cathedral and the Certosa di Pavia from the 1470s. Around 1500, Antonio della Porta set up a workshop in Genoa, where he collaborated with, among others, his nephew Pace Gagini of the Gagini family of sculptors and stone masons, producing sculpture that was exported to France. Guglielmo della Porta moved c. 1537 to Rome, where his descendants continued to work until the early 17th century.

Antonio was the son of the master stone mason Giacomo della Porta, who worked at the Certosa di Pavia between 1477 and 1481. With his older brothers Guglielmo and Bartolomeo, Antonio was trained at the Certosa where he worked mostly in collaboration with other sculptors. His individual style is therefore rather difficult to isolate. His earliest documented works are twelve figures of angels, three reliefs of church fathers and two medallions, all in S Maria dei Miracoli, Brescia, for which he was paid in 1489. Stylistically they are closely related to the sculpture at the Certosa. The graceful music-playing angels, with their elaborate, stylized draperies, recall Giovanni Antonio Amadeo's angels on the façade of the Certosa di Pavia, and the circular reliefs of the church fathers, set into the pendentives of the cupola, are also closely modelled on similar reliefs at the Certosa. In 1493 and 1499 he worked again in Brescia.