(b. 1493, Firenze, d. 1560, Firenze)

Dead Christ Supported by Nicodemus

Marble, over life-size
Santissima Annunziata, Florence

The ultimate success of Cellini's Perseus with the Head of Medusa (1545-53; Florence, Loggia dei Lanzi) was a severe blow to the morale of his rival, who had always experienced problems with statuary in bronze. Cellini also managed to produce some very credible carvings in marble, thus threatening Baccio in his chosen field, while pressure mounted after 1555, when Vasari and Ammanati both returned to Florence to work for the Grand Duke and Ammanati was awarded the desirable sculptural commission for the Fountain of Juno. Bandinelli contented himself with finishing off, in collaboration with his son Clemente, an over life-size group of the Dead Christ Supported by Nicodemus, the latter given his own features, for his tomb in Santissima Annunziata. This was doubtless inspired by the knowledge that Michelangelo was working on a Pietà for his tomb.

Bandinelli's design was derived from his ideas for the choir of the cathedral, and though a peculiar composition, given the awkward physical relationship between the figures, it is reasonably satisfactory and well carved in detail.

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