ASPETTI, Tiziano
(b. ca. 1559, Padova, d. 1606, Pisa)

Altar and tomb of Saint Anthony

Bronze, 48 x 72 cm
Basilica di Sant'Antonio, Padua

Because the St Daniel reliefs were such a success, on 6 November 1593 Aspetti received a highly prestigious and lucrative commission to design a new marble altar in the chapel of St Anthony in Il Santo and to adorn it with 11 bronze statues: three saints, St Anthony, St Bonaventure and St Louis of Toulouse; four Virtues, Faith, Charity, Temperance and Fortitude (or Hope); and four angels holding candelabra. (The Virtues were set in the choir in 1597 and are on the balustrade of the high altar.) This was the third and last great ensemble commissioned by Il Santo, after Donatello's high altar (completed 1450) with its bronze statues and the marble reliefs adorning the walls of the chapel of St Anthony.

The statues of the three Franciscan saints are uncharacteristic of Aspetti, being emulations of Donatello. The half life-size Virtues, however, with their small heads, elongated figures and elegant draperies, sum up Aspetti's then-current figural style.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.