Andrea del Verrocchio, born Andrea di Michele di Francesco de' Cioni, (c. 1435 – 1488) was an influential Italian sculptor, goldsmith and painter who worked at the court of Lorenzo de' Medici in Florence. His pupils included Leonardo da Vinci, Perugino, Ghirlandaio and Sandro Botticelli, but he also influenced Michelangelo. He worked in the serenely classic style of the Florentine Early Renaissance.
Many believe that Andrea started to work as a goldsmith in the workshop of Giulio Verrocchi, but this is impossible as Giuliano was born in 1447. It is more likely that he was trained by Giuliano's father Francesco di Luca Verrocchio, who was a rich and successful goldsmith and knew Andrea as a youth. The possibility that he apprenticed with Donatello remains unconfirmed. His first efforts in painting date probably from the 1460s, when he worked in Prato alongisde Filippo Lippi.
Around 1465 he worked at the lavabo of the Old Sacristy in San Lorenzo, Florence. Between 1465 and 1467 he executed the funerary monument to Cosimo de' Medici for the crypt under the altar of the same church, and in 1472 he completed the monument to Piero and Giovanni de' Medici in the Old Sacristy.
In 1466 the Guild of Traders of Florence commissioned from Verrocchio a bronze group entitled Christ and St. Thomas for an external niche of the church of Orsanmichele. The work was placed there in 1483. He devised a composition of two figures, with Christ in the centre of the niche, and the Saint stretched out, in order to avoid a rigid frontal view and to aid the spectator in better identifying the two characters.
In 1468 Verrocchio made a famous candelabra, now in Amsterdam, for a corridor of Florence's Town Hall. In the early 1470s he made a voyage to Rome, while in 1474 he executed the Forteguerri monument for the Cathedral of Pistoia, which he left unfinished.
From 1474-1475 is the Baptism of Christ, now housed in the Uffizi. In this work he was assisted by Leonardo Da Vinci, then a youth, who finished the background and painted the left angel, excelling in quality the rest of the painting. According to Vasari, Andrea resolved never to touch the brush again because Leonardo, his pupil, had far surpassed him.
Around 1478 he finished a Winged Cherubim with Dolphin, today housed in Palazzo Vecchio and originally intended for a fountain in the Medici villa of Careggi: this work is influenced by the dynamic naturalism which Verrocchio learned from Desiderio da Settignano. Of the same period are the Dama col mazzolino and the relief for the funerary monument of Francesca Tornabuoni for Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome (now in the Bargello).
Verrocchio sent to his commissioners a wax model in 1480, and in 1488 he finally moved to Venice to assist at the casting of the group. However, he died in the same year, before the work was finished.
Leonardo Da Vinci painted the 'Last Supper' for him.