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Pier Jacopo Alari Bonacolsi, called Antico
Date: (ca. 1460−1528)
Pier Jacopo Alari Bonacolsi
Place Active: Europe
School: Italian
Biography: Antico’s life was centered in and around Mantua, where he worked for various members of the ruling Gonzaga family. Probably trained as a goldsmith, he earned a reputation for his knowledge of ancient art — and hence the nickname Antico — early in his career. He both restored antiques and purchased them for the Gonzagas, making more than one trip to Rome. But the chief justification for his sobriquet derived from his numerous small, elegantly finished bronze figures inspired by ancient marble sculptures, with subjects from classical myth and history. He also produced bronze busts with classical subjects, roundel reliefs, and portrait medals. After Mantegna’s death in 1506, Antico became artistic advisor to the wife of Marchese Francesco Gonzaga, Isabella d’Este. Source: Art in The Frick Collection: Paintings, Sculpture, Decorative Arts, New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1996.