William Anthes, Pitzer College


Medallist and sculptor, son of (1) Antonio Gambello. He studied drawing under Giovanni Bellini. The earliest references to him document his employment as maestro della stampe at the Venetian Mint in 1484. He perfected a method for stamping medals in high relief rather than casting them in sand or by the lost-wax process; this allowed the easier production of medals in larger editions. While certain scholars (Armand and Fabriczy) include 13 medals—8 cast and 5 stamped—in their accounts of Gambello’s production, others list 11 or 12. The hypothesis that medals signed Moderni or Moderno might be attributed to Gambello has been abandoned for stylistic reasons. His style has been criticized (Fabriczy and Hill) for its lifeless academicism. It has also been argued (Fabriczy) that his designs display an incomplete knowledge of Greek reliefs and Classical principles, and that although he initially practised a vigorous naturalism, his later work involved less distinctive modelling and weaker compositions. However, Foville claimed that Gambello successfully modernized antique forms for 16th-century taste.