Lorenzo di Credi

gigatos | February 28, 2022


Lorenzo di Credi, actually Lorenzo di Andrea d”Oderigo, († January 12, 1537 in Florence) was an Italian painter, goldsmith and sculptor.

Lorenzo di Credi was the son and pupil of the goldsmith Andra d”Oderigo. At a young age, he learned the craft of a painter and also that of a sculptor in the workshop of Andrea del Verrocchio. Among his fellow students was Leonardo da Vinci, who was to influence him greatly. Among Lorenzo”s earliest works is a contribution to the altarpiece (Madonna di Piazza) for the Sacrament Chapel of the Cathedral of Pistoia, probably ordered from Verrocchio in 1474, which was completed by 1479 at the latest. The extent of Lorenzo”s contribution to the panel has long been disputed, but modern research tends to attribute most of the execution to him himself. In addition to the main panel, he executed at least one more predella panel, which is now in the Art Museum in Worcester. Around the same time, the Madonna Dreyfus, which is often attributed to him, was probably also created. In recent times, it is again more frequently attributed to Leonardo, since the execution of the painting in essential parts exceeds Credi”s ability. Nevertheless, in view of the poorly painted Christ Child, it cannot be ruled out that the picture was painted by more than one artist. It soon became clear that Lorenzo was an excellent artist, and Verrocchio did not want to do without him. In order to bind him more firmly to himself, he entrusted Lorenzo, as Vasari reports, with “all matters of administration, that is, the supervision of income and business in the workshop,” and he also “left … to him the free use of drawings, reliefs, statues, and all equipment.” Verrocchio is also said to have frequently entrusted Lorenzo with sculptural works, although their attribution is difficult today. Nevertheless, research has tried to claim a few works for him. Only his desired participation in the equestrian statue of Bartolomeo Colleoni, whose casting he was supposed to take over, is documented with certainty. However, since he did not trust himself with this task, he entrusted the work to the Florentine bronze caster Giovanni d”Andrea di Domenico, who in the end did not execute the order either, so that the task was finally carried out by the Venetian mint maker Alessandro Leopardi in 1492. After Verrocchio”s death, Lorenzo continued his workshop under his own direction. Shortly thereafter, he produced his famous Venus, which he painted for the Medici and which is now in Florence (Galleria degli Uffizi). It is the only known painting with a profane subject to this day. Later he fell under the spell of Savonarola, whose enthusiastic follower he became. He retreated to his workshop, where he lived as if in a monastery cell. In 1531 he went to the hospital of Santa Maria Nuova, where he died on January 12, 1537.

Lorenzo di Credi painted mainly Madonnas, Adorations of the Child, and a number of portraits, in which he achieved his most mature accomplishments. His early works are strongly indebted to Verrocchio”s style, mixing in his paintings the latter”s formal language with Leonardo”s smoothed chiaroscuro, so that some of the better works were even long mistaken for works by Leonardo himself. One of the best examples might certainly be The Annunciation in the Louvre in Paris, which was long thought to be Leonardo”s work before it was more recently reassigned to Lorenzo. Still, he did not come close to matching his mastery. His paintings were lovely, religious depictions that were beautiful to look at first glance, but without offering anything new. Nevertheless, they were sought after and helped him gain a reputation as a respected painter. As he grew older, he began to repeat himself more and more often. The subtleties that had distinguished his early works were lost more and more, so that his late works no longer came close to the quality of the works of his heyday.

Possible plastic works


  1. Lorenzo di Credi
  2. Lorenzo di Credi
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