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Italian condottiere, at various times in Venetian and Milanese service and from 1454 general in chief of the Venetian republic for life, who is most important as a pioneer of field artillery tactics. He assigned light field pieces to the rear of his infantry or cavalry, to be fired through prearranged gaps in the forward units. Andrea del Verrocchio's bronze statue of Colleoni (in Venice, 1483-88) is considered one of the finest equestrian statues of the Italian Renaissance. Colleoni himself was noted as a patron of art.