Giovan Battista di Marco del Tasso


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(b Florence, 1500; d Florence, 8 May 1555). Italian wood-carver, architect and sculptor. He was descended from a family of wood-carvers and intarsia-makers. In 1519 he went to Rome with his contemporary Benvenuto Cellini, but he returned to Florence soon afterwards to dedicate himself to carving. Many of his works are lost, due to the ephemeral nature of their functions and the perishability of their materials: they included temporary displays, galley poop-decks (e.g. the splendid ones that he made for Andrea I Doria) and even beds (e.g. the one mentioned in the inventory of Benvenuto Cellini’s possessions). However, his best-known works are still in situ: the ceiling and benches of the Biblioteca Medicea-Laurenziana, which he executed in collaboration with other craftsmen, following a design by Michelangelo (1475-1564) for the ceiling. After 1540 Tasso abandoned wood-carving and persued a career as an architect, military engineer, and sculptor in marble.

From The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Decorative Arts, Furniture, and Industrial Design.

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