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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Andrea del Verrocchio was amongst the finest artists from the Early Renaissance, though he impressed in multiple mediums

This versatile artist was a proficient draughtsman who also held great technical abilities within painting and sculpture too. This website contains a complete list of each of his major works, separated into their respective mediums. He was initially trained as a goldsmith which was a frequent route for many artists of the Renaissance, including Donatello who would go onto specialise in sculpture and Lorenzo Ghiberti who was his master. Architect Filippo Brunelleschi also took a similar route before choosing that specialisation.

It is perhaps slightly unfortunate that despite his great individual achievements, his life will always be synonymous with the life and career of Renaissance powerhouse, Leonardo da Vinci. It was his studio that produced great names such as Pietro Perugino and Lorenzo di Credi, alongside the creative genius of Da Vinci. The art world is full of examples of studios where several skilled talents combine their abilities to forge a successful series of work. The main purpose of these will be to pass on technical knowledge from master to tutor, but the influence can go both ways with Verrocchio picking up ideas from the young Leonardo. They would also share study drawings. You can learn more about the artist with these Andrea del Verrocchio quotes.

Verrocchio was actually a nickname given to the artist, that translates as true eye. This was common practice during the Renaissance, where birth names were often a little long winded and unwieldy. See also the likes of Sandro Botticelli, Masaccio and Giotto di Bondone for examples of this.

Over time the influence of each member of the artist's studio on each other meant that for a long time it was particularly difficult to identify who worked on many of the paintings that came from this group. Added to that, many were produced in a collaborative way, further clouding the attribution as judged by art historians from more recent centuries. Some of the paintings found in this website have only recently been attributed to the master, Verrocchio.

The advancements in scientific techniques to analyse historial paintings have helped enormously to provide clarity here, but where artists have worked together on a single fresco, there will always be an element of guess work over which artist completed which part. Where artist's styles have merged, as have their use of similar colours, and where working together it would always be necessary to continue the overall piece in a similar vein to avoid inconsistencies across the final painting.