Andrea Alessi

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Trogir Cathedral entrance detail by Andrea Alessi

Andrea Alessi (Albanian: Andrea Aleksi, Croatian: Andrija Aleši, 1425–1505) was a Venetian Dalmatian architect and sculptor born in Durazzo (Albania Veneta), considered one of the most distinguished artists of Dalmatia.[1]

Alessi was born in Durazzo (modern Durrës, Albania) in Albania Veneta, and may have been of local Albanian origin rather than Italian.[2] Other sources say he was of Italian origin.[3] He moved to Split in Dalmatia during the Republic of Venice, where he studied under sculptor Mark Troja. He lived most of his life and conducted much of his work in Dalmatia. Alessi was a disciple of Giorgio da Sebenico, and his best-known work is with Niccolò di Giovanni Fiorentino on the expansion of the chapel of Blessed John of Trogir in 1468. Just like Cathedral of St. James in Šibenik, it was composed out of large stone blocks with extreme precision. It is unique harmony of architecture and sculpture according to antique ideals. From inside, there is no flat wall. In the middle of chapel, on the altar, lays the sarcophagus of blessed John of Trogir. Surrounding are reliefs of puttos carrying torches that look like they were peeping out of doors of Underworld. Above them there are niches with sculptures of Christ and apostles (the principle work of Alessi), amongst them are putties, circular windows encircled with fruit garland, and a relief of Nativity. All is ceiled with coffered ceiling with image of God in the middle and 96 portrait heads of angels. With so many faces of smiling children the chapel looks very cheerful and there isn’t nothing similar in European art of that time.

Andrea is best known for his merchant statues in Ancona, Italy, and his 1454 mural paintings in a church on Arabe island of Dalmatia particularly The Baptistry of Trogir". He signed the Trogir Baptistery in 1467 with: ANDREAS ALEXIUS DURRACHINUS OPIFEX MCCCCXII (Andreas Alexius, artisan from Durrës, 1462).

He died in Split and is buried inD a Church in Split, Croatia in 1505.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Harvard Slavic Studies. Harvard University Press. 1957. Marulic is listed as examinator in 1478 and again in 1479, when one of the most distinguished sculptors and architects of Dalmatia. Andrea Alessi, appeared before him as a witness. 
  2. ^ The World and Its Peoples: Yugoslavia, Rumania, Bulgaria, Albania. Greystone Press, 1965. Another Italian was Andrea Alessi, from Durres in modern Albania, who introduced the use of fluted pilasters... 

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