(b. 1409, Settignano, d. 1464, Firenze)

Virgin of Mercy

Palazzo della Fraternita dei Laici, Arezzo

In 1433 Bernardo Rossellino was commissioned by the Fraternity of Santa Maria della Misericordia in Arezzo to complete the façade of the Palazzo della Fraternità. Bernardo supplied the plans, workers and materials. His design for the façade (completed 1435) included four niches inserted into the existing lower part, with a cornice at ceiling level. This was surmounted at the sides by two niches (with statues of Sts Donatus and Gregory) set between spiral columns and coupled fluted pilasters with Composite capitals, and a central relief of the Virgin of Mercy framed by a mixtilinear cornice, surmounted by a frieze with festoons and putti, and a series of corbels carrying a small arcaded loggia with a perforated balustrade. These classically inspired elements and the modelling of the statues and the relief show that Bernardo accepted and shared the interests and ideas of such contemporaries as Brunelleschi and Donatello.

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