POLLAIUOLO, Piero del
(b. 1441, Firenze, d. 1496, Roma)
Portrait of a Ladyc. 1475
Tempera on panel, 49 x 32 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
In the late fifteenth century, the brothers Antonio and Piero Pollaiuolo ran an active workshop in Florence, producing sculptures, goldsmith work, and painting. There was also a considerable graphic output. By 1450, Antonio was already a renowned goldsmith, and he was also active as a sculptor, in particular of bronzes. Documents refer solely to Piero as the executing artist for certain paintings.
The Pollaioulo workshop produced a group of profile portraits of ladies. This group has been the subject of controversy, particularly regarding which work was executed by which brother. Technical and stylistic analysis of the group led to the conclusion that the portraits in Berlin and Milan can be attributed to Antonio, while those in Florence and New York are the works by Piero. The portraits by Antonio are among the most important works of Quattrocento portraiture.