(b. 1427, Settignano, d. 1479, Firenze)

Madonna and Child

Marble, 67 x 52 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

Antonio Rossellino was a pupil of his older brother Bernardo who was probably the master of Desiderio da Settignano, too. The two brothers worked together on many important marble sculptures the most significant of which is the Portugal Cardinal Tomb in San Miniato al Monte, Florence.

Donatello, the inventor of the "relieve schiacciato" ("flattened relief") technique, employed it not to take sculpture out into space, as all his contemporaries sought to, but to depict space within the marble, indicating soil, trees, and clouds with fine surface gradations. His followers, including Rossellino, uncovered the decorative potential of this technique. He invested his works with the lightness of a vision, superbly "drawing with the chisel," which led to the technique often becoming known as "painting in relief."