VALDAMBRINO, Francesco di
(active 1401, d. 1435, Siena)
Polychromed wood, height 36 cm
Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Siena
A friend and assistant to Jacopo della Quercia, Francesco di Valdambrino had also taken part in the competition of 1401 for the second Baptistery door in Florence. Various works have been attributed to him on the basis of three documented polychromed busts depicting the patrons of Siena, San Crescenzio, San Savino and San Vittore, which were commissioned from him in 1408. Because of their small dimensions, these works are rather different from the large wooden statues that have been attributed to the artist.
Valdambrino's bust of St Victor (which was cut down from a reliquary statue carved for the Cathedral), refined and rather feminine, appealing for our sympathy with parted lips and wide-spaced eyes, is a figure that we meet repeatedly in Sienese Quattrocento painting. The sculptor fits readily into the context of the Sienese Quattrocento style.