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Life of VALERIO CIOLI


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  Italian sculptor, son of sculptor Simone Cioli (Simone da Settignano). After training with his father, he worked under Niccolò Tribolo at Cosimo I de’ Medici’s villa at Castello from c. 1544, when he may have produced the spirited bronze fountain figure Satyr with a Flask (Florence, Bargello), which was formerly at Castello. In 1548-49 he went to Rome, where he entered the workshop of Raffaello da Montelupo, a pupil of Michelangelo. No autograph work survives from this period, but his activity as a restorer of antique statues between 1554 and 1560 is well documented: he worked first for Giuliano Cesarini and then, together with his father, for Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este. The restoration of a colossal statue of Rome (Rome, Villa Medici), formerly at the Este villa of Monte Cavallo, has been attributed to Valerio. During this period he may also have restored and recarved the antique figure of Narcissus (London, Victoria and Albert Museum), which was attributed to Michelangelo during the 19th century.
  Following Cosimo I’s visit to Rome in 1561, when Valerio gave him a marble statue of Venus (untraced), he and his father were summoned to Florence to undertake the restoration of the Grand Duke’s collection of Classical statuary. Other Medici commissions include the grotesque marble statue of the court dwarf Morgante, depicted nude and seated on the back of a tortoise, which was later adapted as a fountain (now called the Fountain of Bacchus, 1561-68; Florence, Boboli Gardens ), and the more sympathetically characterized standing nude figure of the second court dwarf, Pietro Barbino (marble, life-size; Florence, Pitti). These popular images were produced as bronze statuettes, variously attributed to both Cioli and Giambologna (examples, Florence, Bargello).
  
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Fountain
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