DETAIL : COLOGNE SCHOOL Germany Virgin and Child with Saints [Triptych of the Virgin and Child with Saints (left panel) Virgin and Child with Saints (left panel)]
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attributed to MODERNO | The fall of Phaeton, or The death of Hippolytus
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attributed to MODERNO
Italy 1467 – 1528
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The fall of Phaeton, or The death of Hippolytus [The death of Hippolytus] c.1515
Metalwork
bronze
10.5 cm (diameter)
not signed, not dated
Purchased 1986
NGA 1987.351
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Biography

The artist Moderno (the 'modern one'), who signed twelve plaquettes, has been identified as Galeazzo Mondella on the grounds of a signature under this name on a work signed Moderno in other versions. Currently a total of forty-five works are attributed to him. Mondella was born in Verona in 1467; his brother Girolamo was a painter at the Este court in Ferrara and Galeazzo may have known Andrea Mantegna in Mantua. His earliest works date from 1485, and he chose his pseudonym in Mantua perhaps as early as 1487, at the same time as Antico (the 'lover of antiquity') adopted his.

Moderno's great patron was Cardinal Domenico Grimani of Venice, who may have helped him to visit Rome, although he perhaps never left the Veneto region in the thirty-two years of his working life. Vasari, in the 1568 edition of the Lives, mentions him twice: once as taking 'many very beautiful drawings' by another artist to France - this may have been his brother. The other is a specific description of him as 'a Veronese of noble family . . . who, besides engraving gems, drew very beautifully.' Douglas Lewis writes in the Grove Dictionary of Art that 'His plaquettes were widely admired and conspicuously influential in the Veneto, Emilia and Lombardy; farther afield, his designs were sketched by Albrecht Dürer and Hans Holbein and incorporated into French Renaissance sculpture.' Moderno seems to have ended his artistic life around 1517, when his family was restored to the noble council of Verona. He died there in 1528.

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