Filarete (1400-1469) (Antonio Averlino)

"Filarete (1400-1469) (Antonio Averlino)" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Wednesday 11th January 2012

Antonio Averulino named il Filarete, Italian sculpture and architect, was born in Florence in circa 1400 and probably died in Rome in circa 1469. He began his artistic life in humanistic Florence (probably in a studio of Ghiberti), but his first period of activity as a sculptor was spent in Rome, where charged by Eugenius IV, he executed the bronze door of St Peter's (1433-45). After staying in Florence (1448) and Venice (1449), Filarete, by recommendation of Piero de'Medici, was called to Milan by Francesco Sforza, and remained there till 1465, except a short period in 1457, when he had to visit Bergamo for the works over the Cathedral, projected by him, and then completely reconstructed by Carlo Fontana; and in 1461 in Venice, where he had to study the project of the palace of Sforza family on the Great Canal, which was not realized.

The interest to architecture is predominating in the activity of Filarete in Milan, where he was working on the most important urbanistic constructions: Duomo (1451-1454), Castello Sforzesco (1451-1455). But the fundamental work of the artist was Ospedale Maggiore in Milan (see above the project of the hospital) (1456), who conducted the construction till 1465, when was substituted by Guiniforte Solari. The whole building served as a model till the 18th century, it was supplied with the services and technical innovations, which made this hospital extremely updated.

filarete pianta filarete ospedale
Fig: filarete ospedale

In the same period (1461-1464) was written Trattato di architettura, 25 volumes, the first theoretic treatise in Italian, in which Filarete develops the theme of ideal city, Sforzinda (see on the left the plan of the city).

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