Giovanni Bandini (1540-1599) became an apprentice to the Florentine sculptor, Baccio Bandinelli, circa 1555 and his talents were recognised rapidly, with his admission, a few years later, as a member of the newly-established Accademia deli Disegno and with a commission to produce, first, sculptured figures for Michelangelo’s catafalque and, afterwards, the figure of Architecture for his tomb in Santa Croce.
Bandini worked with Bandinelli on the restoration of the Duomo and, after the latter’s death in 1560, completed the choir screen composed of bas reliefs, on which Bandinelli began work in 1547. Bandini concentrated on the western side of the screen, bringing his task there to an end in 1572. He received further commissions for the Duomo, including the head of Cosimo de Medici and the column sculptures of St James the Lesser and of St. Philip. His long association with work in the cathedral led to his nickname, Giovanni dell’Opera. Other sculpture by Bandini can be found in the gardens and palaces of Florence whilst the Metropolitan Museum in New York, holds some of his drawings within its collection