Andrea del Verrocchio (c. 1435–1488), born Andrea di Michele di Francesco de' Cioni, was an Italian sculptor, goldsmith and painter who worked at the court of Lorenzo de' Medici in Florence in the early renaissance. Few paintings are attributed to him with certainty, but a number of important painters were trained at his workshop. His pupils included Leonardo da Vinci, Pietro Perugino and Lorenzo di Credi. His greatest importance was as a sculptor and his last work, the equestrian statue of Bartolomeo Colleoni in Venice, is universally accepted as a masterpiece.
Verrocchio was born in Florence in or about 1435. His father was Michele di Francesco Cioni, who worked as a tile and brick maker and, later, as a tax collector. Verrocchio never married, and had to provide financial support for some members of his family. He was at first apprenticed to a goldsmith. It has been suggested that he was later apprenticed to Donatello, but there is no evidence of this and Pope-Hennessy considers that it is contradicted by the style of his early works. Little is known about his life. His main works are dated in his last twenty years and his advancement owed much to the patronage of Piero de'Medici and his son Lorenzo. His workshop was in Florence where he was a member of the Guild of St Luke. Several great artists passed through his workshop as apprentices. As well as Leonardo da Vinci and Lorenzo di Credi these included Domenico Ghirlandaio, Francesco Botticini, and Pietro Perugino. Their early works can be hard to distinguish from works by Verrocchio. At the end of his life he opened a new workshop in Venice where he was working on the statue of Bartolomeo Colleoni, leaving the Florentine workshop in charge of Lorenzo di Credi. He died in Venice in 1488