(b. 1412, Borgo a Buggiano, Pistoia, d. 1461, Firenze)


Buggiano (Andrea di Lazzaro Cavalcanti), Italian decorator and sculptor. He was the son of Lazzaro Cavalcanti but was adopted at the age of seven by Filippo Brunelleschi and lived with him near San Michele Berteldi, where from an early age Brunelleschi put him to work at the cathedral in nearby Florence. As an apprentice he carved the marble cornices for the windows of the tribunes (1429).

Two years later he worked on the sacristy chapel of Cosimo de' Medici (the Old Sacristy) in San Lorenzo, Florence, where he executed the marble altar, which is decorated with three panels, separated with marble semi-colonettes, one of which includes figures of the Virgin and Child. In the same chapel he executed the tomb of Cosimo's father, Giovanni di Averardo, which takes the form of an antique sarcophagus decorated with garlands and groups of putti carrying scrolls. In 1433 Buggiano fled to Naples with his payment for this work, which had been withheld by Brunelleschi, and met up with some Florentine sculptors from the circle of Donatello. Through the intervention of Pope Eugene IV and Giovanna II, Queen of Naples, Brunelleschi resolved the matter within a year.

By 1438 Buggiano was back in Florence working on a marble lavabo in the Sagrestia delle Messe in the cathedral, a commission that had been given to Brunelleschi in 1432. In 1442 Buggiano began work on a similar marble lavabo for the Sagrestia dei Canonici of the cathedral. This version is more lively, both in its subject-matter and decoration, while the handling shows the influence of Donatello. In the same period, Buggiano carved other works in marble for the cathedral, including a tabernacle of Corpus Christi (1443), eventually placed in the lateral tribune on the north side; the fluted columns and cornice of the altar of the SS Sacramento (1446), based on a design by Michelozzo di Bartolommeo and located in the same tribune; and the funerary monument to Filippo Brunelleschi, consisting of a tondo containing his bust (1447-48). The features of the bust repeat those of the plaster death mask (Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence), which may have been made by Buggiano.

In 1443 Buggiano had begun to carve a circular marble pulpit for the church of Santa Maria Novella, Florence, based on a model by Brunelleschi and financed by the monk Andrea Rucellai. The pulpit, with its richly carved mouldings, betrays an element of ingenuity and repetition in the four panels depicting scenes of the Life of the Virgin; the work was completed in 1452, after much delay, and was assembled and evaluated by Antonio Rossellino and Desiderio da Settignano.

On Brunelleschi's death Buggiano inherited his entire estate, but offers of work diminished. His final documented work is an evaluation carried out for Luca della Robbia on the execution of the tomb of Bishop Benozzo Federighi (now in Santa Trinita, Florence), following a dispute between della Robbia and his patron; Buggiano gave his full supoort to Luca's claims (1459).

It was suggested that Buggiano had also been an architect, but to date there is no documentary proof for this. In particular, the Oratory of the Madonna Piè di Piazza, Pescia (Pistoia), founded in 1447, and the Cardini Chapel in the church of San Francesco at Pescia, which is similar in appearance to the painted architecture of Masaccio's Trinity fresco in the church of Santa Maria Novella, Florence, are attributed to him. Both buildings are judged to be immature and provincial creations, but are distinguished by virtue of being the first in the Renaissance style outside Florence.

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