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Benedetto da Rovezzano

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Sculptor and architect, b. in 1490, either at Rovezzano, near Florence, or, according to some authorities, at Canapale, near Pistoia; d. at Florence, 1530. His family name is said to have been Gratini or Grazini. One of his most important works was the sculptures for the Church of St. John Gualbertus (1505); these sculptures were injured during the siege of Florence, 1530. The mutilated fragments, five reliefs from the life of the saint, are in the Bargello. Benedetto executed many tombs, chiefly architectural in design, with ornaments in sculpture. The monument of Odde Altoviti, Church of SS. Apostoli, Florence, done in 1507, is by him; the monument of Piero Soderini in the choir, church of the Carmine, Florence; and others. Leo X sent to Card. Wolsey twelve terra cotta medallions by Rovezzano and the sculptor himself went to England in 1524. The cardinal engaged him upon a tomb for himself, but as he fell into disgrace before its completion, it was finished by the king's order. Charles I wished to be buried in it, but the tomb remained empty until the death of Nelson. Rovezzano is believed to have acquired prosperity in England. He returned to Florence in later life, and endured long years of blindness before his death. Further works are the altar of St. Denis in the S. Trinità, Florence; two altars in the church of Badia; door of SS. Aposotoli; a St. John in marble in the Duomo; and in the Bargello, marble niches from the Palazzo Cepparello and a chimney piece.

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