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. He was also in charge of the studio that Leonardo was accepted into at age 14. There is a story that when Little Leonardo assisted him with the angels in the lower left hand corner of the painting to the left that he said he would give up painting because a youth could do better than he ever could - probably not totally true but shows how quickly da Vinci grew into a great artist. As he says "It's a poor pupil who does not surpass his master" and Andrea was his first teacher in art. In his studio he studied not only painting but sculpture and mechanics. In Verrocchio's sculpture of David below it's believed that a young Leo was the model.
He was the son of Michele di Francesco Cioni who was a tax collector but earlier in his life he was a tile and brick maker.
Verrocchio’s first apprenticeship was to a goldsmith and later he was possibly apprentice of Donatello, it is also possible he was the apprentice of Fra Filippo Lippi who taught Verrocchio how to paint.
In 1488 while in Venice, Verrocchio died.