Antonio Manetti

THE AUTHOR of The Fat Woodworker is believed to be Antonio di Tuccio Manetti (1423-1497), a Florentine humanist and minor historical figure. He was a friend and companion of many artists and literary figures of his day and an admirer of Brunelleschi. A biography of Brunelleschi entitled The Life of Filippo di Ser Brunellesco and attributed to Manetti was the principle source of information on Brunelleschi’s life.

A member of a family of silk merchants, Manetti held a number of high elective offices in Florence. Because of his prominence and his knowledge of the arts and architecture, he was selected as one of the judges in the competition for the design of the facade of Santa Maria del Fiore in 1490.

Paolo Uccello included Manetti among the five prominent Florentines whose portraits he kept in his house “to preserve their memory.” Manetti represented achievement in mathematics. The others included Brunelleschi for achievement in architecture, Giotto for painting, Donatello for sculpture, and Uccello himself for perspective and animal painting.


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