(b. ca. 1418, Fiesole, d. ca. 1458, Fiesole)


Palazzo Ducale, Urbino

Count Federigo da Montefeltro's first architectural commission was his new apartments in the rebuilt Palazzetto della Iole. The construction of the Iole wing involved restructuring and increasing the height of partly preexisting buildings so as to obtain apartments consonant with Federigo's elevated status. The most innovative aspects of the new apartments are to be found in the interior decoration, where the beautiful limestone from Piobbico was employed along with the even finer stone from Cesane, offering a material as dense and white as ivory for the extensive carved ornament. The overseer of the decoration was Fra Carnevale, who probably provided drawings for the carvers. His firm guidance, his constant control and the utilization of his precise drawings for the figures and outlines of ornamental parts of the architecture may explain how it was that the hand of Michele di Giovanni and his workshop produced results so much more felicitous than usual.

The picture shows the decoration on a window in the Sala della Iole. This beautiful little head is carved with a pungent truthfulness. It seems to be a portrait that, in a display of skill, protrude, in perspective, from stone roundel.

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