VITTORIA, Alessandro

Best known for his exceptional portrait busts, the Italian sculptor and stuccoist Alessandro Vittoria worked in Venice and northern Italy in the second half of the sixteenth century. Vittoria received his early training as a sculptor in Venice with Jacopo Sansovino,* who led one of the largest and busiest workshops active in the architectural renewal of the city. By 1550 Vittoria was executing his first independent works, which reflect the influence of Sansovino's Tuscan style. As seen in his impressive St. Jerome from the Zane altar at the Church of the Frari of 1570, Vittoria later infused his sculptures with the monumental and twisting forms inspired by the art of Michelangelo* and the refined and attenuated figural style of Parmigianino.* The resulting graceful Mannerist style balancing dy­namic movement and beautiful forms could also be seen in many of the small bronze statuettes bearing his signature that were widely reproduced in Venice. Vittoria was also in great demand as a portrait sculptor of the illustrious patri­ciate of Venice. In these images, he did not just portray a likeness of the sitter, but captured the dignity of the figure as he balanced idealism and realism both to reflect the person's appearance and to communicate an image of the sitter.
From 1551 to 1553 Vittoria lived in Vicenza, where he established himself as a stuccoist known for his imaginative and luxurious stucco ornament both there and in Venice. Frequently collaborating with Andrea Palladio,* he worked with Paolo Veronese* in the decoration of the famous Villa Barbaro designed by Palladio. Vittoria maintained an important and influential role in sculpture until his death. His sculpted altars may even be seen as an early manifestation of the baroque with their incorporation of unorthodox architecture and figures that detach from the frame.
B. Boucher, The Sculpture of Jacopo Sansovino, 1991.
J. Pope-Hennessy, Italian High Renaissance and Baroque Sculpture, 1963.
Mary Pixley

Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary. . 2001.

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