1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Sangallo

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SANGALLO, the surname of a Florentine family, several members of which became distinguished in the fine arts. I. Giuliano di Sangallo (1445-1516) was an architect, sculptor, tarsiatore and military engineer. His father, Francesco di Paolo Giamberti, was also an able architect, much employed by Cosimo de' Medici. During the early part of his life Giuliano worked-chiefly for Lorenzo the Magnificent, for whom he built a fine palace at Poggio-a-Cajano, begun in 1485, between Florence and Pistoia, and strengthened the fortifications of Florence, Castellana and other places. Lorenzo also employed him to build a monastery of Austin Friars outside the Florentine gate of San Gallo, a nobly designed structure, which was destroyed during the siege of Florence in 1530. It was from this building that Giuliano received the name of Sangallo, which was afterwards used by so many Italian architects. While still in the pay of Lorenzo, Giuliano visited Naples, and worked there for the king, who sent him back to Florence with many handsome presents of money, plate and antique sculpture, the last of which Giuliano presented to his patron Lorenzo. After Lorenzo's death in 1492, Giuliano visited Loreto, and built the dome of the church of the Madonna, in spite of serious difficulties arising from its defective piers, which were already built. In order to gain strength by means of a strong cement, Giuliano built his dome with pozzolana brought from Rome. Soon after this, at the invitation of Pope Alexander VI., Giuliano went to Rome, and designed the fine panelled ceiling of S. Maria Maggiore. He was also largely employed by Julius II., both for fortification walls round the castle of S. Angelo, and also to build a palace adjoining the church of S. Pietro in Vincoli, of which Julius had been titular cardinal. Giuliano was much disappointed that Bramante was preferred to himself as architect for the new basilica of St Peter, and this led to his returning to Florence, where he did much service as a military engineer and builder of fortresses during the war between Florence and Pisa. Soon after this Giuliano was recalled to Rome by Julius II., who had much need for his military talents both in Rome itself and also during his attack upon Bologna. For about eighteen months in 1514-1515 Giuliano acted as joint-architect to St Peter's together with Raphael, but owing to age and ill-health he resigned this office about two years before his death.

II. Antonio di Sangallo (1455?-1534) was the younger brother of Giuliano, and took from him the name of Sangallo. To a great extent he worked in partnership with his brother, but he also executed a number of independent works. As a military engineer he was as skilful as Giuliano, and carried out important works of walling and building fortresses at Arezzo, Montefiascone, Florence and Rome. His finest existing work as an architect is the church of S. Biagio at Montepulciano, in plan a Greek cross with central dome and two towers, much resembling, on a small scale, Bramante's design for St Peter's. He also built a palace in the same city, various churches and palaces at Monte Sansavino, and at Florence a range of monastic buildings for the Servite monks. Antonio retired early from the practice of his profession, and spent his latter years in farming.

III. Francesco di Sangallo (1493-1570), the son of Giuliano di Sangallo, was a pupil of Andrea Sansovino, and worked chietiy as a sculptor. His works have for the most part but little merit—the finest being his noble effigy of Bishop Leonardo Bonafede, which lies on the pavement of the church of the Certosa, near Florence. It is simply treated, with many traces of the better taste of the 15th century. His other chief existing work is the group of the “Virgin and Child and St Anne,” executed in 1526 for the altar of Or San Michele.

IV. Bastiano di Sangallo (1481-1551), sculptor and painter, was a nephew of Giuliano and Antonio. He is usually known as Aristotile, a nickname he received from his air of sententious gravity. He was at first a pupil of Perugino, but afterwards became a follower of Michelangelo.

V. Antonio di Sangallo, the younger (1485?-1546), another nephew of Giuliano, went while very young to Rome, and became a pupil of Bramante, of whose style he was afterwards a close follower. He lived and worked in Rome during the greater part of his life, and was much employed by several of the popes. His most perfect existing work is the brick and travertine church of S. Maria di Loreto, close by Trajan's column, a building remarkable for the great beauty of its proportions, and its noble effect produced with much simplicity. The lower order is square in plan, the next octagonal; and the whole is surmounted by a fine dome and lofty lantern. The lantern is, however, a later addition. The interior is very impressive, considering its very moderate size. Antonio also carried out the lofty and well designed church of S. Giovanni dei Fiorentini, which had been begun by Jacobo Sansovino. The east end of this church rises in a very stately way out of the bed of the Tiber, near the bridge of S. Angelo; the west end has been ruined by the addition of a later façade, but the interior is a noble example of a somewhat dull style. Great skill was shown in successfully building this large church, partly on the solid ground of the bank and partly on the shifting sand of the river bed. Antonio also built the Cappella Paolina and other parts of the Vatican, together with additions to the walls and forts of the Leonine City. His most ornate work is the lower part of the cortile of the Farnese palace, afterwards completed by Michelangelo, a very rich and well proportioned specimen of the then favourite design, a series of arches between engaged columns supporting an entablature, an arrangement taken from the outside of the Colosseum. A palace in the Via Giulia built for himself still exists under the name of the Palazzo Sacchetti, much injured by alterations. Antonio also constructed the very deep and ingenious rock-cut well at Orvieto, formed with a double spiral staircase, like the well of Saladin in the citadel of Cairo.

See Raviolo, Notizie sui lavori . . . dei nove Da San Gallo (Rome, 1860); G. Clausse, Les Sangallo (Paris, 1900-1901).

 (J. H. M.)