Michelozzi Michelozzo di Bartolomeo was born in Florence in 1396. Architect and sculptor he was a pupil of Ghiberti and one of Donatello's closest collaborators.
It was fully revealed in the construction of the convent of San Marco (1436-44) commissioned by Cosimo de 'Medici: the library, in particular, denounces the search for a balanced rhythmic and chromatic scan of the environment.
In another Florentine work, the Palazzo Medici in via Larga (1444-59), the squared volume, modulated on the outside through the change of rusticated rusticated ashlar veneer to the smooth brickwork on the top floor, is lightened to inside from the elegant arcade courtyard: with this building the Michelozzo. he formulated the typology of the Florentine building to which the architects referred during the whole century.
In the tribune of the Santissima Annunziata (from 1444) introduced a remarkable element of novelty connecting to the organism basilicale a circular structure with nine radial chapels derived from classical models as the temple of Minerva Medica in Rome.
The Medici villas of Trebbio (1427-36 ca), Cafaggiolo (c.1450) and Careggi (c.1435-40) are a Renaissance interpretation of the medieval castle: the setting of the volumes is geometric, due to the contrasting blocks in which open large windows or galleries that lighten the heavy masonry.
Michelozzo reconciles the memory of the measured Florentine gothic style with the new classicist orientations, evident in the use of decorations and decorations inspired by the antique; the result - a clear, elegant spatial formulation - is at the origin of the most widespread architectural language in the fifteenth century Florence and expresses an original research, less daring and revolutionary than the Brunelleschi, but for this reason more accessible and adhering to the requests of the client .
As a sculptor, he collaborated with Donatello and took part in the execution of the funeral monuments in Baldassarre Coscia, antitpapa with the name of Giovanni XXIII, in the Baptistery of Florence and to Cardinal Brancaccio in S. Angelo a Nilo in Naples.
Also with Donatello he created the external pulpit of the Duomo of Prato (1429-39) In the sculpture works he performed alone, like the cenotaph to Bartolomeo Aragazzi, poet secretary of Martini V, now decomposed, in the Cathedral of Montepulciano (1427-38) , he revealed solid plastic and constructive qualities in the statues of Faith and Science, both in the reliefs of the façade depicting the Virgin that protects the Aragazzi family and the Aragazzi's leave from the relatives in which domestic and family reeds are substituted for the first time to traditional sacred representations.
Michelozzo renovated and built villas and castles in the countryside from scratch, adapting the country residences, outside the city walls, to places of pleasure and leisure. In these, he returned to the model of the crenellated castle with its upper parts projecting with a regular plan. Between 1427 and 1436 approximately realized that of Trebbio; of 1451 is the Villa di Cafaggiolo, near Florence, with asymmetrical towers and a portal framed by a rusticated ashlar beams; in 1457 that of Careggi and finally the Villa Medici in Fiesole dates back to 1458.
It was believed that his projects were for the Medici bank and the Portinari chapel in Sant'Eustorgio in Milan, thus bringing the Florentine Renaissance architecture to the north of Italy, but without any foundation.
From 1461 to 1464 Michelozzo took care of the construction of the fortifications of Stagno, in Dalmatia, the longest medieval wall in European territory. Probably in 1455 he had, by his wife Francesca Galigari, Bernardo Michelozzi, who later became bishop of Forlì.