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Pollaiolo

Ritratto di GentildonnaAntonio of Jacopo Benci, known as Pollaiolo, was born in Florence in about 1431.
His first works were jewellery andsuch but even here the artist’s love for using lines in a statuesque, dynamic way is already evident. It is also found in his paintings, as shown by the Communion of Santa Maria Egiziaca della Pieve di Staggia.
The trend is, however, particularly obvious in his representation of nudes, such as the Battle of the Naked Men (engraving) and the Nude Dancers.
In 1460 Piero de Medici commissioned three pictures: the Labours of Hercules, Hercules and Antaeus, Hercules and the Hydra.
Pollaiolo also painted many portraits, such as the Portrait of a Young Woman, now in the Poldi-Pezzoli Museum of Milan.
Other famous paintings are: the Martyrdom of St Sebastian (London National Gallery) and Hercules and Dejanira (Jarves Museum, New Haven).
The artist died in Rome in 1498.