LEONI, Leone
(b. 1509, Menaggio, d. 1590, Milano)

High Altar

Gilt bronze
Basilica, Monasterio de San Lorenzo, El Escorial

The last decade of Leone's life was occupied by his first major commission (1579) for the Habsburgs since the death of Charles V in 1558. This was for 15 colossal gilt-bronze statues for the high altar retable in the Capilla Mayor at the Escorial, near Madrid. Undertaken with Pompeo, this was the crowning achievement of his career. The majestic, broadly conceived statues convey the heroic vigour of the Counter-Reformation Church and are important prototypes for similar stylistic developments in Rome.

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