Born in Sambiase now Lamezia Terme (Catanzaro) in 1964. A-Level at the “Liceo Classico” of Lamezia Terme in 1982. Degree in History of Art from the University of Naples “Federico II”, Faculty of Humanities, in 1987 (thesis on Mino da Fiesole, supervisor Giovanni Previtali). Ph.D. in History of Art at the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa from 1988 to 1991 (dissertation on XVth Century Florentine sculpture in Rome, supervisor Paola Barocchi). Annual grant from the Accademia Nazionale della Crusca (Florence) in 1992. Permanent post as Researcher (Assistant Professor) in History of Art at the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa from March 1994 to October 2001. Associate Professor in History of Art at the University of Naples “Federico II” from November 2001 to October 2006. Full professor at the University of Naples “Federico II” (History of Art of the Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical Ages) from November 2006 to February 2019. Full professor at the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa (History of Art of the Middle Ages) from March 2019.
From the 1st of November 2002 until the 31st of October 2014 he was the coordinator of the Art History section of the PhD programme in Archaeological and Historical-Artistic Sciences at the “Federico II” University, and from the 1st of November 2014 until the 28th of February 2017 he was the coordinator of the whole PhD programme (up to the 28th cycle); from the 1st of December 2016 until the 30th of April 2019 he was the coordinator of the PhD programme in Historical, Archaeological and Historical-Artistic Sciences at the same university (29th-34th cycles). From the 1st of November 2008 until the 31st of October 2016 he was the director of the Scuola di Specializzazione in Storia dell’arte at the same university. From the 1st of November 2014 until the 28th of February 2019 he was the Head of the Section of History of Cultural Heritage within the Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici of the “Federico II”. Since the academic year 2019-20 he has been the coordinator of the PhD programme in Art History at the Scuola Normale (cycles 35th and following: https://www.sns.it/it/programma-di-dottorato-storia-dellarte). Also since then he has been vice-dean of the Classe di Lettere e Filosofia at the Normale. And since January 2022 he has been the president of the Scuola’s Library Centre.
Research and publishing activities.
Main research topics: sculpture, patronage, collecting, art literature of the Italian Trecento, Quattrocento and Cinquecento (especially in Florence and Tuscany, Bologna, Milan, Venice and Padua, Rome, Naples and South Italy). Discoverings and publications of works of art, literary and archival sources, mainly by or on Arnolfo di Cambio, Giotto, Giovanni di Balduccio, Nino Pisano, Andrea Orcagna, Donatello, Filippo Brunelleschi, Lorenzo Ghiberti, Jacopo della Quercia, Nanni di Banco, Nanni di Bartolo, Paolo Uccello, Luca della Robbia, Michelozzo, Maso di Bartolomeo, Giovanni di Francesco da Pisa, Filarete, Leon Battista Alberti, Antonio di Tuccio Manetti, Bernardo and Antonio Rossellino, Agostino di Duccio, Desiderio da Settignano, Mino da Fiesole, Domenico Rosselli, Andrea del Verrocchio, Leonardo da Vinci, Benedetto da Maiano, Antonio del Pollaiolo, Francesco di Simone Ferrucci, Bertoldo di Giovanni, Bernardo Cennini, Pasquino da Montepulciano, the “Master of the Marble Madonnas” (Gregorio di Lorenzo), Michele di Luca Marini da Fiesole, Andrea di Pietro Ferrucci, il Vecchietta, Neroccio, Andrea Guardi, Leonardo Riccomanni, Matteo Civitali, Domenico Gagini, Isaia da Pisa, Paolo Romano, Andrea dall’Aquila, Francesco Laurana, the “Master of Pius II”, Matteo del Pollaiolo, Andrea Bregno, Giovanni Dalmata, Antonio Rizzo, Jacopo della Pila, Tommaso Malvito, Guido Mazzoni, Giancristoforo Romano, Giuliano and Francesco da Sangallo, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Raffaello Sanzio, Fra Bartolomeo, Andrea Sansovino, Leonardo del Tasso, Pietro Torrigiani, Benedetto da Rovezzano, Giovanfrancesco Rustici, Alonso Berruguete, “Cicilia” fiesolano, Lorenzetto, Pietro Lombardo, Tullio Lombardo, Matteo Pellizzone da Milano (Matteo Lombardo), Cesare Quaranta, Girolamo Santacroce, Antonello Gagini, Antonello Fleri, Giovambattista and Giovandomenico Mazzolo, Giovann’Angelo Montorsoli, Pierino da Vinci, Giorgio Vasari, Bartolomeo Ammannati, Niccolò Longhi da Viggiù, Guglielmo della Porta, Giovanni Caccini, Felice Palma, Giovanfrancesco Susini.
Beginning from 1986, he has published more than 250 papers, most of which in collections of essays by various authors and in journals such as “Prospettiva”, “Bollettino d’arte del Ministero dei Beni Culturali”, “Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz”, “Bulletin de l’Association des Historiens de l’Art Italien”, “Annali della Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa”, “Dialoghi di Storia dell’arte”, “La revue du Louvre et des Musées de France”, “OPD restauro”, “Studies in the History of Art”. His major work is Donatello e i Medici. Storia del ‘David’ e della ‘Giuditta’, in two volumes (Florence, Leo S. Olschki editore, 2000).
In 2019 he curated together with Andrea De Marchi (University of Florence) the exhibition Verrocchio, Master of Leonardo at the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi and the Museo Nazionale del Bargello in Florence. In 2022 he curated the exhibition Donatello, il Rinascimento (Donatello: the Renaissance) at these two same venues (awarded “exhibition of the year” by the periodicals “Apollo”, “Il Giornale dell’arte / The Art Newspaper”, and “Finestre sull’arte”). In the same year he co-curated with Neville Rowley (chief curator), Laura Cavazzini and Aldo Galli the exhibition Donatello. Erfinder der Renaissance at the Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen, Berlin.
Since 1998 he has been a member of the editorial staff of the Italian journal “Prospettiva. Rivista di storia dell’arte antica e moderna”; and since 2010 until 2017 a member of the editorial staff of the French journal “Perspective. La revue de l’INHA / Période moderne”. Since 2004 he has been on the International Advisory Board of the Slovenian journal “Zbornik za Umetnostno Zgodovino / Archives d’histoire de l’art / Art History Journal” (University of Ljubljana). In 2001 he entered the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno of Florence and was nominated as a member of the Directorial Board of the Associazione degli Amici del Museo Nazionale del Bargello (Florence), and in 2004 as a member of the Directorial Board of the Fondazione “Memofonte” (Florence). Since 2011 he has been a member of the Editorial Board of the Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani (Istituto dell’Enciclopedia Italiana fondata da Giovanni Treccani, Rome), and in particular the chief editor of the Art section. In July 2012 he joined the Advisory Board of the Fondazione “Federico Zeri” (Università di Bologna), in Juanaury 2016 the Scientific Board of the Museo Nazionale del Bargello (Florence); in June 2017 the Administrative Board of the Opificio delle Pietre Dure (Florence), until June 2021; and in January 2020 the Administrative Board of the Fondazione Casa Buonarroti (Florence).
He was in charge of a local research unit (“Federico II” of Naples) in the PRIN 2005 “Art and Politics: Public and Private Celebrations. Case studies, typologies and comparisons” (national p.i.: Antonio Pinelli), and in the PRIN 2007 “Art at the service of power. Celebratory models of patronage in Italian States between the late Middle Ages and the Early Modern Age” (national p.i.: Antonio Pinelli). And he was a member of the “Senior Staff” of the five-year project “Historical Memory, Antiquarian Culture, Artistic Patronage: Social Identities in the Centres of Southern Italy between the Medieval and Early Modern Period” (2011-2015) within the 7th Framework Programme of the European Research Council, 2010 (principal p.i.: Bianca de Divitiis, “Federico II”, Naples). Since 2017 he has been the p.i. of the three-year PRIN 2015 “Towards a general systematic catalogue of the Bargello National Museum in Florence”, in which the universities of Florence, Siena Stranieri and Trento participated together with the “Federico II” of Naples.
External education and conference activities.
Conferences, colloquia or lectures at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence, the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte (Munich), the Staatliche Museen in Berlin (Bode-Museum), the Bibliotheca Hertziana (Rome), the Musée du Louvre (Paris), the National Gallery of London, the Courtauld Institute of Art (London), the Warburg Institute (London), the Museo Nacional del Prado (Madrid), the Center for Advanced Studies in the History of Art (CASVA) of the National Gallery of Art (Washington), the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm, the Harvard University (Villa I Tatti, Settignano), the Johns Hopkins University (Villa Spelman, Florence), the Nederlands Interuniversitair Kunsthistorisch Instituut in Florence, the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität in Mainz, the Universidad de Jaén, the University of Ljubljana, the Académie de France (Villa Medici) in Rome, the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (Koninklijk Nederlands Instituut Rome), the American Academy in Rome, the British School at Rome, the Hungarian Academy in Rome, the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Paris, the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Berlin, the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa, the Universities of Turin, Milan, Trent, Padua (Scuola Galileiana di Studi Superiori), Bologna (“Federico Zeri” Foundation), Florence, Pisa, Siena, Siena Stranieri, Perugia, Rome (“Sapienza”), Roma Tre, Naples, Lecce, Reggio Calabria, Catania (Scuola Superiore), and Messina, the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, the IULM (Libera università di lingue e comunicazione, Milan), the IUAV (Istituto Universitario di Architettura, Venice), the Pontificia Università Gregoriana (Rome), the Museo Nazionale del Bargello (Florence), the Galleria degli Uffizi of Florence, the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore (Florence), the Opificio delle Pietre Dure (Florence), the Opera della Metropolitana (Siena), the Museo Civico of Pistoia, the Soprintendenza per i Beni Architettonici e del Paesaggio e per il Patrimonio Storico, Artistico ed Etnoantropologico of Lucca and Massa Carrara, the Museo Nazionale di Villa Guinigi in Lucca, the Pinacoteca Nazionale of Bologna, the Pinacoteca di Brera (Milan), the Museo Poldi Pezzoli (Milan), the Fondo per l’Ambiente Italiano (FAI) in Milan and in Rome, the Accademia Carrara in Bergamo, the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice, the Galleria “Giorgio Franchetti” alla Ca’ d’Oro (Venice), the Museo di Palazzo Grimani (Venice), the Civici Musei di Castelvecchio (Verona), the Pinacoteca Comunale di Faenza, the Museo Nazionale del Palazzo di Venezia (Rome), the Accademia “G. B. Cignaroli” in Verona, the Accademia Galileiana di Scienze Lettere ed Arti in Padua, the Književni Krug in Split, the Biblioteca Comunale dell’Archiginnasio (Bologna), the Biblioteca Classense (Ravenna), the Istituto Nazionale di Studi sul Rinascimento (Palazzo Strozzi, Florence), the Fondazione “Roberto Longhi” (Florence), the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi (Florence), the “Amici dei Musei” of Florence, the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence, the Fondazione Ragghianti (Lucca), the Fondazione “Piero della Francesca” (Borgo Sansepolcro), the Biblioteca Comunale degli Intronati (Siena), the Fondazione “Napoli Novantanove” (Naples), the Biblioteca Nazionale in Naples, the Accademia Pontaniana in Naples, the Società Napoletana di Storia Patria, the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Naples, the Accademia di Belle Arti in Naples, the Soprintendenza per i Beni Architettonici di Salerno e Avellino.