Tolentino, Niccolô da

(c. 1350-1435)
   Lombard condottiere in the service of Pandolofo Malatesta, Lord of Fano and Cesena, who rewarded Niccoló for his services by appointing him Count of Stacciola, a title Pope Eugenius IV confirmed in 1431. Niccoló also served the Visconti of Milan and Queen Joanna of Naples, and he commanded the pontifical army for which he received the Lordship of Borgo Sansepolcro. In 1432, he led the Florentines to victory in the Battle of San Romano against the Sienese, as depicted in one of Paolo Uccello's Battle of San Romano panels (1430s; London, National Gallery). In 1434, Niccoló was captured by the Visconti, who threw him into a ravine. He died of his wounds in Borgo Valdi di Taro in the following year. The Florentine Republic honored Niccoló posthumously with a state funeral and a monument in the Cathedral of Florence. Executed by Andrea del Castagno in 1456, the monument was carried out as a fresco that simulates marble statuary. Here Niccoló sits on his horse, the picture of the able army commander. At his sides are his coat-of-arms and the marzocco, the heraldic lion of Florence. The monument complements Uccello's Sir John Hawkwood (1436) also in the cathedral. Together, they served to denote that Florence showered those willing to serve the Republic with the highest honors.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

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