|Birth name||Donato di Pascuccio d'Antonio|
|Died||April 11, 1514 (Aged about 70) |
|Works||San Pietro in Montorio |
Christ at the column
Donato Bramante (1444 – March 11, 1514) was an Italian architect, who introduced the Early Renaissance style to Milan and the High Renaissance style to Rome, where his most famous design was St. Peter's Basilica.
Urbino and Milan
Bramante was born in Monte Asdrualdo (now Fermignano), under name Donato di Pascuccio d'Antonio, near Urbino: here, in 1467 Luciano Laurana was adding to the Palazzo Ducale an arcaded courtyard and other features that seemed to have the true ring of a reborn antiquity to Federico da Montefeltro's ducal palace.
Bramante's architecture has eclipsed his painting skills: he knew the painters Melozzo da Forlì and Piero della Francesca well, who were interested in the rules of perspective and illusionistic features in Mantegna's painting. Around 1474, Bramante moved to Milan, a city with a deep Gothic architectural tradition, and built several churches in the new Antique style. The Duke, Ludovico Sforza, made him virtually his court architect, beginning in 1476, with commissions that culminated in the famous trompe-l'oeil choir of the church of Santa Maria presso San Satiro (1482–1486). Space was limited, and Bramante made a theatrical apse in bas-relief, combining the painterly arts of perspective with Roman details. There is an octagonal sacristy, surmounted by a dome.
In Milan, Bramante also built the tribune of Santa Maria delle Grazie (1492–99); other early works include the cloisters of Sant'Ambrogio, Milan (1497–1498), and some other constructions in Pavia and possibly Legnano. However, in 1499, with his Sforza patron driven from Milan by an invading French army, Bramante made his way to Rome, where he was already known to the powerful Cardinal Riario.
Career in Rome
In Rome, he was soon recognized by Cardinal Della Rovere, shortly to become Pope Julius II. For Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile or possibly Julius II, Bramante designed one of the most harmonious buildings of the Renaissance: the Tempietto (1510) of San Pietro in Montorio on the Janiculum. Despite its small scale, the construction has all the rigorous proportions and symmetry of Classical structures, surrounded by slender Doric columns, surmounted by a dome. According to a later engraving by Sebastiano Serlio, Bramante planned to set it within a colonnaded courtyard. In November 1503, Julius engaged Bramante for the construction of the grandest European architectural commission of the 16th century, the complete rebuilding of St Peter's Basilica. The cornerstone of the first of the great piers of the crossing was laid with ceremony on April 17, 1506. Very few drawings by Bramante survive, though some by his assistants do, demonstrating the extent of the team which had been assembled. Bramante's vision for St Peter's, a centralized Greek cross plan that symbolized sublime perfection for him and his generation (compare Santa Maria della Consolazione, Todi, influenced by Bramante's work) was fundamentally altered by the extension of the nave after his death in 1514. Bramante's plan envisaged four great chapels filling the corner spaces between the equal transepts, each one capped with a smaller dome surrounding the great dome over the crossing. So Bramante's original plan was very much more Romano-Byzantine in its forms than the basilica that was actually built. (See St Peter's Basilica for further details.)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Donato Bramante|
Bramante also worked on several other commissions. Among his earliest works in Rome, before the Basilica's construction was under way, is the cloister (1500–1504) of Santa Maria della Pace near Piazza Navona. The handsome proportions give an air of great simplicity.
Principal architectural works
- Santa Maria presso San Satiro Milan, ca. 1482–1486
- Santa Maria delle Grazie (cloister and apse); Milan, 1492–1498
- Palazzo Caprini (also called: 'House of Raphael'), Rome, started in 1512 (non-extant)
- San Pietro in Montorio (also called the Tempietto); Rome, 1502
- Santa Maria della Pace (cloister); Rome, 1504
- St. Peter's Basilica, Rome, Design 1503, ground breaking, 1506
- Cortile del Belvedere, Vatican city, rome, 1506.
ACKERMAN, James. The Cortile del Belvedere. (London, 1964).
BRUSCHI, Arnaldo. Bramante (London, 1977).
EVANS, Robin. The Projective Cast: Architecture and Its Three Geometries (Cambridge, MA, 1995).
FROMMEL, Christoph Luitpold. Die Romische Palastbau der Hochrenaissance (Tubingen, 1973).
FROMMEL, Christoph Luitpold. The Architecture of the Italian Renaissance (lLondon, 2007).
LOTZ, Wolfgang. Architecture in Italy 1500-1600 (London, 1996).
HEYDENREICH, Ludwig H. Architecture in Italy 1400-1500 (London, 1996)
THOENES, Christof. Sostegno e Adornamento (Milan, 1998).
"Donato Bramante" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- Donato Bramante Source Information, Pictures & Documentaries about Donato.
|Birth name||Pietro Vannucci|
Città della Pieve, Umbria, Italy
|Died||1524 (aged 77–78) |
Fontignano, Umbria, Italy
|Training||Andrea del Verrocchio|
|Works||The Delivery of the Keys|
Pietro Perugino (1446–1524), born Pietro Vannucci, was the leading painter of the Umbrian school, who developed some of the qualities that found classic expression in the High Renaissance. Raphael was his most famous pupil.
Pietro painted at Arezzo, thence moved to Florence. The date of this first Florentine sojourn is by no means settled; some make it as early as 1470, others push the date to 1479. According to Vasari, he apprenticed in the atelier of Andrea del Verrocchio alongside Leonardo da Vinci. He may have learned perspective from Piero della Francesca. In 1472 he must have completed his apprenticeship, for he was enrolled as a painter in the confraternity of St Luke.
Perugino was one of the earliest Italian practitioners of oil painting. Some of his early works were extensive frescoes for the convent of the Ingesati fathers, destroyed during the siege of Florence, 1537; he produced for them also many cartoons, which they executed with brilliant effect in stained glass. A good specimen of his early style in tempera is the tondo (circular picture) in the Musée du Louvre of the Virgin and Child Enthroned between Saints.
Perugino returned from Florence to Perugia, where his Florentine training showed in the Adoration of the Magi for the church of Santa Maria dei Servi (ca 1476). In about 1480, he was called to Rome to fresco panels for the Sistine Chapel walls by Sixtus IV including Moses and Zipporah (often attributed to Luca Signorelli), the Baptism of Christ, and The Delivery of the Keys (illustration, right). Pinturicchio accompanied Perugino to Rome, and was made his partner, receiving a third of the profits. He may have done some of the Zipporah subject. The Sistine frescoes were the major high Renaissance commission in Rome. The altar wall was also painted with the Assumption, the Nativity, and Moses in the Bulrushes. These works were later ruthlessly destroyed to make a space for Michelangelo's Last Judgement,
Perugino, aged forty, left Rome after completion of the Sistine Chapel work in 1486, and by autumn was in Florence. Here he figured by no means advantageously in a criminal court case. In July 1487 he and another Perugian painter named Aulista di Angelo were convicted, on their own confession, of having in December waylaid with staves someone (the name does not appear) in the streets near Pietro Maggiore. Perugino merely intended assault and battery, but Aulista meant to commit murder. The more illustrious culprit, guilty of the lesser offence, was fined ten gold florins, and the other was exiled for life.
Between 1486 and 1499 Perugino worked chiefly in Florence, making one journey to Rome and several to Perugia, where he may have maintained a second studio. He had an established studio in Florence, and received a great number of commissions. His Pietà (1495) in the Palazzo Pitti is an uncharacteristically stark work that avoids Perugino's sometimes too easy sentimental piety.
In 1499 the guild of the cambio (money-changers or bankers) of Perugia asked him to decorate their audience-hall (sala dell'udienza). The humanist Francesco Maturanzio acted as his consultant. This extensive scheme, which may have been finished by 1500, comprised the painting of the vault with the seven planets and the signs of the zodiac (Perugino being responsible for the designs and his pupils most probably for the execution) and the representation on the walls of two sacred subjects: the Nativity and Transfiguration; in addition, the Eternal Father, the cardinal virtues of Justice, Prudence, Temperance and Fortitude, Cato as the emblem of wisdom, and numerous life-sized figures of classic worthies, prophets and sibyls figured in the program. On the mid-pilaster of the hall Perugino placed his own portrait in bust-form. It is probable that Raphael, who in boyhood, towards 1496, had been placed by his uncles under the tuition of Perugino, bore a hand in the work of the vaulting.
Perugino was made one of the priors of Perugia in 1501. On one occasion Michelangelo told Perugino to his face that he was a bungler in art (goffo nell arte): Vannucci brought an action for defamation of character, unsuccessfully. Put on his mettle by this mortifying transaction, he produced the masterpiece of the Madonna and Saints for the Certosa of Pavia, now disassembled and scattered among museums: the only portion in the Certosa is God the Father with cherubim. An Annunciation has disappeared; three panels, the Virgin adoring the infant Christ, St. Michael and St. Raphael with Tobias are among the treasures of the National Gallery, London. This was succeeded in 1505 by an Assumption, in the Cappella dei Rabatta, in the church of the Servi in Florence. The painting may have been executed chiefly by a pupil, and was at any rate a failure: it was much decried; Perugino lost his students; and towards 1506 he once more and finally abandoned Florence, going to Perugia, and thence in a year or two to Rome.
Pope Julius II had summoned Perugino to paint the Stanza of the Incendio del Borgo in the Vatican City; but he soon preferred a younger competitor, Raphael, who had been trained by Perugino; and Vannucci, after painting the ceiling with figures of God the Father in different glories, in five medallion-subjects, retired from Rome to Perugia from 1512. Among his latest works, many of which decline into repetitious studio routine, one of the best is the extensive altarpiece (painted between 1512 and 1517) of the church of San Agostino in Perugia, also now dispersed.
Perugino's last frescoes were painted for the church of the Madonna delle Lacrime in Trevi (1521, signed and dated), the monastery of Sant'Agnese in Perugia, and in 1522 for the church of Castello di Fortignano. Both series have disappeared from their places, the second being now in the Victoria and Albert Museum. He was still at Fontignano in 1524 when he died of the plague. Like other plague victims, he was hastily buried in an unconsecrated field, the precise spot now unknown.
Vasari is our chief, but not sole, authority for saying Perugino had very little religion, and openly doubted the soul's immortality. It is difficult to reconcile this discrepancy, and certainly not a little difficult also to suppose that Vasari was totally mistaken in his assertion; he was born twenty years before Perugino's death, and must have talked with scores of people to whom the Umbrian painter had been well known. We have to remark that Perugino in 1494 painted his own portrait (illustration, upper right), now in the Uffizi Gallery, and into this he introduced a scroll lettered Timete Deum. That an open disbeliever should inscribe himself with Timete Deum seems odd. The portrait in question shows a plump face, with small dark eyes, a short but well-cut nose, and sensuous lips; the neck is thick, the hair bushy and frizzled, and the general air imposing. The later portrait in the Cambio of Perugia shows the same face with traces of added years. Perugino died possessed of considerable property, leaving three sons.
In 1495 he signed and dated a Deposition for the Florentine convent of Santa Chiara (Palazzo Pitti). Towards 1496 he frescoed a Crucifixion, commissioned in 1493 for Maria Maddalena de' Pazzi, Florence (the Pazzi Crucifixion). The attribution to him of the picture of the marriage of Joseph and the Virgin Mary (the Sposalizio) now in the museum of Caen, which indisputably served as the original, to a great extent, of the still more famous Sposalizio painted by Raphael in 1504 (Accademia di Brera, Milan), is now questioned, and it is assigned to Lo Spagna. A vastly finer work of Perugino's was the polyptych of the Ascension of Christ painted ca 1496–98 for the church of S. Pietro of Perugia, (Municipal Museum, Lyon); the other portions of the same altarpiece are dispersed in other galleries.
In the chapel of the Disciplinati of Città della Pieve is an Adoration of the Magi, a square of 6.5 m containing about thirty life-sized figures; this was executed, with scarcely credible celerity, from the 1st to 25 March (or thereabouts) in 1505, and must no doubt be in great part the work of Vannucci's pupils. In 1507, when the master's work had for years been in a course of decline and his performances were generally weak, he produced. nevertheless, one of his best; pictures — the Virgin between Saint Jerome and Saint Francis, how in the Palazzo Penna. In the church of S. Onofrio in Florence is a much lauded and much debated fresco of the Last Supper, a careful and blandly correct but uninspired work; it has been ascribed to Perugino by some connoisseurs, by others to Raphael; it may more probably be by some different pupil of the Umbrian master.
Among his pupils were Raphael, upon whose early work Perugino's influence is most noticeable, and Giovanni di Pietro (lo Spagna).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Pietro Perugino|
- St. Sebastian (c. 1490–1500) — Panel, 176 × 116 cm, Louvre, Paris
- St. Sebastian (after 1490) — Oil on wood, 110 × 62 cm, Galleria Borghese, Rome
- The Virgin appearing to St. Bernard (c. 1490-1494) — Oil on wood, 173 × 170 cm, Alte Pinakothek, Munich
- St. Sebastian (1493–1494) — Oil and tempera on panel, 53.8 × 39.5 cm, The Hermitage, St. Petersburg
- Marriage of the Virgin (1500–1504) — Oil on wood, 234 × 185, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Caen
- St. Sebastian Bound to a Column (c. 1500–1510) — Oil on canvas, 181 × 115 cm, São Paulo Museum of Art, São Paulo, Brazil
- The Delivery of the Keys (1481–1482) — Fresco, 335 × 600 cm, Sistine Chapel, Vatican City
- Crucifixion (the Galitzin triptych, 1480s) — painted for San Domenico at San Gimignano, National Gallery, Washington
- Combat of Love and Chastity (1503) — Tempera on canvas, 160 x 191 cm, painted for Isabella d'Este studiolo, Louvre, Paris
- The Nativity: the Virgin, St Joseph and the Shepherds adoring the Infant Christ (ca. 1522) — Fresco transferred to canvas from S. Maria Assunta, at Fontignano, 254 x 594 cm, Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Leonardo da Vinci
|Leonardo da Vinci|
|Royal Library of Turin|
|Birth name||Leonardo di Ser Piero|
|Born||April 15, 1452(1452-04-15) |
Vinci, Florence, in present-day Italy
|Died||May 2, 1519 (aged 67) |
Amboise, Touraine (in present-day Indre-et-Loire, France)
|Field||Many and diverse fields of arts and sciences|
|Works||Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, The Vitruvian Man|
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci ( pronunciation (help·info)) (April 15, 1452 – May 2, 1519) was an Italian polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer. Leonardo has often been described as the archetype of the Renaissance man, a man whose unquenchable curiosity was equaled only by his powers of invention. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived. According to art historian Helen Gardner, the scope and depth of his interests were without precedent and "his mind and personality seem to us superhuman, the man himself mysterious and remote". Marco Rosci points out, however, that while there is much speculation about Leonardo, his vision of the world is essentially logical rather than mysterious, and that the empirical methods he employed were unusual for his time.
Born the illegitimate son of a notary, Piero da Vinci, and a peasant woman, Caterina, at Vinci in the region of Florence, Leonardo was educated in the studio of the renowned Florentine painter, Verrocchio. Much of his earlier working life was spent in the service of Ludovico il Moro in Milan. He later worked in Rome, Bologna and Venice and spent his last years in France, at the home awarded him by Francis I.
Leonardo was and is renowned primarily as a painter. Two of his works, the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, are the most famous, most reproduced and most parodied portrait and religious paintings of all time, respectively, their fame approached only by Michelangelo's Creation of Adam. Leonardo's drawing of the Vitruvian Man is also regarded as a cultural icon, being reproduced on everything from the euro to text books to t-shirts. Perhaps fifteen of his paintings survive, the small number due to his constant, and frequently disastrous, experimentation with new techniques, and his chronic procrastination.[nb 2] Nevertheless, these few works, together with his notebooks, which contain drawings, scientific diagrams, and his thoughts on the nature of painting, compose a contribution to later generations of artists only rivalled by that of his contemporary, Michelangelo.
Leonardo is revered for his technological ingenuity. He conceptualised a helicopter, a tank, concentrated solar power, a calculator, the double hull and outlined a rudimentary theory of plate tectonics. Relatively few of his designs were constructed or were even feasible during his lifetime,[nb 3] but some of his smaller inventions, such as an automated bobbin winder and a machine for testing the tensile strength of wire, entered the world of manufacturing unheralded.[nb 4] As a scientist, he greatly advanced the state of knowledge in the fields of anatomy, civil engineering, optics, and hydrodynamics.
Leonardo was born on April 15, 1452, "at the third hour of the night"[nb 5] in the Tuscan hill town of Vinci, in the lower valley of the Arno River in the territory of Florence. He was the illegitimate son of the wealthy Messer Piero Fruosino di Antonio da Vinci, a Florentine legal notary, and Caterina, a peasant.[nb 6] Leonardo had no surname in the modern sense, "da Vinci" simply meaning "of Vinci": his full birth name was "Lionardo di ser Piero da Vinci", meaning "Leonardo, (son) of (Mes)ser Piero from Vinci".
Little is known about Leonardo's early life. He spent his first five years in the hamlet of Anchiano in the home of his mother, then from 1457 lived in the household of his father, grandparents and uncle, Francesco, in the small town of Vinci. His father had married a sixteen-year-old girl named Albiera, who loved Leonardo but died young. Leonardo received an informal education in Latin, geometry and mathematics but did not show any particular signs of aptitude.
When Leonardo was sixteen his father married again, twenty-year-old Francesca Lanfredini. It was not until his third and fourth marriages that Ser Piero produced legitimate heirs. In later life, Leonardo only recorded two childhood incidents. One, which he regarded as an omen, was when a kite dropped from the sky and hovered over his cradle, its tail feathers brushing his face. The second occurred while exploring in the mountains. He discovered a cave and was both terrified that some great monster might lurk there, and driven by curiosity to find out what was inside.
Leonardo's early life has been the subject of historical conjecture. Vasari, the 16th-century biographer of Renaissance painters tells of how a local peasant made himself a round shield and requested that Ser Piero have it painted for him. Leonardo responded with a painting of monster spitting fire which was so terrifying that Ser Piero sold it to a Florentine art dealer, who sold it to the Duke of Milan. Meanwhile, having made a profit, Ser Piero bought a shield decorated with a heart pierced by an arrow, which he gave to the peasant.
Verrocchio's workshop, 1466–1476
In 1466, at the age of fourteen, Leonardo was apprenticed to the artist Andrea di Cione, known as Verrocchio whose workshop was "one of the finest in Florence". Other famous painters apprenticed or associated with the workshop include Domenico Ghirlandaio, Perugino, Botticelli, and Lorenzo di Credi. Leonardo would have been exposed to both theoretical training and a vast range of technical skills including drafting, chemistry, metallurgy, metal working, plaster casting, leather working, mechanics and carpentry as well as the artistic skills of drawing, painting, sculpting and modelling.[nb 7]
Much of the painted production of Verrocchio's workshop was done by his employees. According to Vasari, Leonardo collaborated with Verrocchio on his Baptism of Christ, painting the young angel holding Jesus's robe in a manner that was so far superior to his master's that Verrocchio put down his brush and never painted again. This is probably an exaggeration. On close examination, the painting reveals much that has been painted or touched up over the tempera using the new technique of oil paint, the landscape, the rocks that can be seen through the brown mountain stream and much of the figure of Jesus bearing witness to the hand of Leonardo.
By 1472, at the age of twenty, Leonardo qualified as a master in the Guild of St Luke, the guild of artists and doctors of medicine,[nb 8] but even after his father set him up in his own workshop, his attachment to Verrocchio was such that he continued to collaborate with him. Leonardo's earliest known dated work is a drawing in pen and ink of the Arno valley, drawn on August 5, 1473.[nb 9]
Professional life, 1476–1513
Florentine court records of 1476 show that Leonardo and three other young men were charged with sodomy, and acquitted.[nb 10] From that date until 1478 there is no record of his work or even of his whereabouts. In 1478 he left Verroccio's studio and was no longer resident at his father's house. One writer, the "Anonimo" Gaddiano claims that in 1480 he was living with the Medici and working in the garden of the Piazza San Marco in Florence. In January 1478 he received his first independent commission, to paint an altarpiece in 1478 for the Chapel of St Bernard in the Palazzo Vecchio and The Adoration of the Magi in March 1481 for the Monks of San Donato a Scopeto. Neither important commission was completed, the second being interrupted when Leonardo went to Milan.
In 1482 Leonardo, who according to Vasari was a most talented musician, created a silver lyre in the shape of a horse's head. Lorenzo de’ Medici sent Leonardo, bearing the lyre as a gift, to Milan, to secure peace with Ludovico il Moro, Duke of Milan. At this time Leonardo wrote an often-quoted letter to Ludovico, describing the many marvellous and diverse things that he could achieve in the field of engineering and informing the Lord that he could also paint.
Leonardo continued work in Milan between 1482 and 1499. He was commissioned to paint the Virgin of the Rocks for the Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception, and The Last Supper for the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie. While living in Milan between 1493 and 1495 Leonardo listed a woman called Caterina among his dependents in his taxation documents. When she died in 1495, the list of funeral expenditures suggests that she was his mother.
Leonardo worked on many different projects for Ludovico, including the preparation of floats and pageants for special occasions, designs for a dome for Milan Cathedral and a model for a huge equestrian monument to Francesco Sforza, Ludovico's predecessor. Seventy tons of bronze were set aside for casting it. The monument remained unfinished for several years, which was not unusual for Leonardo. In 1492 the clay model of the horse was completed. It surpassed in size the only two large equestrian statues of the Renaissance, Donatello's statue of Gattemelata in Padua and Verrocchio's Bartolomeo Colleoni in Venice, and became known as the "Gran Cavallo".[nb 11]
Leonardo began making detailed plans for its casting, however, Michelangelo rudely implied that Leonardo was unable to cast it. In November 1494 Ludovico gave the bronze to be used for cannons to defend the city from invasion by Charles VIII.
At the start of the Second Italian War in 1499, the invading French troops used the life-size clay model for the "Gran Cavallo" for target practice. With Ludovico Sforza overthrown, Leonardo, with his assistant Salai and friend, the mathematician Luca Pacioli, fled Milan for Venice, where he was employed as a military architect and engineer, devising methods to defend the city from naval attack. On his return to Florence in 1500, he and his household were guests of the Servite monks at the monastery of Santissima Annunziata and were provided with a workshop where, according to Vasari, Leonardo created the cartoon of The Virgin and Child with St. Anne and St. John the Baptist, a work that won such admiration that "men and women, young and old" flocked to see it "as if they were attending a great festival".[nb 12]
In 1502 Leonardo entered the service of Cesare Borgia, the son of Pope Alexander VI, acting as a military architect and engineer and travelling throughout Italy with his patron. Leonardo created a map of Cesare Borgia’s stronghold, a town plan of Imola in order to win his patronage. Maps were extremely rare at the time and it would have seemed like a new concept; upon seeing it, Cesare hired Leonardo as his chief military engineer and architect. Later in the year, Leonardo produced another map for his patron, one of Chiana Valley, Tuscany so as to give his patron a better overlay of the land and greater strategic position. He created this map in conjunction with his other project of constructing a dam from the sea to Florence in order to allow a supply of water to sustain the canal during all seasons.
Leonardo returned to Florence where he rejoined the Guild of St Luke on October 18, 1503, and spent two years designing and painting a great mural of The Battle of Anghiari for the Signoria, with Michelangelo designing its companion piece, The Battle of Cascina.[nb 13] In Florence in 1504, he was part of a committee formed to relocate, against the artist's will, Michelangelo's statue of David.
In 1506 Leonardo returned to Milan. Many of his most prominent pupils or followers in painting either knew or worked with him in Milan, including Bernardino Luini, Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio and Marco D'Oggione.[nb 14] However, he did not stay in Milan for long because his father had died in 1504, and in 1507 he was back in Florence trying to sort out problems with his brothers over his father's estate. By 1508 Leonardo was back in Milan, living in his own house in Porta Orientale in the parish of Santa Babila.
Old age, 1513–1519
From September 1513 to 1516, Leonardo spent much of his time living in the Belvedere in the Vatican in Rome, where Raphael and Michelangelo were both active at the time. In October 1515, Francis I of France recaptured Milan. On December 19, Leonardo was present at the meeting of Francis I and Pope Leo X, which took place in Bologna. It was for Francis that Leonardo was commissioned to make a mechanical lion which could walk forward, then open its chest to reveal a cluster of lilies.[nb 15] In 1516, he entered François' service, being given the use of the manor house Clos Lucé[nb 16] near the king's residence at the royal Chateau Amboise. It was here that he spent the last three years of his life, accompanied by his friend and apprentice, Count Francesco Melzi, supported by a pension totalling 10,000 scudi.
Leonardo died at Clos Lucé, on May 2, 1519. Francis I had become a close friend. Vasari records that the King held Leonardo's head in his arms as he died, although this story, beloved by the French and portrayed in romantic paintings by Ingres, Ménageot and other French artists, as well as by Angelica Kauffmann, may be legend rather than fact.[nb 17] Vasari also tells us that in his last days, Leonardo sent for a priest to make his confession and to receive the Holy Sacrament. In accordance to his will, sixty beggars followed his casket. He was buried in the Chapel of Saint-Hubert in the castle of Amboise. Melzi was the principal heir and executor, receiving as well as money, Leonardo's paintings, tools, library and personal effects. Leonardo also remembered his other long-time pupil and companion, Salai and his servant Battista di Vilussis, who each received half of Leonardo's vineyards, his brothers who received land, and his serving woman who received a black cloak "of good stuff" with a fur edge.
Some twenty years after Leonardo's death, Francis was reported by the goldsmith and sculptor Benevenuto Cellini as saying: "There had never been another man born in the world who knew as much as Leonardo, not so much about painting, sculpture and architecture, as that he was a very great philosopher."
Relationships and influences
Florence, at the time of Leonardo's youth was the centre of Christian Humanist thought and culture. Leonardo commenced his apprenticeship with Verrocchio in 1466, the year that Verrocchio's master, the great sculptor Donatello, died. The painter Uccello whose early experiments with perspective were to influence the development of landscape painting, was a very old man. The painters Piero della Francesca and Fra Filippo Lippi, sculptor Luca della Robbia, and architect and writer Leon Battista Alberti were in their sixties. The successful artists of the next generation were Leonardo's teacher Verrocchio, Antonio Pollaiuolo and the portrait sculptor, Mino da Fiesole whose lifelike busts give the most reliable likenesses of Lorenzo Medici's father Piero and uncle Giovanni.
Leonardo's youth was spent in a Florence that was ornamented by the works of these artists and by Donatello's contemporaries, Masaccio whose figurative frescoes were imbued with realism and emotion and Ghiberti whose Gates of Paradise, gleaming with gold leaf, displayed the art of combining complex figure compositions with detailed architectural backgrounds. Piero della Francesca had made a detailed study of perspective, and was the first painter to make a scientific study of light. These studies and Alberti's Treatise were to have a profound effect on younger artists and in particular on Leonardo's own observations and artworks.
Massaccio's depiction of the naked and distraught Adam and Eve leaving the Garden of Eden created a powerfully expressive image of the human form, cast into three dimensions by the use of light and shade which was to be developed in the works of Leonardo in a way that was to be influential in the course of painting. The Humanist influence of Donatello's David can be seen in Leonardo's late paintings, particularly John the Baptist.
A prevalent tradition in Florence was the small altarpiece of the Virgin and Child. Many of these were created in tempera or glazed terracotta by the workshops of Filippo Lippi, Verrocchio and the prolific della Robbia family. Leonardo's early Madonnas such as The Madonna with a carnation and The Benois Madonna followed this tradition while showing idiosyncratic departures, particularly in the case of the Benois Madonna in which the Virgin is set at an oblique angle to the picture space with the Christ Child at the opposite angle. This compositional theme was to emerge in Leonardo's later paintings such as The Virgin and Child with St. Anne.
Leonardo was a contemporary of Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Perugino, who were all slightly older than he was. He would have met them at the workshop of Verrocchio, with whom they had associations, and at the Academy of the Medici. Botticelli was a particular favourite of the Medici family and thus his success as a painter was assured. Ghirlandaio and Perugino were both prolific and ran large workshops. They competently delivered commissions to well-satisfied patrons who appreciated Ghirlandaio's ability to portray the wealthy citizens of Florence within large religious frescoes, and Perugino's ability to deliver a multitude of saints and angels of unfailing sweetness and innocence.
These three were among those commissioned to paint the walls of the Sistine Chapel, the work commencing with Perugino's employment in 1479. Leonardo was not part of this prestigious commission. His first significant commission, The Adoration of the Magi for the Monks of Scopeto, was never completed.
In 1476, during the time of Leonardo's association with Verrocchio's workshop, the Portinari Altarpiece by Hugo van der Goes arrived in Florence, bringing new painterly techniques from Northern Europe which were to profoundly effect Leonardo, Ghirlandaio, Perugino and others. In 1479, the Sicilian painter Antonello da Messina, who worked exclusively in oils, traveled north on his way to Venice, where the leading painter, Giovanni Bellini adopted the technique of oil painting, quickly making it the preferred method in Venice. Leonardo was also later to visit Venice.
Like the two contemporary architects, Bramante and Antonio da Sangallo the Elder, Leonardo experimented with designs for centrally planned churches, a number of which appear in his journals, as both plans and views, although none was ever realised.
Leonardo's political contemporaries were Lorenzo Medici (il Magnifico), who was three years older, and his popular younger brother Giuliano who was slain in the Pazzi Conspiracy in 1478. Ludovico il Moro who ruled Milan between 1479–1499 and to whom Leonardo was sent as ambassador from the Medici court, was also of Leonardo's age.
With Alberti, Leonardo visited the home of the Medici and through them came to know the older Humanist philosophers of whom Marsiglio Ficino, proponent of Neo Platonism, Cristoforo Landino, writer of commentaries on Classical writings, and John Argyropoulos, teacher of Greek and translator of Aristotle were foremost. Also associated with the Academy of the Medici was Leonardo's contemporary, the brilliant young poet and philosopher Pico della Mirandola. Leonardo later wrote in the margin of a journal "The Medici made me and the Medici destroyed me." While it was through the action of Lorenzo that Leonardo was to receive his important Milanese commissions, it is not known exactly what Leonardo meant by this cryptic comment.
Although usually named together as the three giants of the High Renaissance, Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael were not of the same generation. Leonardo was twenty-three when Michelangelo was born and thirty-one when Raphael was born. Raphael only lived until the age of 37 and died in 1520, the year after Leonardo, but Michelangelo went on creating for another 45 years.
Within Leonardo's lifetime, his extraordinary powers of invention, his "outstanding physical beauty", "infinite grace", "great strength and generosity", "regal spirit and tremendous breadth of mind" as described by Vasari, as well as all other aspects of his life, attracted the curiosity of others. One such aspect is his respect for life evidenced by his vegetarianism and his habit, described by Vasari, of purchasing caged birds and releasing them.
Leonardo had many friends who are now renowned either in their fields or for their historical significance. They included the mathematician Luca Pacioli, with whom he collaborated on a book in the 1490s, as well as Franchinus Gaffurius and Isabella d'Este. Leonardo appears to have had no close relationships with women except for his friendship with Isabella d'Este. He drew a portrait of her while on a journey which took him through Mantua, and which appears to have been used to create a painted portrait now lost.
Beyond friendship, Leonardo kept his private life secret. His sexuality has been the subject of satire, analysis, and speculation. This trend began in the mid-16th century and was revived in the 19th and 20th centuries, most notably by Sigmund Freud.
Leonardo's most intimate relationships were perhaps with his pupils Salai and Melzi. Melzi, writing to inform Leonardo's brothers of his death, described Leonardo's feelings for his pupils as both loving and passionate. It has been claimed since the 16th century that these relationships were of a sexual or erotic nature. Court records of 1476, when he was aged twenty-four, show that Leonardo and three other young men were charged with sodomy, and acquitted. Since that date much has been written about his presumed homosexuality and its role in his art, particularly in the androgyny and eroticism manifested in John the Baptist and Bacchus and more explicitly in a number of erotic drawings.
Assistants and pupils
Gian Giacomo Caprotti da Oreno, nicknamed Salai or Il Salaino ("The Little Unclean One" i.e., the devil), entered Leonardo's household in 1490. After only a year, Leonardo made a list of his misdemeanours, calling him "a thief, a liar, stubborn, and a glutton", after he had made off with money and valuables on at least five occasions, and spent a fortune on clothes. Nevertheless, Leonardo treated him with great indulgence and he remained in Leonardo's household for the next thirty years. Salai executed a number of paintings under the name of Andrea Salai, but although Vasari claims that Leonardo "taught him a great deal about painting", his work is generally considered to be of less artistic merit than others among Leonardo's pupils, such as Marco d'Oggione and Boltraffio. In 1515, he painted a nude version of the Mona Lisa, known as Monna Vanna. Salai owned the Mona Lisa at the time of his death in 1525, and in his will it was assessed at 505 lire, an exceptionally high valuation for a small panel portrait.
In 1506, Leonardo took on another pupil, Count Francesco Melzi, the son of a Lombard aristocrat, who is considered to have been his favourite student. He travelled to France with Leonardo, and remained with him until the latter's death. Upon Leonardo's death, Melzi inherited the artistic and scientific works, manuscripts, and collections of Leonardo, and faithfully administered the estate.
Despite the recent awareness and admiration of Leonardo as a scientist and inventor, for the better part of four hundred years his enormous fame rested on his achievements as a painter and on a handful of works, either authenticated or attributed to him that have been regarded as among the supreme masterpieces ever created.
These paintings are famous for a variety of qualities which have been much imitated by students and discussed at great length by connoisseurs and critics. Among the qualities that make Leonardo's work unique are the innovative techniques that he used in laying on the paint, his detailed knowledge of anatomy, light, botany and geology, his interest in physiognomy and the way in which humans register emotion in expression and gesture, his innovative use of the human form in figurative composition and his use of the subtle gradation of tone. All these qualities come together in his most famous painted works, the Mona Lisa, the Last Supper and the Virgin of the Rocks.
Leonardo's early works begin with the Baptism of Christ painted in conjunction with Verrocchio. Two other paintings appear to date from his time at the workshop, both of which are Annunciations. One is small, 59 centimetres (23 in) long and 14 centimetres (5.5 in) high. It is a "predella" to go at the base of a larger composition, in this case a painting by Lorenzo di Credi from which it has become separated. The other is a much larger work, 217 centimetres (85 in) long. In both these Annunciations, Leonardo has used a formal arrangement, such as in Fra Angelico's two well known pictures of the same subject, of the Virgin Mary sitting or kneeling to the right of the picture, approached from the left by an angel in profile, with rich flowing garment, raised wings and bearing a lily. Although previously attributed to Ghirlandaio, the larger work is now almost universally attributed to Leonardo.
In the smaller picture Mary averts her eyes and folds her hands in a gesture that symbolised submission to God's will. In the larger picture, however, Mary is not in the least submissive. The beautiful girl, interrupted in her reading by this unexpected messenger, puts a finger in her bible to mark the place and raises her hand in a formal gesture of greeting or surprise. This calm young woman appears to accept her role as the Mother of God not with resignation but with confidence. In this painting the young Leonardo presents the Humanist face of the Virgin Mary, recognising humanity's role in God's incarnation.[nb 18]
Paintings of the 1480s
In the 1480s Leonardo received two very important commissions, and commenced another work which was also of ground-breaking importance in terms of composition. Unfortunately two of the three were never finished and the third took so long that it was subject to lengthy negotiations over completion and payment. One of these paintings is that of St. Jerome in the Wilderness. Bortolon associates this picture with a difficult period of Leonardo's life, and the signs of melancholy in his diary: "I thought I was learning to live; I was only learning to die."
Although the painting is barely begun the composition can be seen and it is very unusual.[nb 19] Jerome, as a penitent, occupies the middle of the picture, set on a slight diagonal and viewed somewhat from above. His kneeling form takes on a trapezoid shape, with one arm stretched to the outer edge of the painting and his gaze looking in the opposite direction. J. Wasserman points out the link between this painting and Leonardo's anatomical studies. Across the foreground sprawls his symbol, a great lion whose body and tail make a double spiral across the base of the picture space. The other remarkable feature is the sketchy landscape of craggy rocks against which the figure is silhouetted.
The daring display of figure composition, the landscape elements and personal drama also appear in the great unfinished masterpiece, the Adoration of the Magi, a commission from the Monks of San Donato a Scopeto. It is a very complex composition, of about 250 x 250 centimetres. Leonardo did numerous drawings and preparatory studies, including a detailed one in linear perspective of the ruined classical architecture which makes part of the backdrop to the scene. But in 1482 Leonardo went off to Milan at the behest of Lorenzo de’ Medici in order to win favour with Ludovico il Moro and the painting was abandoned.
The third important work of this period is the Virgin of the Rocks which was commissioned in Milan for the Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception. The painting, to be done with the assistance of the de Predis brothers, was to fill a large complex altarpiece, already constructed. Leonardo chose to paint an apocryphal moment of the infancy of Christ when the Infant John the Baptist, in protection of an angel, met the Holy Family on the road to Egypt. In this scene, as painted by Leonardo, John recognizes and worships Jesus as the Christ. The painting demonstrates an eerie beauty as the graceful figures kneel in adoration around the infant Christ in a wild landscape of tumbling rock and whirling water. While the painting is quite large, about 200 × 120 centimetres, it is not nearly as complex as the painting ordered by the monks of St Donato, having only four figures rather than about fifty and a rocky landscape rather than architectural details. The painting was eventually finished; in fact, two versions of the painting were finished, one which remained at the chapel of the Confraternity and the other which Leonardo carried away to France. But the Brothers did not get their painting, or the de Predis their payment, until the next century.
Paintings of the 1490s
Leonardo's most famous painting of the 1490s is The Last Supper, also painted in Milan. The painting represents the last meal shared by Jesus with his disciples before his capture and death. It shows specifically the moment when Jesus has said "one of you will betray me". Leonardo tells the story of the consternation that this statement caused to the twelve followers of Jesus.
The novelist Matteo Bandello observed Leonardo at work and wrote that some days he would paint from dawn till dusk without stopping to eat, and then not paint for three or four days at a time. This, according to Vasari, was beyond the comprehension of the prior, who hounded him until Leonardo asked Ludovico to intervene. Vasari describes how Leonardo, troubled over his ability to adequately depict the faces of Christ and the traitor Judas, told the Duke that he might be obliged to use the prior as his model.
When finished, the painting was acclaimed as a masterpiece of design and characterisation, but it deteriorated rapidly, so that within a hundred years it was described by one viewer as "completely ruined". Leonardo, instead of using the reliable technique of fresco, had used tempera over a ground that was mainly gesso, resulting in a surface which was subject to mold and to flaking. Despite this, the painting has remained one of the most reproduced works of art, countless copies being made in every medium from carpets to cameos.
Paintings of the 1500s
Among the works created by Leonardo in the 1500s is the small portrait known as the Mona Lisa or "la Gioconda", the laughing one. In the present era it is arguably the most famous painting in the world. Its fame rests, in particular, on the elusive smile on the woman's face, its mysterious quality brought about perhaps by the fact that the artist has subtly shadowed the corners of the mouth and eyes so that the exact nature of the smile cannot be determined. The shadowy quality for which the work is renowned came to be called "sfumato" or Leonardo's smoke. Vasari, who is generally thought to have known the painting only by repute, said that "the smile was so pleasing that it seemed divine rather than human; and those who saw it were amazed to find that it was as alive as the original".[nb 20]
Other characteristics found in this work are the unadorned dress, in which the eyes and hands have no competition from other details, the dramatic landscape background in which the world seems to be in a state of flux, the subdued colouring and the extremely smooth nature of the painterly technique, employing oils, but laid on much like tempera and blended on the surface so that the brushstrokes are indistinguishable.[nb 21] Vasari expressed the opinion that the manner of painting would make even "the most confident master ... despair and lose heart." The perfect state of preservation and the fact that there is no sign of repair or overpainting is extremely rare in a panel painting of this date.
In the Virgin and Child with St. Anne (see below [StAnne]) the composition again picks up the theme of figures in a landscape which Wasserman describes as "breathtakingly beautiful" and harks back to the St Jerome picture with the figure set at an oblique angle. What makes this painting unusual is that there are two obliquely set figures superimposed. Mary is seated on the knee of her mother, St Anne. She leans forward to restrain the Christ Child as he plays roughly with a lamb, the sign of his own impending sacrifice. This painting, which was copied many times, was to influence Michelangelo, Raphael, and Andrea del Sarto, and through them Pontormo and Correggio. The trends in composition were adopted in particular by the Venetian painters Tintoretto and Veronese.
Leonardo was not a prolific painter, but he was a most prolific draftsman, keeping journals full of small sketches and detailed drawings recording all manner of things that took his attention. As well as the journals there exist many studies for paintings, some of which can be identified as preparatory to particular works such as The Adoration of the Magi, The Virgin of the Rocks and The Last Supper. His earliest dated drawing is a Landscape of the Arno Valley, 1473, which shows the river, the mountains, Montelupo Castle and the farmlands beyond it in great detail.
Among his famous drawings are the Vitruvian Man, a study of the proportions of the human body, the Head of an Angel, for The Virgin of the Rocks in the Louvre, a botanical study of Star of Bethlehem and a large drawing (160×100 cm) in black chalk on coloured paper of the The Virgin and Child with St. Anne and St. John the Baptist in the National Gallery, London. This drawing employs the subtle sfumato technique of shading, in the manner of the Mona Lisa. It is thought that Leonardo never made a painting from it, the closest similarity being to The Virgin and Child with St. Anne in the Louvre.
Other drawings of interest include numerous studies generally referred to as "caricatures" because, although exaggerated, they appear to be based upon observation of live models. Vasari relates that if Leonardo saw a person with an interesting face he would follow them around all day observing them. There are numerous studies of beautiful young men, often associated with Salai, with the rare and much admired facial feature, the so-called "Grecian profile".[nb 22] These faces are often contrasted with that of a warrior. Salai is often depicted in fancy-dress costume. Leonardo is known to have designed sets for pageants with which these may be associated. Other, often meticulous, drawings show studies of drapery. A marked development in Leonardo's ability to draw drapery occurred in his early works. Another often-reproduced drawing is a macabre sketch that was done by Leonardo in Florence in 1479 showing the body of Bernardo Baroncelli, hanged in connection with the murder of Giuliano, brother of Lorenzo de'Medici, in the Pazzi Conspiracy. With dispassionate integrity Leonardo has registered in neat mirror writing the colours of the robes that Baroncelli was wearing when he died.
Leonardo as observer, scientist and inventor
Renaissance humanism saw no mutually exclusive polarities between the sciences and the arts, and Leonardo's studies in science and engineering are as impressive and innovative as his artistic work, recorded in notebooks comprising some 13,000 pages of notes and drawings, which fuse art and natural philosophy (the forerunner of modern science). These notes were made and maintained daily throughout Leonardo's life and travels, as he made continual observations of the world around him.
The journals are mostly written in mirror-image cursive. The reason may have been more a practical expediency than for reasons of secrecy as is often suggested. Since Leonardo wrote with his left hand, it is probable that it was easier for him to write from right to left.[nb 23]
His notes and drawings display an enormous range of interests and preoccupations, some as mundane as lists of groceries and people who owed him money and some as intriguing as designs for wings and shoes for walking on water. There are compositions for paintings, studies of details and drapery, studies of faces and emotions, of animals, babies, dissections, plant studies, rock formations, whirl pools, war machines, helicopters and architecture.
These notebooks—originally loose papers of different types and sizes, distributed by friends after his death—have found their way into major collections such as the Royal Library at Windsor Castle, the Louvre, the Biblioteca Nacional de España, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan which holds the twelve-volume Codex Atlanticus, and British Library in London which has put a selection from its notebook BL Arundel MS 263 online. The Codex Leicester is the only major scientific work of Leonardo's in private hands. It is owned by Bill Gates, and is displayed once a year in different cities around the world.
Leonardo's journals appear to have been intended for publication because many of the sheets have a form and order that would facilitate this. In many cases a single topic, for example, the heart or the human foetus, is covered in detail in both words and pictures, on a single sheet.[nb 24] Why they were not published within Leonardo's lifetime is unknown.
Leonardo's approach to science was an observational one: he tried to understand a phenomenon by describing and depicting it in utmost detail, and did not emphasize experiments or theoretical explanation. Since he lacked formal education in Latin and mathematics, contemporary scholars mostly ignored Leonardo the scientist, although he did teach himself Latin. In the 1490s he studied mathematics under Luca Pacioli and prepared a series of drawings of regular solids in a skeletal form to be engraved as plates for Pacioli's book De Divina Proportione, published in 1509.
It appears that from the content of his journals he was planning a series of treatises to be published on a variety of subjects. A coherent treatise on anatomy was said to have been observed during a visit by Cardinal Louis D'Aragon's secretary in 1517. Aspects of his work on the studies of anatomy, light and the landscape were assembled for publication by his pupil Francesco Melzi and eventually published as Treatise on Painting by Leonardo da Vinci in France and Italy in 1651, and Germany in 1724, with engravings based upon drawings by the Classical painter Nicholas Poussin. According to Arasse, the treatise, which in France went into sixty two editions in fifty years, caused Leonardo to be seen as "the precursor of French academic thought on art".
A recent and exhaustive analysis of Leonardo as Scientist by Frtijof Capra argues that Leonardo was a fundamentally different kind of scientist from Galileo, Newton and other scientists who followed him. Leonardo's experimentation followed clear scientific method approaches, and his theorising and hypothesising integrated the arts and particularly painting; these, and Leonardo's unique integrated, holistic views of science make him a forerunner of modern systems theory and complexity schools of thought.
Leonardo's formal training in the anatomy of the human body began with his apprenticeship to Andrea del Verrocchio, his teacher insisting that all his pupils learn anatomy. As an artist, he quickly became master of topographic anatomy, drawing many studies of muscles, tendons and other visible anatomical features.
As a successful artist, he was given permission to dissect human corpses at the Hospital of Santa Maria Nuova in Florence and later at hospitals in Milan and Rome. From 1510 to 1511 he collaborated in his studies with the doctor Marcantonio della Torre and together they prepared a theoretical work on anatomy for which Leonardo made more than 200 drawings. It was published only in 1680 (161 years after his death) under the heading Treatise on painting.
Leonardo drew many studies of the human skeleton and its parts, as well as muscles and sinews, the heart and vascular system, the sex organs, and other internal organs. He made one of the first scientific drawings of a fetus in utero. As an artist, Leonardo closely observed and recorded the effects of age and of human emotion on the physiology, studying in particular the effects of rage. He also drew many figures who had significant facial deformities or signs of illness.
Leonardo also studied and drew the anatomy of many other animals as well, dissecting cows, birds, monkeys, bears, and frogs, and comparing in his drawings their anatomical structure with that of humans. He also made a number of studies of horses.
Engineering and inventions
During his lifetime Leonardo was valued as an engineer. In a letter to Ludovico il Moro he claimed to be able to create all sorts of machines both for the protection of a city and for siege. When he fled to Venice in 1499 he found employment as an engineer and devised a system of moveable barricades to protect the city from attack. He also had a scheme for diverting the flow of the Arno River, a project on which Niccolò Machiavelli also worked. Leonardo's journals include a vast number of inventions, both practical and impractical. They include musical instruments, hydraulic pumps, reversible crank mechanisms, finned mortar shells, and a steam cannon.
In 1502, Leonardo produced a drawing of a single span 720-foot (220 m) bridge as part of a civil engineering project for Ottoman Sultan Beyazid II of Istanbul. The bridge was intended to span an inlet at the mouth of the Bosporus known as the Golden Horn. Beyazid did not pursue the project, because he believed that such a construction was impossible. Leonardo's vision was resurrected in 2001 when a smaller bridge based on his design was constructed in Norway. On May 17, 2006, the Turkish government decided to construct Leonardo's bridge to span the Golden Horn.
For much of his life, Leonardo was fascinated by the phenomenon of flight, producing many studies of the flight of birds, including his c. 1505 Codex on the Flight of Birds, as well as plans for several flying machines, including a helicopter and a light hang glider. Most were impractical, like his aerial screw helicopter design that could not provide lift. However, the hang glider has been successfully constructed and demonstrated.
Leonardo the legend
Within Leonardo's own lifetime his fame was such that the King of France carried him away like a trophy, and was claimed to have supported him in his old age and held him in his arms as he died. The interest in Leonardo has never slackened. The crowds still queue to see his most famous artworks, T-shirts bear his most famous drawing and writers, like Vasari, continue to marvel at his genius and speculate about his private life and, particularly, about what one so intelligent actually believed in.
In the normal course of events many men and women are born with remarkable talents; but occasionally, in a way that transcends nature, a single person is marvellously endowed by Heaven with beauty, grace and talent in such abundance that he leaves other men far behind, all his actions seem inspired and indeed everything he does clearly comes from God rather than from human skill. Everyone acknowledged that this was true of Leonardo da Vinci, an artist of outstanding physical beauty, who displayed infinite grace in everything that he did and who cultivated his genius so brilliantly that all problems he studied he solved with ease.
The continued admiration that Leonardo commanded from painters, critics and historians is reflected in many other written tributes. Baldassare Castiglione, author of Il Cortegiano ("The Courtier"), wrote in 1528: "... Another of the greatest painters in this world looks down on this art in which he is unequalled ..." while the biographer known as "Anonimo Gaddiano" wrote, c. 1540: "His genius was so rare and universal that it can be said that nature worked a miracle on his behalf ...".
The 19th century brought a particular admiration for Leonardo's genius, causing Henry Fuseli to write in 1801: "Such was the dawn of modern art, when Leonardo da Vinci broke forth with a splendour that distanced former excellence: made up of all the elements that constitute the essence of genius ..." This is echoed by A. E. Rio who wrote in 1861: "He towered above all other artists through the strength and the nobility of his talents."
By the 19th century, the scope of Leonardo's notebooks was known, as well as his paintings. Hippolyte Taine wrote in 1866: "There may not be in the world an example of another genius so universal, so incapable of fulfilment, so full of yearning for the infinite, so naturally refined, so far ahead of his own century and the following centuries."
The famous art historian Bernard Berenson wrote in 1896: "Leonardo is the one artist of whom it may be said with perfect literalness: Nothing that he touched but turned into a thing of eternal beauty. Whether it be the cross section of a skull, the structure of a weed, or a study of muscles, he, with his feeling for line and for light and shade, forever transmuted it into life-communicating values."
The interest in Leonardo's genius has continued unabated; experts study and translate his writings, analyse his paintings using scientific techniques, argue over attributions and search for works which have been recorded but never found. Liana Bortolon, writing in 1967, said: "Because of the multiplicity of interests that spurred him to pursue every field of knowledge ... Leonardo can be considered, quite rightly, to have been the universal genius par excellence, and with all the disquieting overtones inherent in that term. Man is as uncomfortable today, faced with a genius, as he was in the 16th century. Five centuries have passed, yet we still view Leonardo with awe."
|Book:Leonardo da Vinci|
|Books are collections of articles that can be downloaded or ordered in print.|
- Cultural depictions of Leonardo da Vinci
- Leonardo da Vinci, A Memory of His Childhood (essay)
- Leonardo da Vinci's personal life
- List of paintings by Leonardo da Vinci
- Category:Leonardo da Vinci paintings
- Science and inventions of Leonardo da Vinci
- Codex Arundel
- Aerial perspective
- History of the internal combustion engine
- Italian Renaissance painting
- Leonardo da Vinci Airport
- Leonardo da Vinci Art Institute
- List of Italian painters
- List of vegetarians
- Medical Renaissance
- Renaissance technology
- ^ This drawing in red chalk is widely (though not universally) accepted as an original self-portrait. The main reason for hesitation in accepting it as a portrait of Leonardo is that the subject is apparently of a greater age than Leonardo ever achieved. But it is possible that he drew this picture of himself deliberately aged, specifically for Raphael's portrait of him in The School of Athens.
- ^ There are 15 significant artworks which are ascribed, either in whole or in large part, to Leonardo by most art historians. This number is made up principally of paintings on panel but includes a mural, a large drawing on paper and two works which are in the early stages of preparation. There are a number of other works that have also been variously attributed to Leonardo.
- ^ Modern scientific approaches to metallurgy and engineering were only in their infancy during the Renaissance.
- ^ A number of Leonardo's most practical inventions are displayed as working models at the Museum of Vinci.
- ^ The third hour of the night was 10:30 pm, three hours after the saying of the Ave Maria.
- ^ It has been suggested that Caterina may have been a slave from the Middle East "or at least, from the Mediterranean". According to Alessandro Vezzosi, Head of the Leonardo Museum in Vinci, there is evidence that Piero owned a Middle Eastern slave called Caterina. That Leonardo had Middle Eastern blood is claimed to be supported by the reconstruction of a fingerprint as reported by Marta Falconi, Associated Press Writer, "Experts Reconstruct Leonardo Fingerprint" December 12, 2006", accessed 2010-01-06. The evidence as stated in the article is that 60% of people of Middle Eastern Origin share the pattern of whorls found on the reconstructed fingerprint. The article also states that the claim is refuted by Simon Cole, associate professor of criminology, law and society at the University of California at Irvine. "You can't predict one person's race from these kinds of incidences," he said, especially if looking at only one finger."
- ^ The "diverse arts" and technicall skills of Medieval and Renaissance workshops are described in detail in the 12th century text On Divers Arts by Theophilus Presbyter and in the early 15th century text Il Libro Dell'arte O Trattato Della Pittui by Cennino Cennini.
- ^ That Leonardo joined the guild before this time is deduced from the record of payment made to the Compagnia di San Luca in the company's register, Libro Rosso A, 1472–1520, Accademia di Belle Arti.
- ^ This work is now in the collection of the Uffizi, Drawing No. 8P.
- ^ Homosexual acts were illegal in Renaissance Florence.
- ^ Verrocchio's statue of Bartolomeo Colleoni was not cast until 1488, after his death, and after Leonardo had already begun work on the statue for Ludovico.
- ^ In 2005, the studio was rediscovered during the restoration of part of a building occupied for 100 years by the Department of Military Geography.
- ^ Both works are lost. While the entire composition of Michelangelo's painting is known from a copy by Aristotole da Sangallo, 1542. Leonardo's painting is only known from preparatory sketches and several copies of the centre section, of which the best known, and probably least accurate is by Peter Paul Rubens.
- ^ D'Oggione is known in part for his contemporary copies of the Last Supper.
- ^ It is unknown for what occasion the mechanical lion was made but it is believed to have greeted the King at his entry into Lyon and perhaps was used for the peace talks between the French king and Pope Leo X in Bologna. A conjectural recreated of the lion has been made and is on display in the Museum of Bologna.
- ^ Clos Lucé, also called Cloux, is now a public museum.
- ^ On the day of Leonardo's death, a royal edict was issued by the King at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, a two-day journey from Clos Lucé. This has been taken as evidence that King François cannot have been present at Leonardo's deathbed. However, White in Leonardo: The First Scientist points out that the edict was not signed by the king himself.
- ^ Michael Baxandall lists 5 "laudable conditions" or reactions of Mary to the presence and announcement of the angel. These are: Disquiet, Reflection, Inquiry, Submission and Merit. In this painting Mary's attitude does not comply with any of the accepted traditions.
- ^ The painting, which in the 18th century belonged to Angelica Kauffmann, was later cut up. The two main sections were found in a junk shop and cobbler's shop and were reunited. It is probable that outer parts of the composition are missing.
- ^ Whether or not Vasari had seen the Mona Lisa is the subject of debate. The opinion that he had not seen the painting is based mainly on the fact that he describes the Mona Lisa as having eyebrows. Daniel Arasse in Leonardo da Vinci discusses the possibility that Leonardo may have painted the figure with eyebrows which were subsequently removed. (They were not fashionable in the mid 16th century.) The analysis of high resolution scans made by Pascal Cotte has revealed that the Mona Lisa had eyebrows and eyelashes which have been subsequently removed.
- ^ Jack Wasserman writes of "the inimitable treatment of the surfaces" of this painting.
- ^ The "Grecian profile" has a continuous straight line from forehead to nose-tip, the bridge of the nose being exceptionally high. It is a feature of many Classical Greek statues.
- ^ Left-handed writers using a split nib or quill pen experience difficulty pushing the pen from left to right across the page.
- ^ This method of organisation minimises of loss of data in the case of pages being mixed up or destroyed.
- ^ a b c Gardner, Helen (1970). Art through the Ages. pp. 450–456.
- ^ a b c Vasari, Boltraffio, Castiglione, "Anonimo" Gaddiano, Berensen, Taine, Fuseli, Rio, Bortolon, etc. See specific quotations under heading "Leonardo, the legend".
- ^ Rosci, Marco (1977). Leonardo. p. 8.
- ^ Vitruvian Man is referred to as "iconic" at the following websites and many others:Vitruvian Man, Fine Art Classics, Key Images in the History of Science; Curiosity and difference; The Guardian: The Real da Vinci Code
- ^ The Controversial Replica of Leonardo's Adding Machine accessdate=2010-01-07
- ^ See expanded in article Science and inventions of Leonardo da Vinci
- ^ a b Vezzosi, Alessandro (1997). Leonardo da Vinci: Renaissance Man.
- ^ a b His birth is recorded in the diary of his paternal grandfather Ser Antonio, as cited by Angela Ottino della Chiesa in Leonardo da Vinci, p.83
- ^ a b c d e f g della Chiesa, Angela Ottino (1967). The Complete Paintings of Leonardo da Vinci. p. 83.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Bortolon, Liana (1967). The Life and Times of Leonardo. London: Paul Hamlyn.
- ^ Rosci, p.20
- ^ Rosci, p.21
- ^ Brigstoke, Hugh (2001). The Oxford Companion the Western Art.
- ^ Vasari, Giorgio (1568). Lives of the Artists. Penguin Classics. pp. 258–9.
- ^ Rosci, p.13
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Arasse, Daniel (1998). Leonardo da Vinci.
- ^ Rosci, p.27
- ^ Martindale, Andrew (1972). The Rise of the Artist.
- ^ Vasari, p.258
- ^ della Chiesa, p.88
- ^ Priwer, Shana; Phillips, Cynthia (2006). The Everything Da Vinci Book. pp. 245.
- ^ a b Wasserman, Jack (1975). Leonardo da Vinci. pp. 77–78.
- ^ Winternitz, Emanuel (1982). Leonardo Da Vinci As a Musician.
- ^ Rossi, Paolo (2001). The Birth of Modern Science. p. 33.
- ^ "Leonardo's Letter to Ludovico Sforza". Leonardo-History. http://www.leonardo-history.com/life.htm?Section=S5. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
- ^ Kemp, Martin (2004). Leonardo.
- ^ Codex II, 95 r, Victoria and Albert Museum, as cited by della Chiesa p. 85
- ^ a b c d della Chiesa, p.85
- ^ Vasari, p.256
- ^ Owen, Richard (2005-01-12). "Found: the studio where Leonardo met Mona Lisa". London: The Times. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/article411195.ece. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
- ^ Goldscheider, Ludwig (1967). Michelangelo: paintings, sculptures, architecture. Phaidon Press. ISBN 9780714813141.
- ^ della Chiesa, pp.106–107
- ^ Gaetano Milanesi, Epistolario Buonarroti, Florence (1875), as cited by della Chiesa.
- ^ a b c della Chiesa, p.86
- ^ Georges Goyau, François I], Transcribed by Gerald Rossi. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VI. Published 1909. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved on 2007-10-04
- ^ Miranda, Salvador (1998–2007). "The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church: Antoine du Prat". http://www.fiu.edu/~mirandas/bios1527-ii.htm. Retrieved 2007-10-04.
- ^ a b Vasari, p.265
- ^ "Reconstruction of Leonardo's walking lion" (in Italian). http://www.ancientandautomata.com/ita/lavori/leone.htm. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
- ^ For such images, see Cultural depictions of Leonardo da Vinci.
- ^ Vasari, p.270
- ^ "Leonardo's will". Leonardo-history. http://www.leonardo-history.com/life.htm?Section=S6. Retrieved 2007-09-28.
- ^ Mario Lucertini, Ana Millan Gasca, Fernando Nicolo (2004). Technological Concepts and Mathematical Models in the Evolution of Modern Engineering Systems. Birkhäuser. ISBN 9783764369408. http://books.google.com/?id=YISIUycS4HgC&pg=PA13&lpg=PA13&dq=leonardo+cellini+francois+philosopher. Retrieved 2007-10-03.
- ^ Rosci, p. 13
- ^ a b c d e f Hartt, Frederich (1970). A History of Italian Renaissance Art. pp. 127–333.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i Rosci, Leonardo, chapter 1, the historical setting, pp.9–20
- ^ a b c Brucker, Gene A. (1969). Renaissance Florence.
- ^ a b c d e Rachum, Ilan (1979). The Renaissance, an Illustrated Encyclopedia.
- ^ Piero della Francesca, On Perspective for Painting (De Prospectiva Pingendi)
- ^ Leon Battista Alberti, De Pictura, 1435. On Painting, in English, De Pictura, in Latin
- ^ Hartt, pp.391–2
- ^ Williamson, Hugh Ross (1974). Lorenzo the Magnificent.
- ^ Vasari, p.253
- ^ Vasari, p.257
- ^ Eugene Muntz, Leonardo da Vinci Artist, Thinker, and Man of Science (1898), quoted at Leonardo da Vinci's Ethical Vegetarianism
- ^ Bambach, Carmen (2003). "Leonardo, Left-Handed Draftsman and Writer". New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art. http://www.metmuseum.org/special/Leonardo_Master_Draftsman/draftsman_left_essay.asp. Retrieved 2009-10-18.
- ^ Sigmund Freud, Eine Kindheitserinnerung des Leonardo da Vinci, (1910)
- ^ Michael Rocke, Forbidden Friendships epigraph, p. 148 & N120 p.298
- ^ Leonardo, Codex C. 15v, Institut of France. Trans. Richter
- ^ della Chiesa, p.84
- ^ Gross, Tom. "Mona Lisa Goes Topless". Paintingsdirect.com. http://web.archive.org/web/20070403073656/www.paintingsdirect.com/content/artnews/032001/artnews1.html. Retrieved 2007-09-27.
- ^ Rossiter, Nick (2003-07-04). "Could this be the secret of her smile?". London: Telegraph.co.UK. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2003/04/07/banr.xml. Retrieved 2007-10-03.
- ^ By the 1490s Leonardo had already been described as a "Divine" painter. His fame is discussed by Daniel Arasse in Leonardo da Vinci, pp.11–15
- ^ These qualities of Leonardo's works are discussed by Frederick Hartt in A History of Italian Renaissance Art, pp.387–411.
- ^ della Chiesa, pp. 88, 90
- ^ a b Berti, Luciano (1971). The Uffizi. pp. 59–62.
- ^ Baxandall, Michael (1974). Painting and Experience in Fifteenth Century Italy. pp. 49–56.
- ^ a b Wasserman, pp.104–6
- ^ Wasserman, p.108
- ^ "The Mysterious Virgin". National Gallery, London. http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/collection/features/potm/2006/may/feature1.htm. Retrieved 2007-09-27.
- ^ Wasserman, p.124
- ^ Vasari, p.263
- ^ Vasari, p.262
- ^ della Chiesa, p.97
- ^ della Chiesa, p.98
- ^ Vasari, p.267
- ^ "The Mona Lisa had brows and lashes". BBC News. October 22, 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7056041.stm. Retrieved 2008-02-22.
- ^ Wasserman, p.144
- ^ Vasari, p.266
- ^ della Chiesa, p.103
- ^ Wasserman, p.150
- ^ della Chiesa, p.109
- ^ a b c d e f g h Popham, A.E. (1946). The Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci.
- ^ della Chiesa, p.102
- ^ Vasari, p.261
- ^ "Sketches by Leonardo". Turning the Pages. British Library. http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/ttp/ttpbooks.html. Retrieved 2007-09-27.
- ^ Windsor Castle, Royal Library, sheets RL 19073v-19074v and RL 19102 respectively.
- ^ O'Malley; Saunders (1982). Leonardo on the Human Body. New York: Dover Publications.
- ^ della Chiesa, p.117
- ^ Capra, Fritjof. The Science of Leonardo; Inside the Mind of the Genius of the Renaissance. (New York, Doubleday, 2007)
- ^ Roger Masters (1996). Machiavelli, Leonardo and the Science of Power.
- ^ Roger Masters (1998). Fortune is a River: Leonardo Da Vinci and Niccolo Machiavelli's Magnificent Dream to Change the Course of Florentine History.
- ^ The Leonardo Bridge Project
- ^ Levy, Daniel S. (October 4, 1999). "Dream of the Master". Time magazine. http://www.vebjorn-sand.com/dreamsofthemaster.html. Retrieved 2007-09-27.
- ^ The U.S. Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), aired in October 2005, a television programme called "Leonardo's Dream Machines", about the building and successful flight of a glider based on Leonardo's design.
- ^ see reference to this in section "Old age".
- ^ Vasari, p.255
- ^ Castiglione, Baldassare (1528). Il Cortegiano.
- ^ "Anonimo Gaddiani", elaborating on Libro di Antonio Billi, 1537–1542
- ^ Fuseli, Henry (1801). Lectures. II.
- ^ Rio, A.E. (1861). L'art chrétien.
- ^ Taine, Hippolyte (1866). Voyage en Italie.
- ^ Berenson, Bernard (1896). The Italian Painters of the Renaissance.
- ^ Melinda Henneberger. "ArtNews article about current studies into Leonardo's life and works". Art News Online. http://web.archive.org/web/20060505165842/http://www.artnewsonline.com/currentarticle.cfm?art_id=1240. Retrieved 2010-01-10.
- Daniel Arasse (1997). Leonardo da Vinci. Konecky & Konecky. ISBN 1 56852 1987.
- Michael Baxandall (1974). Painting and Experience in Fifteenth Century Italy. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0 19 881329 5.
- Fred Bérence (1965). Léonard de Vinci, L'homme et son oeuvre. Somogy. Dépot légal 4° trimestre 1965.
- Luciano Berti (1971). The Uffizi. Scala.
- Liana Bortolon (1967). The Life and Times of Leonardo. Paul Hamlyn, London.
- Hugh Brigstoke (2001). The Oxford Companion the Western Art. USA: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0198662033.
- Gene A. Brucker (1969). Renaissance Florence. Wiley and Sons. ISBN 0 471 11370 0.
- Cennino Cennini (2009). Il Libro Dell'arte O Trattato Della Pittui. USA: BiblioBazaar. ISBN 9781103390328.
- Angela Ottino della Chiesa (1967). The Complete Paintings of Leonardo da Vinci. Penguin Classics of World Art series. ISBN 0-14-00-8649-8.
- Simona Cremante (2005). Leonardo da Vinci: Artist, Scientist, Inventor. Giunti. ISBN 88-09-03891-6 (hardback).
- Frederich Hartt (1970). A History of Italian Renaissance Art. Thames and Hudson. ISBN 0500231362.
- Michael H. Hart (1992). The 100. Carol Publishing Group. ISBN 0-8065-1350-0 (paperback).
- Martin Kemp (2004). Leonardo. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0192806440.
- Mario Lucertini, Ana Millan Gasca, Fernando Nicolo (2004). Technological Concepts and Mathematical Models in the Evolution of Modern Engineering Systems. Birkhauser. ISBN 376436940X.
- John N. Lupia. The Secret Revealed: How to Look at Italian Renaissance Painting. Medieval and Renaissance Times, Vol. 1, no. 2 (Summer, 1994): 6–17. ISSN 1075-2110.
- Andrew Martindale (1972). The Rise of the Artist. Thames and Hudson. ISBN 0-5000-56006.
- Roger Masters (1996). Machiavelli, Leonardo and the Science of Power. University of Notre Dame Press. ISBN 0-268-01433-7.
- Roger Masters (1998). Fortune is a River: Leonardo Da Vinci and Niccolo Machiavelli's Magnificent Dream to Change the Course of Florentine History. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-452-28090-7.
- Charles D. O'Malley and J. B. de C. M. Sounders (1952). Leonardo on the Human Body: The Anatomical, Physiological, and Embryological Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci. With Translations, Emendations and a Biographical Introduction. Henry Schuman, New York.
- Charles Nicholl (2005). Leonardo da Vinci, The Flights of the Mind. Penguin. ISBN 0-14-029681-6.
- Sherwin B. Nuland (2001). Leonardo Da Vinci. Phoenix Press. ISBN 0-7538-1269.
- A.E. Popham (1946). The Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci. Jonathan Cape. ISBN 0 224 60462 7.
- Shana Priwer & Cynthia Phillips (2006). The Everything Da Vinci Book: Explore the Life and Times of the Ultimate Renaissance Man. Adams Media. ISBN 1598691015.
- Ilan Rachum (1979). The Renaissance, an Illustrated Encyclopedia. Octopus. ISBN 0-7064-0857-8.
- Jean Paul Richter (1970). The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci. Dover. ISBN 0-486-22572-0 and ISBN 0-486-22573-9 (paperback). 2 volumes. A reprint of the original 1883 edition.
- Marco Rosci (1977). Leonardo. Bay Books Pty Ltd. ISBN 0858351765.
- Paolo Rossi (2001). The Birth of Modern Science. Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 0631227113.
- Bruno Santi (1990). Leonardo da Vinci. Scala / Riverside.
- Theophilus (1963). On Divers Arts. USA: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226794822.
- Jack Wasserman (1975). Leonardo da Vinci. Abrams. ISBN 0-8109-0262-1.
- Giorgio Vasari (1568). Lives of the Artists. Penguin Classics, trans. George Bull 1965. ISBN 0-14-044-164-6.
- Williamson, Hugh Ross (1974). Lorenzo the Magnificent. Michael Joseph. ISBN 07181 12040.
- Emanuel Winternitz (1982). Leonardo Da Vinci As a Musician. USA: Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300026313.
- Alessandro Vezzosi (1997 (English translation)). Leonardo da Vinci: Renaissance Man. Thames & Hudson Ltd, London. ISBN 0-500-30081-X.
- Frank Zollner (2003). Leonardo da Vinci: The Complete Paintings and Drawings. Taschen. ISBN 3-8228-1734-1 (hardback). [The chapter "The Graphic Works" is by Frank Zollner & Johannes Nathan].
|Find more about Leonardo da Vinci on Wikipedia's sister projects:|
|Definitions from Wiktionary |
|Textbooks from Wikibooks |
|Quotations from Wikiquote |
|Source texts from Wikisource |
|Images and media from Commons |
|News stories from Wikinews |
|Learning resources from Wikiversity |
- "Leonardo da Vinci" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- Leonardo da Vinci: Experience, Experiment, Design (review)
- Works by Leonardo da Vinci at Project Gutenberg
- Leonardo da Vinci by Maurice Walter Brockwell at Project Gutenberg
- Complete text & images of Richter's translation of the Notebooks
- Vasari Life of Leonardo: in Lives of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects.
- Web Gallery of Leonardo Paintings
- Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci
- Da Vinci Decoded Article from The Guardian
- The true face of Leonardo Da Vinci?
- Leonardo da Vinci's Ethical Vegetarianism
- The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci
- "Leonardo da Vinci". Find a Grave. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=3673.
|Key: *Attributed (see here for details) · **Collaboration with Verrocchio · †Lost|
†Medusa · **The Baptism of Christ · The Annunciation · *Ginevra de' Benci · *The Madonna of the Carnation · *Benois Madonna · St. Jerome in the Wilderness · The Adoration of the Magi · The Virgin of the Rocks (Louvre version) · *Lady with an Ermine · *Portrait of a Musician · *Madonna Litta · *La belle ferronnière · The Last Supper · *Madonna of the Yarnwinder · Mona Lisa · The Virgin of the Rocks (London version) · †The Battle of Anghiari · †Leda and the Swan · The Virgin and Child with St. Anne · St. John the Baptist · *Bacchus
Leonardo's horse (unexecuted)
|Works on paper|
|Cultural depictions of Leonardo da Vinci · Science and inventions of Leonardo da Vinci · Leonardo da Vinci's personal life|
Portrait of Michelangelo by Jacopino del Conte (after 1535) at the age of 60
|Birth name||Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni|
|Born||6 March 1475(1475-03-06) |
near Arezzo, Caprese, Tuscany
|Died||18 February 1564 (aged 88) |
|Field||sculpture, painting, architecture, and poetry|
|Training||Apprentice to Domenico Ghirlandaio |
|Works||David, The Creation of Adam, Pietà|
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (6 March 1475 – 18 February 1564), commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer. Despite making few forays beyond the arts, his versatility in the disciplines he took up was of such a high order that he is often considered a contender for the title of the archetypal Renaissance man, along with his rival and fellow Italian, Leonardo da Vinci.
Michelangelo's output in every field during his long life was prodigious; when the sheer volume of correspondence, sketches, and reminiscences that survive is also taken into account, he is the best-documented artist of the 16th century. Two of his best-known works, the Pietà and David, were sculpted before he turned thirty. Despite his low opinion of painting, Michelangelo also created two of the most influential works in fresco in the history of Western art: the scenes from Genesis on the ceiling and The Last Judgment on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel in Rome. As an architect, Michelangelo pioneered the Mannerist style at the Laurentian Library. At 74 he succeeded Antonio da Sangallo the Younger as the architect of Saint Peter's Basilica. Michelangelo transformed the plan, the western end being finished to Michelangelo's design, the dome being completed after his death with some modification.
In a demonstration of Michelangelo's unique standing, he was the first Western artist whose biography was published while he was alive. Two biographies were published of him during his lifetime; one of them, by Giorgio Vasari, proposed that he was the pinnacle of all artistic achievement since the beginning of the Renaissance, a viewpoint that continued to have currency in art history for centuries. In his lifetime he was also often called Il Divino ("the divine one"). One of the qualities most admired by his contemporaries was his terribilità, a sense of awe-inspiring grandeur, and it was the attempts of subsequent artists to imitate Michelangelo's impassioned and highly personal style that resulted in Mannerism, the next major movement in Western art after the High Renaissance.
Michelangelo was born on 6 March 1475[a] in Caprese near Arezzo, Tuscany. For several generations, his family had been small-scale bankers in Florence, but his father, Lodovico di Leonardo di Buonarroti di Simoni, failed to maintain the bank's financial status, and held occasional government positions. At the time of Michelangelo's birth, his father was the Judicial administrator of the small town of Caprese and local administrator of Chiusi. Michelangelo's mother was Francesca di Neri del Miniato di Siena. The Buonarrotis claimed to descend from the Countess Mathilde of Canossa; this claim remains unproven, but Michelangelo himself believed it. Several months after Michelangelo's birth, the family returned to Florence, where Michelangelo was raised. At later times, during the prolonged illness and after the death of his mother when he was seven years old, Michelangelo lived with a stonecutter and his wife and family in the town of Settignano, where his father owned a marble quarry and a small farm. Giorgio Vasari quotes Michelangelo as saying, "If there is some good in me, it is because I was born in the subtle atmosphere of your country of Arezzo. Along with the milk of my nurse I received the knack of handling chisel and hammer, with which I make my figures."
Michelangelo's father sent him to study grammar with the Humanist Francesco da Urbino in Florence as a young boy.[b] The young artist, however, showed no interest in his schooling, preferring to copy paintings from churches and seek the company of painters. At thirteen, Michelangelo was apprenticed to the painter Domenico Ghirlandaio. When Michelangelo was only fourteen, his father persuaded Ghirlandaio to pay his apprentice as an artist, which was highly unusual at the time. When in 1489 Lorenzo de' Medici, de facto ruler of Florence, asked Ghirlandaio for his two best pupils, Ghirlandaio sent Michelangelo and Francesco Granacci. From 1490 to 1492, Michelangelo attended the Humanist academy which the Medici had founded along Neo Platonic lines. Michelangelo studied sculpture under Bertoldo di Giovanni. At the academy, both Michelangelo's outlook and his art were subject to the influence of many of the most prominent philosophers and writers of the day including Marsilio Ficino, Pico della Mirandola and Angelo Poliziano. At this time, Michelangelo sculpted the reliefs Madonna of the Steps (1490–1492) and Battle of the Centaurs (1491–1492). The latter was based on a theme suggested by Poliziano and was commissioned by Lorenzo de Medici. While both were apprenticed to Bertoldo di Giovanni, Pietro Torrigiano struck the 17 year old on the nose, and thus caused that disfigurement which is so conspicuous in all the portraits of Michelangelo.
Lorenzo de' Medici's death on 8 April 1492 brought a reversal of Michelangelo's circumstances. Michelangelo left the security of the Medici court and returned to his father's house. In the following months he carved a wooden crucifix (1493), as a gift to the prior of the Florentine church of Santo Spirito, who had permitted him some studies of anatomy on the corpses of the church's hospital. Between 1493 and 1494 he bought a block of marble for a larger than life statue of Hercules, which was sent to France and subsequently disappeared sometime circa 1700s.[c] On 20 January 1494, after heavy snowfalls, Lorenzo's heir, Piero de Medici commissioned a snow statue, and Michelangelo again entered the court of the Medici.
In the same year, the Medici were expelled from Florence as the result of the rise of Savonarola. Michelangelo left the city before the end of the political upheaval, moving to Venice and then to Bologna. In Bologna, he was commissioned to finish the carving of the last small figures of the Shrine of St. Dominic, in the church dedicated to that saint. Towards the end 1494, the political situation in Florence was calmer. The city, previously under threat from the French, was no longer in danger as Charles VIII had suffered defeats. Michelangelo returned to Florence but received no commissions from the new city government under Savonarola. He returned to the employment of the Medici. During the half year he spent in Florence he worked on two small statues, a child St. John the Baptist and a sleeping Cupid. According to Condivi, Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de' Medici, for whom Michelangelo had sculpted St. John the Baptist, asked that Michelangelo "fix it so that it looked as if it had been buried" so he could "send it to Rome…pass [it off as] an ancient work and…sell it much better." Both Lorenzo and Michelangelo were unwittingly cheated out of the real value of the piece by a middleman. Cardinal Raffaele Riario, to whom Lorenzo had sold it, discovered that it was a fraud, but was so impressed by the quality of the sculpture that he invited the artist to Rome. [d] This apparent success in selling his sculpture abroad as well as the conservative Florentine situation may have encouraged Michelangelo to accept the prelate's invitation.
Michelangelo arrived in Rome 25 June 1496 at the age of 21. On 4 July of the same year, he began work on a commission for Cardinal Raffaele Riario, an over-life-size statue of the Roman wine god, Bacchus. However, upon completion, the work was rejected by the cardinal, and subsequently entered the collection of the banker Jacopo Galli, for his garden.
In November of 1497, the French ambassador in the Holy See commissioned one of his most famous works, the Pietà and the contract was agreed upon in August of the following year. The contemporary opinion about this work — "a revelation of all the potentialities and force of the art of sculpture" — was summarized by Vasari: "It is certainly a miracle that a formless block of stone could ever have been reduced to a perfection that nature is scarcely able to create in the flesh."
In Rome, Michelangelo lived near the church of Santa Maria di Loreto. Here, according to the legend, he fell in love with Vittoria Colonna, marquise of Pescara and a poet. His house was demolished in 1874, and the remaining architectural elements saved by the new proprietors were destroyed in 1930. Today a modern reconstruction of Michelangelo's house can be seen on the Gianicolo hill. It is also during this period that skeptics allege Michelangelo executed the sculpture Laocoön and His Sons which resides in the Vatican.
Statue of David
Michelangelo returned to Florence in 1499–1501. Things were changing in the republic after the fall of anti-Renaissance Priest and leader of Florence, Girolamo Savonarola (executed in 1498) and the rise of the gonfaloniere Pier Soderini. He was asked by the consuls of the Guild of Wool to complete an unfinished project begun 40 years earlier by Agostino di Duccio: a colossal statue portraying David as a symbol of Florentine freedom, to be placed in the Piazza della Signoria, in front of the Palazzo Vecchio. Michelangelo responded by completing his most famous work, the Statue of David in 1504. This masterwork, created out of a marble block from the quarries at Carrara that had already been worked on by an earlier hand, definitively established his prominence as a sculptor of extraordinary technical skill and strength of symbolic imagination.
Also during this period, Michelangelo painted the Holy Family and St John, also known as the Doni Tondo or the Holy Family of the Tribune: it was commissioned for the marriage of Angelo Doni and Maddalena Strozzi and in the 17th century hung in the room known as the Tribune in the Uffizi. He also may have painted the Madonna and Child with John the Baptist, known as the Manchester Madonna and now in the National Gallery, London.
Sistine Chapel ceiling
In 1505 Michelangelo was invited back to Rome by the newly elected Pope Julius II. He was commissioned to build the Pope's tomb. Under the patronage of the Pope, Michelangelo had to constantly stop work on the tomb in order to accomplish numerous other tasks. Because of these interruptions, Michelangelo worked on the tomb for 40 years. The tomb, of which the central feature is Michelangelo's statue of Moses, was never finished to Michelangelo's satisfaction. It is located in the Church of S. Pietro in Vincoli in Rome.
During the same period, Michelangelo took the commission to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, which took approximately four years to complete (1508–1512). According to Michelangelo's account, Bramante and Raphael convinced the Pope to commission Michelangelo in a medium not familiar to the artist. This was done in order that he, Michelangelo, would suffer unfavorable comparisons with his rival Raphael, who at the time was at the peak of his own artistry as the primo fresco painter. However, this story is discounted by modern historians on the grounds of contemporary evidence, and may merely have been a reflection of the artist's own perspective.
Michelangelo was originally commissioned to paint the 12 Apostles against a starry sky, but lobbied for a different and more complex scheme, representing creation, the Downfall of Man and the Promise of Salvation through the prophets and Genealogy of Christ. The work is part of a larger scheme of decoration within the chapel which represents much of the doctrine of the Catholic Church.
The composition eventually contained over 300 figures and had at its center nine episodes from the Book of Genesis, divided into three groups: God's Creation of the Earth; God's Creation of Humankind and their fall from God's grace; and lastly, the state of Humanity as represented by Noah and his family. On the pendentives supporting the ceiling are painted twelve men and women who prophesied the coming of the Jesus. They are seven prophets of Israel and five Sibyls, prophetic women of the Classical world.
Among the most famous paintings on the ceiling are the Creation of Adam, Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the Great Flood, the Prophet Isaiah and the Cumaean Sibyl. Around the windows are painted the ancestors of Christ.
Under Medici Popes in Florence
In 1513 Pope Julius II died and his successor Pope Leo X, a Medici, commissioned Michelangelo to reconstruct the façade of the basilica of San Lorenzo in Florence and to adorn it with sculptures. Michelangelo agreed reluctantly. The three years he spent in creating drawings and models for the facade, as well as attempting to open a new marble quarry at Pietrasanta specifically for the project, were among the most frustrating in his career, as work was abruptly cancelled by his financially strapped patrons before any real progress had been made. The basilica lacks a facade to this day.
Apparently not the least embarrassed by this turnabout, the Medici later came back to Michelangelo with another grand proposal, this time for a family funerary chapel in the basilica of San Lorenzo. Fortunately for posterity, this project, occupying the artist for much of the 1520s and 1530s, was more fully realized.
In 1527, the Florentine citizens, encouraged by the sack of Rome, threw out the Medici and restored the republic. A siege of the city ensued, and Michelangelo went to the aid of his beloved Florence by working on the city's fortifications from 1528 to 1529. The city fell in 1530 and the Medici were restored to power. Completely out of sympathy with the repressive reign of the ducal Medici, Michelangelo left Florence for good in the mid-1530s, leaving assistants to complete the Medici chapel.
Last works in Rome
The fresco of The Last Judgment on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel was commissioned by Pope Clement VII, who died shortly after assigning the commission. Paul III was instrumental in seeing that Michelangelo began and completed the project. Michelangelo labored on the project from 1534 to October 1541. The work is massive and spans the entire wall behind the altar of the Sistine Chapel. The Last Judgment is a depiction of the second coming of Christ and the apocalypse; where the souls of humanity rise and are assigned to their various fates, as judged by Christ, surrounded by the Saints.
Once completed, the depictions of nakedness in the papal chapel was considered obscene and sacrilegious, and Cardinal Carafa and Monsignor Sernini (Mantua's ambassador) campaigned to have the fresco removed or censored, but the Pope resisted. After Michelangelo's death, it was decided to obscure the genitals ("Pictura in Cappella Ap.ca coopriantur"). So Daniele da Volterra, an apprentice of Michelangelo, was commissioned to cover with perizomas (briefs) the genitals, leaving unaltered the complex of bodies. When the work was restored in 1993, the conservators chose not to remove all the perizomas of Daniele, leaving some of them as a historical document, and because some of Michelangelo’s work was previously scraped away by the touch-up artist's application of “decency” to the masterpiece. A faithful uncensored copy of the original, by Marcello Venusti, can be seen at the Capodimonte Museum of Naples.
Censorship always followed Michelangelo, once described as "inventor delle porcherie" ("inventor of obscenities", in the original Italian language referring to "pork things"). The infamous "fig-leaf campaign" of the Counter-Reformation, aiming to cover all representations of human genitals in paintings and sculptures, started with Michelangelo's works. To give two examples, the marble statue of Cristo della Minerva (church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva, Rome) was covered by added drapery, as it remains today, and the statue of the naked child Jesus in Madonna of Bruges (The Church of Our Lady in Bruges, Belgium) remained covered for several decades. Also, the plaster copy of the David in the Cast Courts (Victoria and Albert Museum) in London, has a fig leaf in a box at the back of the statue. It was there to be placed over the statue's genitals so that they would not upset visiting female royalty.
In 1546, Michelangelo was appointed architect of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, and designed its dome. As St. Peter's was progressing there was concern that Michelangelo would pass away before the dome was finished. However, once building commenced on the lower part of the dome, the supporting ring, the completion of the design was inevitable. Michelangelo died in Rome in the age of 88 (three weeks before 89th birthday). His body was brought back from Rome for interment at the Basilica di Santa Croce, fulfilling the maestro's last request to be buried in his beloved Tuscany.
Last sketch found
On 7 December 2007, Michelangelo's red chalk sketch for the dome of St Peter's Basilica, his last before his death in 1564, was discovered in the Vatican archives. It is extremely rare, since he destroyed his designs later in life. The sketch is a partial plan for one of the radial columns of the cupola drum of Saint Peter's.
Michelangelo worked on many projects that had been started by other men, most notably in his work at St Peter's Basilica, Rome. The Campidoglio, designed by Michelangelo during the same period, rationalized the structures and spaces of Rome's Capitoline Hill. Its shape, more a rhomboid than a square, was intended to counteract the effects of perspective. The major Florentine architectural projects by Michelangelo are the unexecuted façade for the Basilica of San Lorenzo, Florence and the Medici Chapel (Capella Medicea) and Laurentian Library there, and the fortifications of Florence. The major Roman projects are St. Peter's, Palazzo Farnese, San Giovanni dei Fiorentini, the Sforza Chapel (Capella Sforza) in the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, Porta Pia and Santa Maria degli Angeli.
Around 1530 Michelangelo designed the Laurentian Library in Florence, attached to the church of San Lorenzo. He produced new styles such as pilasters tapering thinner at the bottom, and a staircase with contrasting rectangular and curving forms.
Michelangelo designed the Medici Chapel and in fact used his own discretion to create its composition. The Medici Chapel has monuments in it dedicated to certain members of the Medici family. Michelangelo never finished the project, so his pupils later completed it. Lorenzo the Magnificent was buried at the entrance wall of the Medici Chapel. Sculptures of the "Madonna and Child" and the Medici patron saints Cosmas and Damian were set over his burial. The "madonna and child" was Michelangelo's own work. The concealed corridor with wall drawings of Michelangelo under the New Sacristy discovered in 1976. 
Michelangelo, who was often arrogant with others and constantly dissatisfied with himself, saw art as originating from inner inspiration and from culture. In contradiction to the ideas of his rival, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo saw nature as an enemy that had to be overcome. The figures that he created are forceful and dynamic, each in its own space apart from the outside world. For Michelangelo, the job of the sculptor was to free the forms that were already inside the stone. He believed that every stone had a sculpture within it, and that the work of sculpting was simply a matter of chipping away all that was not a part of the statue.
Several anecdotes reveal that Michelangelo's skill, especially in sculpture, was greatly admired in his own time. Another Lorenzo de Medici wanted to use Michelangelo to make some money. He had Michelangelo sculpt a Cupid that looked worn and old. Lorenzo paid Michelangelo 30 ducats, but sold the Cupid for 200 ducats. Cardinal Raffaele Riario became suspicious and sent someone to investigate. The man had Michelangelo do a sketch for him of a Cupid, and then told Michelangelo that while he received 30 ducats for his Cupid, Lorenzo had passed the Cupid off for an antique and sold it for 200 ducats. Michelangelo then confessed that he had done the Cupid, but had no idea that he had been cheated. After the truth was revealed, the Cardinal later took this as proof of his skill and commissioned his Bacchus. Another better-known anecdote claims that when finishing the Moses (San Pietro in Vincoli, Rome), Michelangelo violently hit the knee of the statue with a hammer, shouting, "Why don't you speak to me?"
In his personal life, Michelangelo was abstemious. He told his apprentice, Ascanio Condivi: "However rich I may have been, I have always lived like a poor man." Condivi said he was indifferent to food and drink, eating "more out of necessity than of pleasure" and that he "often slept in his clothes and ... boots." These habits may have made him unpopular. His biographer Paolo Giovio says, "His nature was so rough and uncouth that his domestic habits were incredibly squalid, and deprived posterity of any pupils who might have followed him." He may not have minded, since he was by nature a solitary and melancholy person. He had a reputation for being bizzarro e fantastico because he "withdrew himself from the company of men." 
While clearly having a keen appreciation for the nude form resurgent in the Renaissance, fundamental to Michelangelo's art is his love of male beauty which seems to have particularly attracted him both aesthetically and emotionally. In part, this was an expression of the Renaissance idealization of masculinity. But in Michelangelo's art there is clearly a sensual response to this aesthetic.
The sculptor's expressions of love have been characterized as both Neoplatonic and openly homoerotic; recent scholarship seeks an interpretation which respects both readings, yet is wary of drawing absolute conclusions. One example of the conundrum is Cecchino dei Bracci, whose death, only a year after their meeting in 1543, inspired the writing of forty eight funeral epigrams, which by some accounts allude to a relationship that was not only romantic but physical as well:
La carne terra, e qui l'ossa mia, prive
de' lor begli occhi, e del leggiadro aspetto
fan fede a quel ch'i' fu grazia nel letto,
che abbracciava, e' n che l'anima vive.
The flesh now earth, and here my bones,
Bereft of handsome eyes, and jaunty air,
Still loyal are to him I joyed in bed,
Whom I embraced, in whom my soul now lives.
According to others, they represent an emotionless and elegant re-imagining of Platonic dialogue, whereby erotic poetry was seen as an expression of refined sensibilities (Indeed, it must be remembered that professions of love in 16th century Italy were given a far wider application than now). Some young men were street wise and took advantage of the sculptor. Febo di Poggio, in 1532, peddled his charms—in answer to Michelangelo's love poem he asks for money. Earlier, Gherardo Perini, in 1522, had stolen from him shamelessly. Michelangelo defended his privacy above all. When an employee of his friend Niccolò Quaratesi offered his son as apprentice suggesting that he would be good even in bed, Michelangelo refused indignantly, suggesting Quaratesi fire the man.
The greatest written expression of his love was given to Tommaso dei Cavalieri (c. 1509–1587), who was 23 years old when Michelangelo met him in 1532, at the age of 57. Cavalieri was open to the older man's affection: I swear to return your love. Never have I loved a man more than I love you, never have I wished for a friendship more than I wish for yours. Cavalieri remained devoted to Michelangelo until his death.
Michelangelo dedicated to him over three hundred sonnets and madrigals, constituting the largest sequence of poems that he composed. Some modern commentators assert that the relationship was merely a Platonic affection, even suggesting that Michelangelo was seeking a surrogate son. However, their homoerotic nature was recognized in his own time, so that a decorous veil was drawn across them by his grand nephew, Michelangelo the Younger, who published an edition of the poetry in 1623 with the gender of pronouns changed. John Addington Symonds, the early British homosexual activist, undid this change by translating the original sonnets into English and writing a two-volume biography, published in 1893.
Late in life he nurtured a great love for the poet and noble widow Vittoria Colonna, whom he met in Rome in 1536 or 1538 and who was in her late forties at the time. They wrote sonnets for each other and were in regular contact until she died.
It is impossible to know for certain whether Michelangelo had physical relationships (Condivi ascribed to him a "monk-like chastity"), but through his poetry and visual art we may at least glimpse the arc of his imagination.
- List of works by Michelangelo
- Michelangelo phenomenon
- Renaissance painting
- Restoration of the Sistine Chapel frescoes
- Medici Chapel
- a. ^ Michelangelo's father marks the date as 6 March 1474 in the Florentine manner ab Incarnatione. However, in the Roman manner, ab Nativitate, it is 1475.
- b. ^ Sources disagree as to how old Michelangelo was when he departed for school. De Tolnay writes that it was at ten years old while Sedgwick notes in her translation of Condivi that Michelangelo was seven.
- c. ^ The Strozzi family acquired the sculpture Hercules. Filippo Strozzi sold it to Francis I in 1529. In 1594, Henry IV installed it in the Jardin d'Estang at Fontainebleau where it disappeared in 1713 when the Jardin d'Estange was destroyed.
- d. ^ Vasari makes no mention of this episode and Paolo Giovio's Life of Michelangelo indicates that Michelangelo tried to pass the statue off as an antique himself.
- ^ a b c "Web Gallery of Art, image collection, virtual museum, searchable database of European fine arts (1100–1850)". www.wga.hu. http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/bio/m/michelan/biograph.html. Retrieved 13 June 2008.
- ^ a b Michelangelo. (2008). Encyclopædia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite.
- ^ Emison, Patricia. A (2004). Creating the "Divine Artist": from Dante to Michelangelo. Brill. ISBN 9789004137097. http://books.google.com/?id=1EofecqX_vsC&pg=PA144&lpg=PA144&dq=michelangelo+%22il+divino%22.
- ^ a b c J. de Tolnay, The Youth of Michelangelo, 11
- ^ a b C. Clément, Michelangelo, 5
- ^ A. Condivi, The Life of Michelangelo, 5
- ^ a b A. Condivi, The Life of Michelangelo, 9
- ^ R. Liebert, Michelangelo: A Psychoanalytic Study of his Life and Images, 59
- ^ C. Clément, Michelangelo, 7
- ^ C. Clément, Michelangelo, 9
- ^ J. de Tolnay, The Youth of Michelangelo, 18–19
- ^ a b A. Condivi, The Life of Michelangelo, 15
- ^ "Will the Real Michelangelo Please Stand Up?". http://arthistory.about.com/b/2008/07/27/will-the-real-michelangelo-please-stand-up.htm. Retrieved 14 December 2009.
- ^ a b J. de Tolnay, The Youth of Michelangelo, 20–21
- ^ A. Condivi, The Life of Michelangelo, 17
- ^ a b J. de Tolnay, The Youth of Michelangelo, 24–25
- ^ A. Condivi, The Life of Michelangelo, 19–20
- ^ J. de Tolnay, The Youth of Michelangelo, 26–28
- ^ Catterson, Lynn. "Michelangelo's 'Laocoön?'" Artibus et historiae. 52. 2005: p. 33
- ^ "Michelangelo 'last sketch' found". BBC News. 7 December 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7133116.stm. Retrieved 9 February 2009.
- ^ Peter Barenboim, "Michelangelo Drawings - Key to the Medici Chapel Interpretation", Moscow, Letny Sad, 2006, ISBN 5-98856-016-4
- ^ a b c Condivi, The Life of Michelangelo, p. 106.
- ^ Paola Barocchi (ed.) Scritti d'arte del cinquecento, Milan, 1971; vol. I p. 10.
- ^ Condivi, The Life of Michelangelo, p. 102.
- ^ Hughes, Anthony: "Michelangelo"., page 327. Phaidon, 1997.
- ^ "Michelangelo Buonarroti" by Giovanni Dall'Orto Babilonia n. 85, January 1991, pp. 14–16 (Italian)
- ^ Hughes, Anthony: "Michelangelo.", page 326. Phaidon, 1997.
- ^ "Michelangelo", The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, Macropaedia, Volume 24, page 58, 1991. The text goes so far as to claim, a bit defensively, 'These have naturally been interpreted as indications that Michelangelo was a homosexual, but such a reaction according to the artist's own statement would be that of the ignorant'.
- ^ Hughes, Anthony, "Michelangelo"., page 326. Phaidon, 1997.
- ^ Scigliano, Eric: "Michelangelo's Mountain; The Quest for Perfection in the Marble Quarries of Carrara.", Simon and Schuster, 2005. Retrieved 27 January 2007
- ^ Gallant, R., 1986. National Geographic Picture Atlas of Our Universe. National Geographic Society, 2nd edition. ISBN 0870446444
 Further reading
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Michelangelo|
- Ackerman, James (1986). The Architecture of Michelangelo. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0226002408.
- Clément, Charles (1892). Michelangelo. Harvard University, Digitized 25 June 2007: S. Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington, ltd.: London. http://books.google.com/?id=G-sDAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=michelangelo.
- Condivi, Ascanio; Alice Sedgewick (1553). The Life of Michelangelo. Pennsylvania State University Press. ISBN 0-271-01853-4.
- Baldini, Umberto; Liberto Perugi (1982). The Sculpture of Michelangelo. Rizzoli. ISBN 0-8478-0447-x. http://books.google.com/?id=pCEWAQAAIAAJ.
- Einem, Herbert von (1973). Michelangelo. Trans. Ronald Taylor. London: Methuen.
- Gilbert, Creighton (1994). Michelangelo On and Off the Sistine Ceiling. New York: George Braziller.
- Hibbard, Howard (1974). Michelangelo. New York: Harper & Row.
- Hirst, Michael and Jill Dunkerton. (1994) The Young Michelangelo: The Artist in Rome 1496–1501. London: National Gallery Publications.
- Liebert, Robert (1983). Michelangelo: A Psychoanalytic Study of his Life and Images. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-02793-1.
- Pietrangeli, Carlo, et al. (1994). The Sistine Chapel: A Glorious Restoration. New York: Harry N. Abrams
- Sala, Charles (1996). Michelangelo: Sculptor, Painter, Architect. Editions Pierre Terrail. ISBN 978-2879390697.
- Saslow, James M. (1991). The Poetry of Michelangelo: An Annotated Translation. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.
- Rolland, Romain (2009). Michelangelo. BiblioLife. ISBN 1110003536.
- Seymour, Charles, Jr. (1972). Michelangelo: The Sistine Chapel Ceiling. New York: W. W. Norton.
- Stone, Irving (1987). The Agony and the Ecstasy. Signet. ISBN 0-451-17135-7.
- Summers, David (1981). Michelangelo and the Language of Art. Princeton University Press.
- Tolnay, Charles (1947). The Youth of Michelangelo. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
- Tolnay, Charles de. (1964). The Art and Thought of Michelangelo. 5 vols. New York: Pantheon Books.
- Néret, Gilles (2000). Michelangelo. Taschen. ISBN 9783822859766.
- Wilde, Johannes (1978). Michelangelo: Six Lectures. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Michelangelo Buonarroti|
- Where to find Michelangelo's works in Florence
- "The Divine Michelangelo - Timeline of Michelangelo's Life and Major Works"
- Michelangelo in the "A World History of Art"
- Michelangelo in the "Vatican Secret Archives"
- Photographs of details at the Campidoglio
- Works by Michelangelo Buonarroti at Project Gutenberg
- The Digital Michelangelo Project
- The BP Special Exhibition Michelangelo Drawings — closer to the master
- Michelangelo's Drawings: Real or Fake? How to decide if a drawing is by Michelangelo.
- Models he used to make his sculptures and paintings
- "The Michelangelo Code", suggesting Michelangelo's coded use of his knowledge of anatomy.
- "Michelangelo: The Man and the Myth"
Head of a faun (c. 1488) • Madonna of the stairs (c. 1491) • Battle of the Centaurs (c. 1492) • Crucifix (1492) • The Ark of St Dominic: St Petronius (1494–95), St Proclus (1494–95) and Angel (1494–95) • Sleeping Cupid (1496) • Standing Cupid • Bacchus (1496–97) • Pietà (1499–1500) • David (1501-04) • Madonna of Bruges (1501–04) • St. Paul (1503–04) • St. Peter (1503–04) • Pius (1503–04) • Taddei Tondo (c. 1503) • Pitti Tondo (c. 1503) • St. Matthew (c. 1505) • Tomb of Pope Julius II (1503) • Moses (c. 1513–15) • Rebellious Slave (1513–16) • Dying Slave (1513–16) • Medici Chapel (1520–34) • The Genius of Victory (c. 1532–34) • Rachel (1545) • Leah (1545) • Tomb of Giuliano de' Medici • Tomb of Lorenzo de' Medici • Virgin and Child • Apollo (David) (c. 1530) • Crouching Boy (c. 1530-34) • Cristo della Minerva (Christ Carrying the Cross) (1519–20) • Brutus (1540) • Palestrina Pietà (1550) • Florentine Pietà (c. 1550) • Rondanini Pietà (1552–64)
|Works on paper|| |
Portrait of Raphael.
|Birth name||Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino|
|Born||March 28, 1483(1483-03-28) or April 6, 1483(1483-04-06) |
|Died||April 6, 1520 (aged 37) |
|Field||Painting and architecture|
Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (April 6 or March 28, 1483 – April 6, 1520), better known simply as Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance, celebrated for the perfection and grace of his paintings and drawings. Together with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, he forms the traditional trinity of great masters of that period.
Raphael was enormously productive, running an unusually large workshop, and despite his death at thirty-seven, a large body of his work remains.
Many of his works are found in the Apostolic Palace of The Vatican, where the frescoed Raphael Rooms were the central, and the largest, work of his career. The best known work is the The School of Athens in the Vatican Stanza della Segnatura. After his early years in Rome, much of his work was designed by him and executed largely by the workshop from his drawings, with considerable loss of quality.
He was extremely influential in his lifetime, though outside Rome his work was mostly known from his collaborative printmaking. After his death, the influence of his great rival Michelangelo was more widespread until the 18th and 19th centuries, when Raphael's more serene and harmonious qualities were again regarded as the highest models.
His career falls naturally into three phases and three styles, first described by Giorgio Vasari: his early years in Umbria, then a period of about four years (from 1504–1508) absorbing the artistic traditions of Florence, followed by his last hectic and triumphant twelve years in Rome, working for two Popes and their close associates.
Raphael was born in the small but artistically significant Central Italian city of Urbino in the Marche region, where his father Giovanni Santi was court painter to the Duke. The reputation of the court had been established by Federico III da Montefeltro, a highly successful condottiere who had been created Duke of Urbino by the Pope—Urbino formed part of the Papal States—and who died the year before Raphael was born. The emphasis of Federico's court was rather more literary than artistic, but Giovanni Santi was a poet of sorts as well as a painter, and had written a rhymed chronicle of the life of Federico, and both wrote the texts and produced the decor for masque-like court entertainments. His poem to Federico shows him as keen to show awareness of the most advanced North Italian painters, and Early Netherlandish artists as well. In the very small court of Urbino he was probably more integrated into the central family circle than most court painters.
Federico was succeeded by his son Guidobaldo da Montefeltro, who married Elisabetta Gonzaga, daughter of the ruler of Mantua, the most brilliant of the smaller Italian courts for both music and the visual arts. Under them, the court continued as a centre for literary culture. Growing up in the circle of this small court gave Raphael the excellent manners and social skills stressed by Vasari. Court life in Urbino at just after this period was to become set as the model of the virtues of the Italian humanist court by Baldassare Castiglione's depiction of it in his classic work The Book of the Courtier, published in 1528. Castiglione moved to Urbino in 1504, when Raphael was no longer based there but frequently visited, and they became good friends. Other regular visitors to the court were also to become great friends: Pietro Bibbiena and Pietro Bembo, both later Cardinals, were already becoming well known as writers, and would be in Rome during Raphael's period there. Raphael mixed easily in the highest circles throughout his life, one of the factors that tended to give a misleading impression of effortlessness to his career. He did not receive a full humanistic education however; it is unclear how easily he read Latin.
Early life and work
His mother Màgia died in 1491 when Raphael was eight, followed on August 1, 1494 by his father, who had already remarried. Orphaned at eleven, Raphael's formal guardian became his only paternal uncle Bartolomeo, a priest, who subsequently engaged in litigation with his stepmother. He probably continued to live with his stepmother when not living as an apprentice with a master. He had already shown talent, according to Giorgio Vasari, who tells that Raphael had been "a great help to his father". A brilliant self-portrait drawing from his teenage years shows his precocious talent. His father's workshop continued and, probably together with his stepmother, Raphael evidently played a part in managing it from a very early age. In Urbino, he came into contact with the works of Paolo Uccello, previously the court painter (d. 1475), and Luca Signorelli, who until 1498 was based in nearby Città di Castello.
According to Vasari, his father placed him in the workshop of the Umbrian master Pietro Perugino as an apprentice "despite the tears of his mother". The evidence of an apprenticeship comes only from Vasari and another source, and has been disputed — eight was very early for an apprenticeship to begin. An alternative theory is that he received at least some training from Timoteo Viti, who acted as court painter in Urbino from 1495. But most modern historians agree that Raphael at least worked as an assistant to Perugino from around 1500; the influence of Perugino on Raphael's early work is very clear: "probably no other pupil of genius has ever absorbed so much of his master's teaching as Raphael did", according to Wölfflin. Vasari wrote that it was impossible to distinguish their hands at this period, but many modern art historians claim to do better and detect his hand in specific areas of works by Perugino or his workshop. Apart from stylistic closeness, their techniques are very similar as well, for example having paint applied thickly, using an oil varnish medium, in shadows and darker garments, but very thinly on flesh areas. An excess of resin in the varnish often causes cracking of areas of paint in the works of both masters. The Perugino workshop was active in both Perugia and Florence, perhaps maintaining two permanent branches. Raphael is described as a "master", that is to say fully trained, in 1501.
His first documented work was the Baronci altarpiece for the church of Saint Nicholas of Tolentino in Città di Castello, a town halfway between Perugia and Urbino. Evangelista da Pian di Meleto, who had worked for his father, was also named in the commission. It was commissioned in 1500 and finished in 1501; now only some cut sections and a preparatory drawing remain. In the following years he painted works for other churches there, including the "Mond Crucifixion" (about 1503) and the Brera Wedding of the Virgin (1504), and for Perugia, such as the Oddi Altarpiece. He very probably also visited Florence in this period. These are large works, some in fresco, where Raphael confidently marshalls his compositions in the somewhat static style of Perugino. He also painted many small and exquisite cabinet paintings in these years, probably mostly for the connoisseurs in the Urbino court, like the Three Graces and St. Michael, and he began to paint Madonnas and portraits. In 1502 he went to Siena at the invitation of another pupil of Perugino, Pinturicchio, "being a friend of Raphael and knowing him to be a draughtsman of the highest quality" to help with the cartoons, and very likely the designs, for a fresco series in the Piccolomini Library in Siena Cathedral. He was evidently already much in demand even at this early stage in his career.
The Coronation of the Virgin 1502-3
The Wedding of the Virgin, Raphael's most sophisticated altarpiece of this period.
Influence of Florence
Raphael led a "nomadic" life, working in various centres in Northern Italy, but spent a good deal of time in Florence, perhaps from about 1504. However, although there is traditional reference to a "Florentine period" of about 1504-8, he was possibly never a continuous resident there. He may have needed to visit the city to secure materials in any case. There is a letter of recommendation of Raphael, dated October 1504, from the mother of the next Duke of Urbino to the Gonfaloniere of Florence: "The bearer of this will be found to be Raphael, painter of Urbino, who, being greatly gifted in his profession has determined to spend some time in Florence to study. And because his father was most worthy and I was very attached to him, and the son is a sensible and well-mannered young man, on both accounts, I bear him great love...".
As earlier with Perugino and others, Raphael was able to assimilate the influence of Florentine art, whilst keeping his own developing style. Frescos in Perugia of about 1505 show a new monumental quality in the figures which may represent the influence of Fra Bartolomeo, who Vasari says was a friend of Raphael. But the most striking influence in the work of these years is Leonardo da Vinci, who returned to the city from 1500 to 1506. Raphael's figures begin to take more dynamic and complex positions, and though as yet his painted subjects are still mostly tranquil, he made drawn studies of fighting nude men, one of the obsessions of the period in Florence. Another drawing is a portrait of a young woman that uses the three-quarter length pyramidal composition of the just-completed "Mona Lisa", but still looks completely Raphaelesque. Another of Leonardo's compositional inventions, the pyramidal Holy Family, was repeated in a series of works that remain among his most famous easel paintings. There is a drawing by Raphael in the Royal Collection of Leonardo's lost Leda and the Swan, from which he adapted the contrapposto pose of his own Saint Catherine of Alexandria. He also perfects his own version of Leonardo's sfumato modelling, to give subtlety to his painting of flesh, and develops the interplay of glances between his groups, which are much less enigmatic than those of Leonardo. But he keeps the soft clear light of Perugino in his paintings.
Leonardo was more than thirty years older than Raphael, but Michelangelo, who was in Rome for this period, was just eight years his senior. Michelangelo already disliked Leonardo, and in Rome came to dislike Raphael even more, attributing conspiracies against him to the younger man. Raphael would have been aware of his works in Florence, but in his most original work of these years, he strikes out in a different direction. His Deposition of Christ draws on classical sarcophagi to spread the figures across the front of the picture space in a complex and not wholly successful arrangement. Wöllflin detects the influence of the Madonna in Michelangelo's Doni Tondo in the kneeling figure on the right, but the rest of the composition is far removed from his style, or that of Leonardo. Though highly regarded at the time, and much later forcibly removed from Perugia by the Borghese, it stands rather alone in Raphael's work. His classicism would later take a less literal direction.
Saint Catherine of Alexandria, 1507, borrows from the pose of Leonardo's Leda
Deposition of Christ, 1507, drawing from Roman sarcophagi.
The Vatican "Stanze"
By the end of 1508, he had moved to Rome, where he lived for the rest of his life. He was invited by the new Pope Julius II, perhaps at the suggestion of his architect Donato Bramante, then engaged on St. Peter's, who came from just outside Urbino and was distantly related to Raphael. Unlike Michelangelo, who had been kept hanging around in Rome for several months after his first summons, Raphael was immediately commissioned by Julius to fresco what was intended to become the Pope's private library at the Vatican Palace. This was a much larger and more important commission than any he had received before; he had only painted one altarpiece in Florence itself. Several other artists and their teams of assistants were already at work on different rooms, many painting over recently completed paintings commissioned by Julius's loathed predecessor, Alexander VI, whose contributions, and arms, Julius was determined to efface from the palace. Michelangelo, meanwhile, had been commissioned to paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling.
This first of the famous "Stanze" or "Raphael Rooms" to be painted, now always known as the Stanza della Segnatura after its use in Vasari's time, was to make a stunning impact on Roman art, and remains generally regarded as his greatest masterpiece, containing The School of Athens, The Parnassus and the Disputa. Raphael was then given further rooms to paint, displacing other artists including Perugino and Signorelli. He completed a sequence of three rooms, each with paintings on each wall and often the ceilings too, increasingly leaving the work of painting from his detailed drawings to the large and skilled workshop team he had acquired, who added a fourth room, probably only including some elements designed by Raphael, after his early death in 1520. The death of Julius in 1513 did not interrupt the work at all, as he was succeeded by Raphael's last Pope, the Medici Pope Leo X, with whom Raphael formed an even closer relationship, and who continued to commission him. Raphael's friend Cardinal Bibbiena was also one of Leo's old tutors, and a close friend and advisor.
Raphael was clearly influenced by Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling in the course of painting the room. Vasari said Bramante let him in secretly, and the scaffolding was taken down in 1511 from the first completed section. The reaction of other artists to the daunting force of Michelangelo was the dominating question in Italian art for the following few decades, and Raphael, who had already shown his gift for absorbing influences into his own personal style, rose to the challenge perhaps better than any other artist. One of the first and clearest instances was the portrait in The School of Athens of Michelangelo himself, as Heraclitus, which seems to draw clearly from the Sybils and ignudi of the Sistine ceiling. Other figures in that and later paintings in the room show the same influences, but as still cohesive with a development of Raphael's own style. Michelangelo accused Raphael of plagiarism and years after Raphael's death, complained in a letter that "everything he knew about art he got from me", although other quotations show more generous reactions.
These very large and complex compositions have been regarded ever since as among the supreme works of the grand manner of the High Renaissance, and the "classic art" of the post-antique West. They give a highly idealised depiction of the forms represented, and the compositions, though very carefully conceived in drawings, achieve "sprezzatura", a term invented by his friend Castiglione, who defined it as "a certain nonchalance which conceals all artistry and makes whatever one says or does seem uncontrived and effortless ...". According to Michael Levey, "Raphael gives his [figures] a superhuman clarity and grace in a universe of Euclidian certainties". The painting is nearly all of the highest quality in the first two rooms, but the later compositions in the Stanze, especially those involving dramatic action, are not entirely as successful either in conception or their execution by the workshop.
The Mass at Bolsena, 1514, Stanza di Eliodoro
Deliverance of Saint Peter, 1514, Stanza di Eliodoro
The Fire in the Borgo, 1514, Stanza dell'incendio del Borgo, painted by the workshop to Raphael's design.
The Vatican projects took most of his time, although he painted several portraits, including those of his two main patrons, the popes Julius II and his successor Leo X, the former considered one of his finest. Other portraits were of his own friends, like Castiglione, or the immediate Papal circle. Other rulers pressed for work, and King Francis I of France was sent two paintings as diplomatic gifts from the Pope. For Agostino Chigi, the hugely rich banker and Papal Treasurer, he painted the Galatea and designed further decorative frescoes for his Villa Farnesina, and painted two chapels in the churches of Santa Maria della Pace and Santa Maria del Popolo. He also designed some of the decoration for the Villa Madama, the work in both villas being executed by his workshop.
One of his most important papal commissions was the Raphael Cartoons (now Victoria and Albert Museum), a series of 10 cartoons, of which seven survive, for tapestries with scenes of the lives of Saint Paul and Saint Peter, for the Sistine Chapel. The cartoons were sent to Brussels to be woven in the workshop of Pier van Aelst. It is possible that Raphael saw the finished series before his death—they were probably completed in 1520. He also designed and painted the Loggia at the Vatican, a long thin gallery then open to a courtyard on one side, decorated with Roman-style grottesche. He produced a number of significant altarpieces, including The Ecstasy of St. Cecilia and the Sistine Madonna. His last work, on which he was working up to his death, was a large Transfiguration, which together with Il Spasimo shows the direction his art was taking in his final years—more proto-Baroque than Mannerist.
Galatea,1512, his only major mythology, for Chigi's villa.
The Miraculous Draught of Fishes, 1515, one of the seven remaining Raphael Cartoons for tapestries.
Il Spasimo 1517, brings a new degree of expressiveness to his art.
Transfiguration, 1520, unfinished at his death.
Vasari says that Raphael eventually had a workshop of fifty pupils and assistants, many of whom later became significant artists in their own right. This was arguably the largest workshop team assembled under any single old master painter, and much higher than the norm. They included established masters from other parts of Italy, probably working with their own teams as sub-contractors, as well as pupils and journeymen. We have very little evidence of the internal working arrangements of the workshop, apart from the works of art themselves, often very difficult to assign to a particular hand.
The most important figures were Giulio Romano, a young pupil from Rome (only about twenty-one at Raphael's death), and Gianfrancesco Penni, already a Florentine master. They were left many of Raphael's drawings and other possessions, and to some extent continued the workshop after Raphael's death. Penni did not achieve a personal reputation equal to Giulio's, as after Raphael's death he became Giulio's less-than-equal collaborator in turn for much of his subsequent career. Perino del Vaga, already a master, and Polidoro da Caravaggio, who was supposedly promoted from a labourer carrying building materials on the site, also became notable painters in their own right. Polidoro's partner, Maturino da Firenze, has, like Penni, been overshadowed in subsequent reputation by his partner. Giovanni da Udine had a more independent status, and was responsible for the decorative stucco work and grotesques surrounding the main frescoes. Most of the artists were later scattered, and some killed, by the violent Sack of Rome in 1527. This did however contribute to the diffusion of versions of Raphael's style around Italy and beyond.
Vasari emphasises that Raphael ran a very harmonious and efficient workshop, and had extraordinary skill in smoothing over troubles and arguments with both patrons and his assistants—a contrast with the stormy pattern of Michelangelo's relationships with both. However though both Penni and Giulio were sufficiently skilled that distinguishing between their hands and that of Raphael himself is still sometimes difficult, there is no doubt that many of Raphael's later wall-paintings, and probably some of his easel paintings, are more notable for their design than their execution. Many of his portraits, if in good condition, show his brilliance in the detailed handling of paint right up to the end of his life.
Other pupils or assistants include Raffaellino del Colle, Andrea Sabbatini, Bartolommeo Ramenghi, Pellegrino Aretusi, Vincenzo Tamagni, Battista Dossi, Tommaso Vincidor, Timoteo Viti (the Urbino painter), and the sculptor and architect Lorenzetto (Giulio's brother-in-law). The printmakers and architects in Raphael's circle are discussed below. It has been claimed the Flemish Bernard van Orley worked for Raphael for a time, and Luca Penni, brother of Gianfrancesco, may have been a member of the team.
Portrait of Elisabetta Gonzaga, ca. 1504
Portrait of Pope Julius II, ca. 1512
Portrait of Bindo Altoviti, ca. 1514
Portrait of Baldassare Castiglione, ca. 1515.
After Bramante's death in 1514, he was named architect of the new St Peter's. Most of his work there was altered or demolished after his death and the acceptance of Michelangelo's design, but a few drawings have survived. It appears his designs would have made the church a good deal gloomier than the final design, with massive piers all the way down the nave, "like an alley" according to a critical posthumous analysis by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger. It would perhaps have resembled the temple in the background of the The Expulsion of Heliodorus from the Temple.
He designed several other buildings, and for a short time was the most important architect in Rome, working for a small circle around the Papacy. Julius had made changes to the street plan of Rome, creating several new thoroughfares, and he wanted them filled with splendid palaces.
An important building, the Palazzo Aquila for Leo's Papal Chamberlain, was completely destroyed to make way for Bernini's piazza for St. Peter's, but drawings of the facade and courtyard remain. The facade was an unusually richly decorated one for the period, including both painted panels on the top story (of three), and much sculpture on the middle one.
The main designs for the Villa Farnesina were not by Raphael, but he did design, and paint, the Chigi Chapel for the same patron, Agostino Chigi, the Papal Treasurer. Another building, for Pope Leo's doctor, the Palazzo di Jacobo da Brescia, was moved in the 1930s but survives; this was designed to complement a palace on the same street by Bramante, where Raphael himself lived for a time.
The Villa Madama, a lavish hillside retreat for Cardinal Giulio de' Medici, later Pope Clement VII, was never finished, and his full plans have to be reconstructed speculatively. He produced a design from which the final construction plans were completed by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger. Even incomplete, it was the most sophisticated villa design yet seen in Italy, and greatly influenced the later development of the genre; it appears to be the only modern building in Rome of which Palladio made a measured drawing.
Only some floor-plans remain for a large palace planned for himself on the new "Via Giulia" in the Borgo, for which he was accumulating the land in his last years. It was on an irregular island block near the river Tiber. It seems all facades were to have a giant order of pilasters rising at least two storeys to the full height of the piano nobile, "a gandiloquent feature unprecedented in private palace design".
In 1515 he was given powers as "Prefect" over all antiquities unearthed entrusted within the city, or a mile outside. Raphael wrote a letter to Pope Leo suggesting ways of halting the destruction of ancient monuments, and proposed a visual survey of the city to record all antiquities in an organised fashion. The Pope's concerns were not exactly the same; he intended to continue to re-use ancient masonry in the building of St Peter's, but wanted to ensure that all ancient inscriptions were recorded, and sculpture preserved, before allowing the stones to be reused.
Raphael was one of the finest draftsmen in the history of Western art, and used drawings extensively to plan his compositions. According to a near-contemporary, when beginning to plan a composition, he would lay out a large number of stock drawings of his on the floor, and begin to draw "rapidly", borrowing figures from here and there. Over forty sketches survive for the Disputa in the Stanze, and there may well have been many more originally; over four hundred sheets survive altogether. He used different drawings to refine his poses and compositions, apparently to a greater extent than most other painters, to judge by the number of variants that survive: "... This is how Raphael himself, who was so rich in inventiveness, used to work, always coming up with four or six ways to show a narrative, each one different from the rest, and all of them full of grace and well done." wrote another writer after his death. For John Shearman, Raphael's art marks "a shift of resources away from production to research and development".
When a final composition was achieved, scaled-up full-size cartoons were often made, which were then pricked with a pin and "pounced" with a bag of soot to leave dotted lines on the surface as a guide. He also made unusually extensive use, on both paper and plaster, of a "blind stylus", scratching lines which leave only an indentation, but no mark. These can be seen on the wall in The School of Athens, and in the originals of many drawings. The "Raphael Cartoons", as tapestry designs, were fully coloured in a glue distemper medium, as they were sent to Brussels to be followed by the weavers.
In later works painted by the workshop, the drawings are often painfully more attractive than the paintings. Most Raphael drawings are rather precise—even initial sketches with naked outline figures are carefully drawn, and later working drawings often have a high degree of finish, with shading and sometimes highlights in white. They lack the freedom and energy of some of Leonardo's and Michelangelo's sketches, but are nearly always aesthetically very satisfying. He was one of the last artists to use metalpoint (literally a sharp pointed piece of sliver or another metal) extensively, although he also made superb use of the freer medium of red or black chalk. In his final years he was one of the first artists to use female models for preparatory drawings—male pupils ("garzoni") were normally used for studies of both sexes.
Raphael made no prints himself, but entered into a collaboration with Marcantonio Raimondi to produce engravings to Raphael's designs, which created many of the most famous Italian prints of the century, and was important in the rise of the reproductive print. His interest was unusual in such a major artist; from his contemporaries only Titian, who had worked much less successfully with Raimondi, shared it. A total of about fifty prints were made; some were copies of Raphael's paintings, but other designs were apparently created by Raphael purely to be turned into prints. Raphael made preparatory drawings, many of which survive, for Raimondi to translate into engraving.
The most famous original prints to result from the collaboration were Lucretia, the Judgement of Paris and The Massacre of the Innocents (of which two virtually identical versions were engraved). Among prints of the paintings The Parnassus (with considerable differences) and Galatea were also especially well-known. Outside Italy, reproductive prints by Raimondi and others were the main way that Raphael's art was experienced until the twentieth century. Baviero Carocci, called "Il Baviera" by Vasari, an assistant who Raphael evidently trusted with his money, ended up in control of most of the copper plates after Raphael's death, and had a successful career in the new occupation of a publisher of prints.
Galatea, engraving after the fresco in the Villa Farnesina
Private life and death
Raphael lived in the Borgo, in rather grand style in a palace designed by Bramante. He never married, but in 1514 became engaged to Maria Bibbiena, Cardinal Medici Bibbiena's niece; he seems to have been talked into this by his friend the Cardinal, and his lack of enthusiasm seems to be shown by the marriage not taking place before she died in 1520. He is said to have had many affairs, but a permanent fixture in his life in Rome was "La Fornarina", Margherita Luti, the daughter of a baker (fornaro) named Francesco Luti from Siena who lived at Via del Governo Vecchio. He was made a "Groom of the Chamber" of the Pope, which gave him status at court and an additional income, and also a knight of the Papal Order of the Golden Spur. Vasari claims he had toyed with the ambition of becoming a Cardinal, perhaps after some encouragement from Leo, which also may account for his delaying his marriage.
According to Vasari, Raphael's premature death on Good Friday (April 6, 1520) (possibly his 37th birthday), was caused by a night of excessive sex with Luti, after which he fell into a fever and, not telling his doctors that this was its cause, was given the wrong cure, which killed him.
Whatever the cause, in his acute illness, which lasted fifteen days, Raphael was composed enough to receive the last rites, and to put his affairs in order. He dictated his will, in which he left sufficient funds for his mistress's care, entrusted to his loyal servant Baviera, and left most of his studio contents to Giulio Romano and Penni. At his request, Raphael was buried in the Pantheon.
Vasari, in his biography of Raphael, says that Raphael was also born on a Good Friday, which in 1483 fell on March 28. This would mean that while Raphael was born and died on Good Friday, he was actually older than 37 on the 1520 Good Friday which fell on April 6.
His funeral was extremely grand, attended by large crowds. The inscription in his marble sarcophagus, an elegiac distich written by Pietro Bembo, reads: "Ille hic est Raffael, timuit quo sospite vinci, rerum magna parens et moriente mori." Meaning: "Here lies that famous Raphael by whom Nature feared to be conquered while he lived, and when he was dying, feared herself to die."
Raphael was highly admired by his contemporaries, although his influence on artistic style in his own century was less than that of Michelangelo. Mannerism, beginning at the time of his death, and later the Baroque, took art "in a direction totally opposed" to Raphael's qualities; "with Raphael's death, classic art - the High Renaissance - subsided", as Walter Friedländer put it. He was soon seen as the ideal model by those disliking the excesses of Mannerism:
the opinion ...was generally held in the middle of the sixteenth century that Raphael was the ideal balanced painter, universal in his talent, satisfying all the absolute standards, and obeying all the rules which were supposed to govern the arts, whereas Michelangelo was the eccentric genius, more brilliant than any other artists in his particular field, the drawing of the male nude, but unbalanced and lacking in certain qualities, such as grace and restraint, essential to the great artist. Those, like Dolce and Aretino, who held this view were usually the survivors of Renaissance Humanism, unable to follow Michelangelo as he moved on into Mannerism.
Raphael's compositions were always admired and studied, and became the cornerstone of the training of the Academies of art. His period of greatest influence was from the late 17th to late 19th centuries, when his perfect decorum and balance were greatly admired. He was seen as the best model for the history painting, regarded as the highest in the hierarchy of genres. Sir Joshua Reynolds in his Discourses praised his "simple, grave, and majestic dignity" and said he "stands in general foremost of the first [ie best] painters", especially for his frescoes (in which he included the "Raphael Cartoons"), whereas "Michael Angelo claims the next attention. He did not possess so many excellences as Raffaelle, but those he had were of the highest kind..." Echoing the sixteenth-century views above, Reynolds goes on to say of Raphael:
The excellency of this extraordinary man lay in the propriety, beauty, and majesty of his characters, his judicious contrivance of his composition, correctness of drawing, purity of taste, and the skilful accommodation of other men’s conceptions to his own purpose. Nobody excelled him in that judgment, with which he united to his own observations on nature the energy of Michael Angelo, and the beauty and simplicity of the antique. To the question, therefore, which ought to hold the first rank, Raffaelle or Michael Angelo, it must be answered, that if it is to be given to him who possessed a greater combination of the higher qualities of the art than any other man, there is no doubt but Raffaelle is the first. But if, according to Longinus, the sublime, being the highest excellence that human composition can attain to, abundantly compensates the absence of every other beauty, and atones for all other deficiencies, then Michael Angelo demands the preference.
Reynolds was less enthusiastic about Raphael's panel paintings, but the slight sentimentality of these made them enormously popular in the 19th century:"We have been familiar with them from childhood onwards, through a far greater mass of reproductions than any other artist in the world has ever had..." wrote Wölfflin, who was born in 1862, of Raphael's Madonnas.
In 19th century England the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood explicitly reacted against his influence (and that of his admirers such as "Sir Sploshua"), seeking to return to styles before what they saw as his baneful influence. According to a critic whose ideas greatly influenced them, John Ruskin:
The doom of the arts of Europe went forth from that chamber [the Stanza della Segnatura], and it was brought about in great part by the very excellencies of the man who had thus marked the commencement of decline. The perfection of execution and the beauty of feature which were attained in his works, and in those of his great contemporaries, rendered finish of execution and beauty of form the chief objects of all artists; and thenceforward execution was looked for rather than thought, and beauty rather than veracity.
And as I told you, these are the two secondary causes of the decline of art; the first being the loss of moral purpose. Pray note them clearly. In mediæval art, thought is the first thing, execution the second; in modern art execution is the first thing, and thought the second. And again, in mediæval art, truth is first, beauty second; in modern art, beauty is first, truth second. The mediæval principles led up to Raphael, and the modern principles lead down from him.
He was still seen by 20th century critics like Bernard Berenson as the "most famous and most loved" master of the High Renaissance, but it would seem he has since been overtaken by Michelangelo and Leonardo in this respect.
- ^ Jones and Penny, p. 171. The portrait of Raphael is probably "a later adaptation of the one likeness which all agree on", that in The School of Athens, vouched for by Vasari
- ^ Variants include "Raffaello Santi", "Raffaello da Urbino" or "Rafael Sanzio da Urbino". The surname Sanzio derives from the latinization of the Italian Santi into Santius. He normally signed documents as "Raphael Urbinas"—a latinized form. Gould:207
- ^ Jones and Penny, pp. 1 and 246. He died on his thirty-seventh birthday, and was both born and died on Good Friday, according to different sources. The matter has been much discussed, as both cannot be true.
- ^ See, for example Honour, Hugh; John Fleming (1982). A World History of Art. London: Macmillan. p. 357.
- ^ Vasari, pp. 208, 230 and passim.
- ^ Urbino: The Story of a Renaissance City By June Osborne, p.39 on the population, as a "few thousand" at most; even today it is only 15,000 without the students of the University
- ^ Jones and Penny, pp. 1-2
- ^ Vasari:207 & passim
- ^ Jones & Penny:204
- ^ Vasari, at the start of the Life. Jones & Penny:5
- ^ Ashmolean Museum image
- ^ Jones and Penny: 4-5, 8 and 20
- ^ Simone Fornari in 1549-50, see Gould:207
- ^ Jones & Penny:8
- ^ contrasting him with Leonardo and Michelangelo in this respect. Wölfflin:73
- ^ Jones and Penny:17
- ^ Jones & Penny:2-5
- ^ It was later seriously damaged during an earthquake in 1789.
- ^ Jones and Penny:5-8
- ^ One surviving preparatory drawing appears to be mostly by Raphael; quotation from Vasari by - Jones and Penny:20
- ^ Gould:207-8
- ^ Jones and Penny:5
- ^ National Gallery, London Jones & Penny:44
- ^ Jones & Penny:21-45
- ^ Vasari, Michelangelo:251
- ^ Jones & Penny:44-47, and Wöllflin:79-82
- ^ image
- ^ drawing
- ^ Jones & Penny:49, differing somewhat from Gould:208 on the timing of his arrival
- ^ Vasari:247
- ^ although Julius was no great reader—an inventory compiled after his death has a total of 220 books, large for the time, but hardly requiring such a receptacle. There was no room for bookcases on the walls, which were in cases in the middle of the floor, destroyed in the 1527 Sack of Rome. Jones & Penny:4952
- ^ Jones & Penny:49
- ^ Jones & Penny:49-128
- ^ Jones & Penny:101-105
- ^ Blunt:76, Jones & Penny:103-5
- ^ Book of the Courtier 1:26 The whole passage
- ^ Levey, Michael; Early Renaissance, p.197 ,1967, Penguin
- ^ One a portrait of Joanna of Aragon, Queen consort of Naples, for which Raphael sent an assistant to Naples to make a drawing, and probably left most of the painting to the workshop. Jones & Penny:163
- ^ Jones & Penny:133-147
- ^ Jones & Penny:192-197
- ^ Jones & Penny:235-246, though the relationship of Raphael to Mannerism, like the definition of Mannerism itself, is much debated. See Craig Hugh Smyth, Mannerism & Maniera, 1992, IRSA Vienna, ISBN 3-900731-33-0
- ^ Jones and Penny:146-147, 196-197, and Pon:82-85
- ^ Jones and Penny:147, 196
- ^ Vasari, Life of Polidoro online in English Maturino for one is never heard of again
- ^ Vasari:207 & 231
- ^ See for example, the Raphael Cartoons
- ^ Jones & Penny:163-167 and passim
- ^ The direct transmission of training can be traced to some surprising figures, including Brian Eno, Tom Phillips and Frank Auerbach 
- ^ Vasari (full text in Italian)pp197-8 & passim; see also Getty Union Artist Name List entries
- ^ Jones & Penny:215-218
- ^ Jones & Penny:210-211
- ^ Jones & Penny:221-222
- ^ Jones & Penny:219-220
- ^ Jones and Penny:226-234; Raphael left a long letter describing his intentions to the Cardinal, reprinted in full on pp.247-8
- ^ Jones & Penny:224(quotation)-226
- ^ Jones & Penny:205 The letter may date from 1519, or before his appointment
- ^ drawing, probably not the final one
- ^ GB Armenini (1533-1609) De vera precetti della pittura(1587), quoted Pon:115
- ^ Jones & Penny:58 & ff; 400 from Pon:114
- ^ Ludovico Dolce (1508-68), from his L'Aretino of 1557, quoted Pon:114
- ^ quoted Pon:114, from lecture on The Organization of Raphael's Workshop, pub. Chicago, 1983
- ^ Not surprisingly, photographs do not show these well, if at all. Leonardo sometimes used a blind stylus to outline his final choice from a tangle of different outlines in the same drawing. Pon:106-110.
- ^ Lucy Whitaker, Martin Clayton, The Art of Italy in the Royal Collection; Renaissance and Baroque, p.84, Royal Collection Publications, 2007, ISBN 978 1 902163 291
- ^ Pon:104
- ^ National Galleries of Scotland
- ^ Pon:102. See also a lengthy analysis in: Landau:118 ff
- ^ The enigmatic relationship is discussed at length by both Landau and Pon in her Chapters 3 and 4.
- ^ Pon:86-87 lists them
- ^ "Il Baviera" may mean "the Bavarian"; if he was German, as many artists in Rome were, this would have been helpful during the 1527 Sack; Marcantonio had many printing-plates looted from him. Jones and Penny:82, see also Vasari
- ^ Pon:95-136 & passim; Landau:118-160, and passim
- ^ a b Vasari:230-231
- ^ Art historians and doctors debate whether the right hand on the left breast in La Fornarina reveal a cancerous breast tumour detailed and disguised in a classic pose of love."The Portrait of Breast Cancer and Raphael's La Fornarina", The Lancet, December 21, 2002/December 28, 2002.
- ^ Various other historians provide different theories: Bernardino Ramazzini (1700), in his De morbis artificum, noted that painters at the time generally led “sedentary lives and melancholic disposition” and often worked “with mercury- and lead-based materials.” Bufarale (1915) “diagnosed penumonia or a military fever” while Portigliotti suggested “pulmonary disease.” Joannides has stated that “Raphael died of over-work. Note also that Raphael's age at death is also debated by some, with Michiel asserting that Raphael died at thirty-four, while Pandolfo Pico and Girolamo Lippomano arguing that Raphael died at thirty-three. For all see: Shearman:573.
- ^ Vasari:231
- ^ Art historian John Shearman, addressed this apparent discrepancy: "The time of death can be calculated from the convention of counting from sundown, which Michaelis puts at 6.36 on Friday 6 April, plus half-an-hour to Ave Maria, plus three hours, that is, soon after 10.00 pm. The coincidence noted between the birth-date and death-date is usually thought in this case (since it refers to the Friday and Saturday in Holy Week, the movable feast rather than the day of the month) to fortify the argument that Raphael was also born on Good Friday, i.e., 28 March 1483. But there is a notable ambiguity in Michiel’s note, not often noticed: Morse … Venerdi Santo venendo il Sabato, giorno della sua Nativita, may also be taken to mean that his birthday was on Saturday, and in that case the awareness could as well be the date, thus producing a birth-date of 7 April 1483." Shearman:573.
- ^ Chastel André, Italian Art,p. 230, 1963, Faber
- ^ Walter Friedländer, Mannerism and Anti-Mannerism in Italian Painting, p.42 (Schocken 1970 edn.), 1957, Columbia UP
- ^ Blunt:76
- ^ See Jones & Penny:102-4
- ^ The 1772 Discourse Online text of Reynold's Discourses The whole passage is worth reading.
- ^ Wölfflin:82,
- ^ Ruskin, Pre-Raphaelitism, S. 127 online at Project Gutenburg
- ^ Berenson, Bernard, Italian Painters of the renaissance, Vol 2 Florentine and Central Italian Schools, Phaidon 1952 (refs to 1968 edn), p.94
- ^ For what it is worth, Amazon UK's "Renaissance" top 25 bestsellers list included five books with Leonardo in the title, three with Michelangelo, and one with Raphael. accessed December 6th, 2007. Their US site does not run a comparable list.
- Blunt, Anthony, Artistic Theory in Italy, 1450-1660, 1940 (refs to 1985 edn), OUP, ISBN 0-19-881050-4
- Gould, Cecil, The Sixteenth Century Italian Schools, National Gallery Catalogues, London 1975, ISBN 0-947645-22-5
- Roger Jones and Nicholas Penny, Raphael, Yale, 1983, ISBN 0-300-03061-4
- Landau, David in:David Landau & Peter Parshall, The Renaissance Print, Yale, 1996, ISBN 0-300-06883-2
- Pon, Lisa, Raphael, Dürer, and Marcantonio Raimondi, Copying and the Italian Renaissance Print, 2004, Yale UP, ISBN 978-0-300-09680-4
- Shearman, John; Raphael in Early Modern Sources 1483-1602, 2003, Yale University Press, ISBN 0-300-09918-5
- Vasari, Life of Raphael from the Lives of the Artists, edition used: Artists of the Renaissance selected & ed Malcolm Bull, Penguin 1965 (page nos from BCA edn, 1979)
- Wölfflin, Heinrich; Classic Art; An Introduction to the Renaissance, 1952 in English (1968
- The standard source of biographical information is now: V. Golzio, Raffaello nei documenti nelle testimonianze dei contemporanei e nella letturatura del suo secolo, Vatican City and Westmead, 1971
- Raphael: From Urbino to Rome; Hugo Chapman, Tom Henry, Carol Plazzotta, Arnold Nesselrath, Nicholas Penny, National Gallery Publications Limited, 2004, ISBN 1-85709-999-0 (exhibition catalogue)
- The Cambridge Companion to Raphael, Marcia B. Hall, Cambridge University Press, 2005, ISBN 0-521-80809-X,
- Raphael: A Critical Catalogue of His Paintings; Jürg Meyer zur Capellen, Stefan B. Polter, Arcos, 2001, ISBN 3-935339-00-3
- Raphael; John Pope-Hennessy, New York University Press, 1970, ISBN 0-8147-0476-X
- Raphael - A Critical Catalogue of his Pictures, Wall-Paintings and Tapestries, catalogue raisonné by Luitpold Dussler published in the United States by Phaidon Publishers, Inc., 1971, ISBN 0-7148-1469-5 (out of print, but there is an online version here)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Raffaello Sanzio|
- V&A London online feature on the Raphael Cartoons
- Ten drawings and three paintings from the Royal Collection
- Web Gallery of Art
- Most of the Raphael/Raimondi prints from the San Francisco Museums
|Died||1516 (aged 85–86)|
Giovanni Bellini (c. 1430–1516) was an Italian Renaissance painter, probably the best known of the Bellini family of Venetian painters. His father was Jacopo Bellini, his brother was Gentile Bellini, and his brother-in-law was Andrea Mantegna. He is considered to have revolutionized Venetian painting, moving it towards a more sensuous and colouristic style. Through the use of clear, slow-drying oil paints, Giovanni created deep, rich tints and detailed shadings. His sumptuous coloring and fluent, atmospheric landscapes had a great effect on the Venetian painting school, especially on his pupils Giorgione and Titian.
Giovanni Bellini was born in Venice. He was brought up in his father's house, and always lived and worked in the closest fraternal relation with his brother Gentile. Up until the age of nearly thirty we find in his work a depth of religious feeling and human pathos which is his own. His paintings from the early period are all executed in the old tempera method; the scene is softened by a new and beautiful effect of romantic sunrise color (see for example, the St. Jerome at left).
In a somewhat changed and more personal manner, with less harshness of contour and a broader treatment of forms and draperies, but not less force of religious feeling, are the Dead Christ pictures, in these days one of the master's most frequent themes, (see for example the Pietà: Dead Christ Supported by the Virgin and St. John at right). Giovanni's early works have often been linked both compositionally and stylistically to those of his brother-in-law, Andrea Mantegna (1431–1506).
In 1470 Giovanni received his first appointment to work along with his brother and other artists in the Scuola di San Marco, where among other subjects he was commissioned to paint a Deluge with Noah's Ark. None of the master's works of this kind, whether painted for the various schools or confraternities or for the ducal palace, have survived.
To the decade following 1470 must probably be assigned the Transfiguration (at right) now in the Naples museum, repeating with greatly ripened powers and in a much serener spirit the subject of his early effort at Venice.
Also the great altar-piece of the Coronation of the Virgin at Pesaro, which would seem to be his earliest effort in a form of art previously almost monopolized in Venice by the rival school of the Vivarini.
As is the case with a number of his brother, Gentile's public works of the period, many of Giovanni's great public works are now lost. The still more famous altar-piece painted in tempera for a chapel in the church of S. Giovanni e Paolo, where it perished along with Titian's Peter Martyr and Tintoretto's Crucifixion in the disastrous fire of 1867.
After 1479–1480 much of Giovanni's time and energy must also have been taken up by his duties as conservator of the paintings in the great hall of the ducal palace. The importance of this commission can be measured by the payment Giovanni received: he was awarded, first the reversion of a broker's place in the Fondaco dei Tedeschi, and afterwards, as a substitute, a fixed annual pension of eighty ducats. Besides repairing and renewing the works of his predecessors he was commissioned to paint a number of new subjects, six or seven in all, in further illustration of the part played by Venice in the wars of Frederick Barbarossa and the pope. These works, executed with much interruption and delay, were the object of universal admiration while they lasted, but not a trace of them survived the fire of 1577; neither have any other examples of his historical and processional compositions come down, enabling us to compare his manner in such subjects with that of his brother Gentile.
Of the other, the religious class of his work, including both altar-pieces with many figures and simple Madonnas, a considerable number have fortunately been preserved. They show him gradually throwing off the last restraints of the Quattrocento manner; gradually acquiring a complete mastery of the new oil medium introduced in Venice by Antonello da Messina about 1473, and mastering with its help all, or nearly all, the secrets of the perfect fusion of colors and atmospheric gradation of tones. The old intensity of pathetic and devout feeling gradually fades away and gives place to a noble, if more worldly, serenity and charm. The enthroned Virgin and Child (such as the one at left) become tranquil and commanding in their sweetness; the personages of the attendant saints gain in power, presence and individuality; enchanting groups of singing and viol-playing angels symbolize and complete the harmony of the scene. The full splendour of Venetian color invests alike the figures, their architectural framework, the landscape and the sky.
An interval of some years, no doubt chiefly occupied with work in the Hall of the Great Council, seems to separate the San Giobbe Altarpiece (at left), and that of the church of San Zaccaria at Venice (at right). Formally, the works are very similar, so a comparison between serves to illustrate the shift in Bellini's work over the last decade of the Quattrocento. Both pictures are of the Sacra conversazione (sacred conversation between the Madonna and Saints) type. Both show the Madonna seated on a throne (thought to allude to the throne of Solomon), between classicizing columns. Both place the holy figures beneath a golden mosaicked half dome that recalls the Byzantine architecture in the church of San Marco.
In the later work he depicts the Virgin surrounded by (from left): St. Peter holding his keys and the Book of Wisdom; the virginal St. Catherine and St. Lucy closest to the Virgin, each holding a martyr's palm and her implement of torture (Catherine a breaking wheel, and Lucy a dish with her eyes); St. Jerome, who translated the Greek Bible into the first Latin edition (the Vulgate).
Stylistically, the lighting in the San Zaccaria piece has become so soft and diffuse that it makes that in the San Giobbe appear almost raking in contrast. Giovanni's use of the oil medium had matured, and the holy figures seem to be swathed in a still, rarefied air. The San Zaccaria is considered perhaps the most beautiful and imposing of all Giovanni's altarpieces, and is dated 1505, the year following that of Giorgione's Madonna of Castelfranco.
Other late altar-piece with saints include that of the church of San Francesco della Vigna at Venice, 1507; that of La Corona at Vicenza, a Baptism of Christ in a landscape, 1510; and that of San Giovanni Crisostomo at Venice of 1513.
Of Giovanni's activity in the interval between the altar-pieces of San Giobbe and San Zaccaria, there are a few minor works left, though the great mass of his output perished with the fire of the Doge's Palace in 1577. The last ten or twelve years of the master's life saw him besieged with more commissions than he could well complete. Already in the years 1501–1504 the marchioness Isabella Gonzaga of Mantua had had great difficulty in obtaining delivery from him of a picture of the Madonna and Saints (now lost) for which part payment had been made in advance. In 1505 she endeavoured through Cardinal Bembo to obtain from him another picture, this time of a secular or mythological character. What the subject of this piece was, or whether it was actually delivered, we do not know.
Albrecht Dürer, visiting Venice for a second time in 1506, describes Giovanni Bellini as still the best painter in the city, and as full of all courtesy and generosity towards foreign brethren of the brush.
In 1507 Bellini's brother Gentile died, and Giovanni completed the picture of the Preaching of St. Mark which he had left unfinished; a task on the fulfillment of which the bequest by the elder brother to the younger of their father's sketch-book had been made conditional.
In 1513 Giovanni's position as sole master (since the death of his brother and of Alvise Vivarini) in charge of the paintings in the Hall of the Great Council was threatened by one of his former pupils. Young Titian desired a share of the same undertaking, to be paid for on the same terms. Titian's application was granted, then after a year rescinded, and then after another year or two granted again; and the aged master must no doubt have undergone some annoyance from his sometime pupil's proceedings. In 1514 Giovanni undertook to paint The Feast of the Gods for the duke Alfonso I of Ferrara, but died in 1516.
He was interred in the Basilica di San Giovanni e Paolo, a traditional burial place of the doges.
Both in the artistic and in the worldly sense, the career of Giovanni Bellini was, on the whole, very prosperous. His long career began with Quattrocento styles but matured into the progressive post-Giorgione Renaissance styles. He lived to see his own school far outshine that of his rivals, the Vivarini of Murano; he embodied, with growing and maturing power, all the devotional gravity and much also of the worldly splendour of the Venice of his time; and he saw his influence propagated by a host of pupils, two of whom at least, Giorgione and Titian, equalled or even surpassed their master. Giorgione he outlived by five years; Titian, as we have seen, challenged him, claiming an equal place beside his teacher. Other pupils of the Bellini studio included Girolamo da Santacroce, Vittore Belliniano, Rocco Marconi, Andrea Previtali and possibly Bernardino Licinio.
In the historical perspective, Bellini was essential to the development of the Italian Renaissance for his incorporation of aesthetics from Northern Europe. Significantly influenced by Antonello da Messina, who had spent time in Flanders, Bellini made prevalent both the use of oil painting, different from the tempera painting being used at the time by most Italian Renaissance painters, and the use of disguised symbolism integral to the Northern Renaissance. As demonstrated in such works as St. Francis in Ecstasy (c. 1480, at left) and the San Giobbe Altarpiece (c. 1478), Bellini makes use of religious symbolism through natural elements, such as grapevines and rocks. Yet his most important contribution to art lies in his experimentation with the use of color and atmosphere in oil painting.
- Madonna with Child (1450–1555) - Tempera on wood, 47 x 31.5 cm, Civico Museo Malaspina, Pavia 
- Madonna with Child (c. 1455) - Tempera on panel, 72 x 46 cm, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
- Dead Christ Supported by the Madonna and St. John (1455) - Tempera on wood, 52 x 42 cm, Accademia Carrara, Bergamo
- Crucifixion (c. 1455) - Tempera on wood, 54.5 x 30 cm, Museo Correr, Venice
- Transfiguration (c. 1455–1460) - Tempera on panel, 134 x 68 cm, Museo Correr, Venice 
- Agony in the Garden (c. 1459) - Tempera on wood, 81 x 127 cm, National Gallery, London
- Dead Christ Supported by the Madonna and St. John (1460) - Tempera on panel, 86 x 107 cm, Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan
- Dead Christ Supported by Two Angels (Pietà, c. 1460) - Tempera on panel, 74 x 50 cm, Museo Correr, Venice
- Dead Christ in the Sepulchre (c. 1460) - Tempera on panel, 48 x 38 cm, Museo Poldi Pezzoli, Milan
- Blessing Christ (c. 1460) - Tempera on wood, 58 x 44 cm, Musée du Louvre, Paris
- The Blood of Christ (c. 1460) - Tempera on panel, 134 x 68 cm, National Gallery, London
- Madonna and Child (1460–1464) - Tempera on panel, 78 x 54 cm, Civiche Raccolte d'Arte, Milan
- Madonna with Child Blessing (1460–1464) - Tempera on wood, 79 x 63 cm, Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice
- Madonna with Child (Greek Madonna, 1460–1464) - Tempera on wood, 82 x 62 cm, Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan
- Madonna and Child (1460–1464) - Oil on canvas transferred from wood, 52 x 42.5 cm, Museo Correr, Venice
- Madonna and Child (1460–1464) - Tempera on panel, 47 x 34 cm, Accademia Carrara, Bergamo
- Presentation at the Temple (1460–1464) - Tempera on wood, 80 x 105 cm, Galleria Querini Stampalia, Venice
- St. Sebastian Triptych (1460–1464) - Tempera on panel, Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice
- Nativity Triptych (1460–1464) - Tempera on panel, Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice
- Head of the Baptist (1464–1468) - Tempera on wood, diameter 28 cm, Musei Civici, Pesaro
- Polyptych of S. Vincenzo Ferreri (1464–1468) - Tempera on panel, Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Venice
- Pesaro Altarpiece (1471–1474) - Oil on panel, 262 x 240 cm, Musei Civici, Pesaro
- Pietà (1472) - Tempera on canvas, 115 x 317 cm, Doge's Palace, Venice
- Dead Christ Supported by Angels (Bellini)Dead Christ Supported by Angels (c. 1474) - Tempera on panel, 91 x 131 cm, Pinacoteca Comunale, Rimini
- Madonna Enthroned Adoring the Sleeping Child (1475) - Tempera on wood, 120 x 65 cm, Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice
- Madonna with Child (c. 1475) - Tempera on panel, 77 x 57 cm, Museo di Castelvecchio, Verona
- Madonna with Child (c. 1475) - Tempera on panel, 75 x 50 cm, Santa Maria dell'Orto, Venice
- Madonna in Adoration of the Sleeping Child (c. 1475) - Tempera on panel, 77 x 56 cm, Contini Bonacossi Collection, Florence
- Madonna with Blessing Child (1475–1480) Oil on panel, 78 x 56 cm, Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice
- Portrait of a Humanist (1475–1480) - Oil on panel, 35 x 28 cm, Civiche Raccolte d'Arte, Milan
- Resurrection of Christ (1475–1479) - Oil on panel, 148 x 128 cm, Staatliche Museen, Berlin
- St. Francis in Ecstasy (c. 1480) - Oil on panel, 124 x 142 cm, Frick Collection, New York, United States
- Transfiguration of Christ (c. 1480) - Oil on panel, 116 x 154 cm, Museo di Capodimonte, Naples
- St. Jerome Reading in the Countryside (1480–1485) - Oil on wood, 47 x 34 cm, National Gallery, London
- Madonna Willys (1480–1490) - Oil on panel, 75 x 59 cm, São Paulo Museum of Art, São Paulo, Brazil
- Madonna and Child (1480–1490) - Oil on panel, 83 x 66 cm, Accademia Carrara, Bergamo
- Madonna of Red Angels (1480–1490) - Oil on panel, 77 x 60 cm, Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice
- Portrait of a Condottiero - Oil on wood, 51 x 37 cm, National Gallery of Art, Washington
- Portrait of a Young Man in Red (1485–1490) - Oil on panel, 32 x 26 cm, National Gallery of Art, Washington
- Madonna degli Alberetti (1487) - Oil on panel, 74 x 58 cm, Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice
- Madonna and Child (1485–1490) - Oil on panel, 88.9 x 71.1 cm, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
- San Giobbe Altarpiece (c. 1487) - Oil on panel, 471 x 258 cm, Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice
- Madonna with Child and Sts. Peter and Sebastian (c. 1487) - Oil on panel, 84 x 61 cm, Musée du Louvre, Paris
- Frari Triptych (1488) - Oil on panel, Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, Venice
- Barbarigo Altarpiece (1488) - Oil on canvas, 200 x 320 cm, San Pietro Martire, Murano
- Sacred Conversation (1490) - Oil on panel, 77 x 104 cm, Museo del Prado, Madrid
- Allegories (c. 1490) - Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice
- Sacred Conversation (c. 1490) - Oil on wood, 58 x 107 cm, Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice
- Holy Allegory (c. 1490) - Oil on panel, 73 x 199 cm, Uffizi, Florence
- The Lamentation over the Body of Christ (c. 1500) - Tempera on wood, 76 x 121 cm, Uffizi, Florence
- Angel Announcing and Virgin Announciated (c. 1500) - Oil on canvas, 224 x 105 cm (each), Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice
- Portrait of a Young Man (c. 1500) - Oil on panel, 32 x 26 cm, Musée du Louvre, Paris
- Portrait of a Young Man (c. 1500) - Oil on wood, 31 x 25 cm, National Gallery of Art, Washington
- Portrait of a Young Senator (1500) - Oil on wood, 31 x 26 cm, Uffizi, Florence
- Portrait of Doge Leonardo Loredan (1501) - Oil on panel, 61.5 x 45 cm, National Gallery, London
- Baptism of Christ (1500–1502) - Oil on canvas, 400 x 263 cm, Santa Corona, Vicenza
- Head of the Redeemer (1500–1502) - Oil on panel, 33 x 22 cm, Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice
- Madonna and Child with St. John the Baptist and a Saint (1500–1504) - Oil on panel, 54 x 76 cm, Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice
- Crucifixion (1501–1503) - Oil on panel, 81 x 49 cm, The Albert Gallery, Prato
- Sermon of St. Mark in Alexandria (1504–1507) - Oil on canvas, 347 x 770 cm, Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan
- Holy Conversation (1505–1510) - Oil on panel, 62 x 83 cm, Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid
- San Zaccaria Altarpiece (1505) - Oil on canvas transferred from wood, 402 x 273 cm, San Zaccaria, Venice
- Madonna of the Meadow (Madonna del Prato; 1505) - Oil on canvas transferred from wood, 67 x 86 cm, National Gallery, London
- Pietà (1505) - Oil on wood, 65 x 90 cm, Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice
- St. Jerome in the Desert (1505) - oil on panel, 49 x 39 cm, National Gallery of Art, Washington
- The Assassination of Saint Peter Martyr (1507) - Egg tempera and oil on wood, 99.7 x 165.1 cm, National Gallery, London
- Madonna and Child with Four Saints and Donator (1507) - Oil on wood, 90 x 145 cm, San Francesco della Vigna, Venice
- Continence of Scipio (1507–1508) - Oil on canvas, 74.8 x 35.6 cm, National Gallery of Art, Washington
- The Murder of St. Peter the Martyr (1509) - Oil on panel, 67.3 x 100.4 cm, Courtauld Institute Galleries, London
- Madonna and Child Blessing (1510) - Oil on wood, 85 x 118 cm, Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan
- Madonna with Child (c. 1510) - Oil on wood, 50 x 41 cm, Galleria Borghese, Rome
- Saints Christopher, Jerome and Louis of Toulouse (1513) - Oil on panel, 300 x 185 cm, S. Giovanni Crisostomo, Venice
- Feast of the Gods (1514) - Oil on cavas, 170 x 188 cm, National Gallery of Art, Washington
- Young Bacchus (c. 1514) - Oil on wood, 48 x 37 cm, National Gallery of Art, Washington
- Naked Young Woman in Front of the Mirror (1515) - Oil on canvas, 62 x 79 cm, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
- Portrait of Teodoro of Urbino (1515) - Oil on canvas, 63 x 49.5 cm, National Gallery, London
- Deposition (c. 1515) - Oil on canvas, 444 x 312 cm, Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice
- Drunkennes of Noah (c. 1515) - Oil on canvas, 103 x 157 cm, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Besançon
- Oskar Batschmann, Giovanni Bellini (London, Reaktion Books, 2008).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Giovanni Bellini|
A purported self-portrait, represented as David.
|Birth name||Giorgio Barbarelli da Castelfranco|
|Born||c. 1477-1478 |
Castelfranco Veneto, Italy
|Works||The Tempest |
The Three Philosophers
Giorgione (born Giorgio Barbarelli da Castelfranco; c. 1477/8 – 1510) was an Italian painter of the High Renaissance in Venice. Giorgione is known for the elusive poetic quality of his work, though only about six surviving paintings are acknowledged for certain to be his work. The resulting uncertainty about the identity and meaning of his art has made Giorgione one of the most mysterious figures in European painting.
The little known of Giorgione's life is given in Giorgio Vasari's Vite. The painter came from the small town of Castelfranco Veneto, 40 km inland from Venice. His name sometimes appears as Zorzo. The variant Giorgione (or Zorzon) may be translated "Big George". How early in boyhood he went to Venice we do not know, but stylistic evidence supports the statement of Carlo Ridolfi that he served his apprenticeship there under Giovanni Bellini; there he settled and made his fame.
Contemporary documents record that his gifts were recognized early. In 1500, when he was only twenty-three (that is, if Vasari is correct about his age when he died), he was chosen to paint portraits of the Doge Agostino Barbarigo and the condottiere Consalvo Ferrante. In 1504 he was commissioned to paint an altarpiece in memory of another condottiere, Matteo Costanzo, in the cathedral of his native town, Castelfranco. In 1507 he received at the order of the Council of Ten part payment for a picture (subject not mentioned) on which he was engaged for the Hall of the Audience in the Doge's Palace. In 1507-1508 he was employed, with other artists of his generation, to decorate with frescoes the exterior of the newly rebuilt Fondaco dei Tedeschi (or German Merchants' Hall) at Venice, having already done similar work on the exterior of the Casa Soranzo, the Casa Grimani alli Servi and other Venetian palaces. Very little of this work survives today.
Vasari mentions an important event in Giorgione's life, and one which had influence on his work, his meeting with Leonardo da Vinci on the occasion of the Tuscan master's visit to Venice in 1500. All accounts agree in representing Giorgione as a person of distinguished and romantic charm, a great lover and a musician, given to express in his art the sensuous and imaginative grace, touched with poetic melancholy, of the Venetian existence of his time. They represent him further as having made in Venetian painting an advance analogous to that made in Tuscan painting by Leonardo more than twenty years before; that is, as having released the art from the last shackles of archaic rigidity and placed it in possession of full freedom and the full mastery of its means.
He was very closely associated with Titian; Vasari says Giorgione was Titian's master, while Ridolfi says they both were pupils of Bellini, and lived in his house. They worked together on the Fondaco dei Tedeschi frescoes, and Titian finished at least some paintings of Giorgione after his death, although which ones remains very controversial.
Giorgione also introduced a new range of subjects. Besides altarpieces and portraits he painted pictures that told no story, whether biblical or classical, or if they professed to tell a story, neglected the action and simply embodied in form and color moods of lyrical or romantic feeling, much as a musician might embody them in sounds. Innovating with the courage and felicity of genius, he had for a time an overwhelming influence on his contemporaries and immediate successors in the Venetian school, including Titian, Sebastiano del Piombo, Palma il Vecchio, il Cariani, Giulio Campagnola (and his brother), and even on his already eminent master, Giovanni Bellini. In the Venetian mainland, Giorgionismo strongly influenced Morto da Feltre, Domenico Capriolo, and Domenico Mancini.
Giorgione died, probably of the plague then raging, by October, 1510. October of 1510 is also the date of a letter by Isabella d'Este to a Venetian friend; asking him to buy a painting by Giorgione; in the letter she is aware he is already dead. Significantly, the reply a month later said the painting was not to be had at any price.
His name and work continue to exercise a spell on posterity. But to identify and define, among the relics of his age and school, precisely what that work is, and to distinguish it from the similar work of other men whom his influence inspired, is a very difficult matter. Though there are no longer any supporters of the "Pan Giorgionismus" which a century ago claimed for Giorgione nearly every painting of the time that at all resembles his manner, there are still, as then, exclusive critics who reduce to half a dozen the list of extant pictures which they will admit to be actually by this master.
For his home town of Castelfranco, Giorgione painted the Castelfranco Madonna, an altarpiece in sacra conversazione form — Madonna enthroned, with saints on either side forming an equilateral triangle. This gave the landscape background an importance which marks an innovation in Venetian art, and was quickly followed by his master Giovanni Bellini and others. Giorgione began to use the very refined chiaroscuro called sfumato — the delicate use of shades of color to depict light and perspective — around the same time as Leonardo. Whether Vasari is correct in saying he learned it from Leonardo's works is unclear — he is always keen to ascribe all advances to Florentine sources. Leonardo's delicate color modulations result from the tiny disconnected spots of paint that he probably derived from Illuminated manuscript techniques and first brought into oil painting. These gave Giorgione's works the magical glow of light for which they are celebrated.
Most central and typical of all of Giorgione's extant works is the Sleeping Venus now in Dresden. It was first recognized by Giovanni Morelli, and is now universally accepted, as being the same as the picture seen by Marcantonio Michiel and later by Ridolfi (his 17th century biographer) in the Casa Marcello at Venice. An exquisitely pure and severe rhythm of line and contour chastens the sensuous richness of the painting. The sweep of white drapery on which the goddess lies; and the glowing landscape that fills the space behind her; most harmoniously frame her divinity. The use of an external landscape to frame a nude is innovative; but in addition, to add to her mystery, she is shrouded in sleep, spirited away from accessibility to any conscious expression.
It is recorded by Michiel that Giorgione left this piece unfinished and that the landscape, with a Cupid which subsequent restoration has removed, were completed after his death by Titian. The picture is the prototype of Titian's own Venus of Urbino and of many more by other painters of the school; but none of them attained the fame of the first exemplar. The same concept of idealized beauty is evoked in a virginally pensive Judith from the Hermitage Museum, a large painting which exhibits Giorgione's special qualities of color richness and landscape romance, while demonstrating that life and death are each other's companions rather than foes.
Apart from the altarpiece and the frescoes, all Giorgione's surviving works are small paintings designed for the wealthy Venetian collector to keep in his home; most are under two feet (60 cm) in either dimension. This market had been emerging over the last half of the 15th century in Italy, and was much better established in the Netherlands, but Giorgione was the first major Italian painter to concentrate his work on it to such an extent — indeed soon after his death the size of paintings began to increase with the prosperity and palaces of the patrons.
The Tempest has been called the first landscape in the history of Western painting. The subject of this painting is unclear, but its artistic mastery is apparent. The Tempest portrays a soldier and a breast-feeding woman on either side of a stream, amid a city's rubble and an incoming storm. The multitude of symbols in The Tempest offer many interpretations, but none is wholly satisfying. Theories that the painting is about duality (city and country, male and female) have been dismissed since radiography has shown that in the earlier stages of the painting the soldier to the left was a seated female nude.
The Three Philosophers is equally enigmatic and its attribution to Giorgione is still disputed. The three figures stand near a dark empty cave. Sometimes interpreted as symbols of Plato's cave or the Three Magi, they seem lost in a typical Giorgionesque dreamy mood, reinforced by a hazy light characteristic of his other landscapes, such as the Pastoral Concert, now in the Louvre. The latter "reveals the Venetians' love of textures", because the painter "renders almost palpable the appearance of flesh, fabric, wood, stone, and foliage". The painting is devoid of harsh contours and its treatment of landscape has been frequently compared to pastoral poetry, hence the title.
Giorgione and the young Titian revolutionized the genre of the portrait as well. It is exceedingly difficult and sometimes simply impossible to differentiate Titian's early works from those of Giorgione. None of Giorgione's paintings are signed and only one bears a reliable date: his portrait of Laura (1 June 1506), one of the first to be painted in the "modern manner", distinguished by dignity, clarity, and sophisticated characterization. Even more striking is the Portrait of a Young Man now in Berlin, acclaimed by art historians for "the indescribably subtle expression of serenity and the immobile features, added to the chiseled effect of the silhouette and modeling".
Few of the portraits attributed to Giorgione appear as straightforward records of the appearance of a commissioning individual, though it is perfectly possible that many are. Many can be read as types designed to express a mood or atmosphere, and certainly many of the examples of the portrait tradition Giorgione initiated appear to have had this purpose, and not to have been sold to the sitter. The subjects of his non-religious figure paintings are equally hard to discern. Perhaps the first question to ask is whether there was intended to be a specific meaning to these paintings that ingenious research can hope to recover. Many art historians argue that there is not: "The best evidence, perhaps, that Giorgione's pictures were not particularly esoteric in their meaning is provided by the fact that while his stylistic innovations were widely adopted, the distinguishing feature of virtually all Venetian non-religious painting in the first half of the 16th century is the lack of learned or literary content".
The difficulty in making secure attributions of work by Giorgione's hand dates from soon after his death, when some of his paintings were completed by other artists, and his considerable reputation also led to very early erroneous claims of attribution. The vast bulk of documentation for paintings in this period relates to large commissions for Church or government; the small domestic panels that make up the bulk of Giorgione's oeuvre are always far less likely to be recorded. Other artists continued to work in his style for some years, and probably by the mid-century deliberately deceptive work had started.
Primary documentation for attributions comes from the Venetian collector Marcantonio Michiel. In notes dating from 1525 to 1543 he identifies twelve paintings and one drawing as by Giorgione, of which five of the paintings are identified virtually unanimously with surviving works by art historians: The Tempest, The Three Philosophers, Sleeping Venus, Boy with an Arrow, and Shepherd with a Flute (not all accept the last as by Giorgione however). Michiel describes the Philosophers as having been completed by Sebastiano del Piombo, and the Venus as finished by Titian (it is now generally agreed that Titian did the landscape). Some recent art historians also involve Titian in the Three Philosophers. The Tempest is therefore the only one of the group universally accepted as wholly by Giorgione. In addition, the Castelfranco Altarpiece in his home-town has rarely, if ever, been doubted, nor have the wrecked fresco fragments from the German warehouse. The Vienna Laura is the only work signed and dated by Giorgione (on the back). The early pair of paintings in the Uffizi are usually accepted.
After that, things become more complicated, exemplified by Vasari. In the first edition of the Vite (1550), he attributed a Christ Carrying the Cross to Giorgione; in the second edition completed in 1568 he ascribed authorship, variously, to Giorgione in his biography, which was printed in 1565, and to Titian in his, printed in 1567. He had visited Venice in between these dates, and may have obtained different information. The uncertainty in distinguishing between the painting of Giorgione and the young Titian is most apparent in the case of the Louvre Concert Champêtre (or Pastoral Concert), described in 2003 as "perhaps the most contentious problem of attribution in the whole of Italian Renaissance art", but affects a large number of paintings possibly from Giorgione's last years.
The Concert Champêtre is one of a small group of paintings, also including the Virgin and Child with Saint Anthony and Saint Roch in the Prado, which are very close in style and, according to Charles Hope, have been "more and more frequently given to Titian, not so much because of any very compelling resemblance to his undisputed early works - which would surely have been noted before - as because he seemed a less implausible candidate than Giorgione. But no one has been able to create a coherent sequence of Titian's early works that includes these ones, in a way that commands general support, and fits the known facts of his career. An alternative proposal is to assign the Concert Champêtre and the other pictures like it to a third artist, the very obscure Domenico Mancini..".
Giulio Campagnola, well-known as the engraver who translated the Giorgionesque style into prints, but none of whose paintings are securely identified, is also sometimes also brought into consideration. For example, the late W.R. Rearick gave him Il Tramonte (see Gallery) and he is an alternative choice for a number of drawings that might be by Titian or Giorgione, and both are sometimes credited with the design of some of his engravings.
At an earlier period in Giorgione's short career, a group of paintings is sometimes described as the "Allendale group", after the Allendale Nativity (or Allendale Adoration of the Shepherds, rather more correctly) in the National Gallery of Art, Washington. This group includes another Washington painting, the Holy Family, and an Adoration of the Magi predella panel in the National Gallery, London. This group, now often expanded to include a very similar Adoration of the Shepherds in Vienna, and sometimes further, are usually included (increasingly) or excluded together from Giorgione's oeuvre. Ironically, the Allendale Nativity caused the rupture in the 1930s between Lord Duveen, who sold it to Andrew Mellon as a Giorgione, and his expert Bernard Berenson, who insisted it was an early Titian. Berenson had played a significant part in reducing the Giorgione catalogue, recognising fewer than twenty paintings.
Matters are further complicated because no drawing can be certainly identified as by Giorgione (although one in Rotterdam is widely accepted), and a number of aspects of the arguments over the defining of Giorgione's late style involve drawings.
Despite being greatly praised by all contemporary writers, and remaining a great name in Italy, Giorgione became less known to the wider world, and many of his (probable) paintings were assigned to others. The Hermitage Judith for example, was long regarded as a Raphael, and the Dresden Venus a Titian. In the late 19th century a great Giorgione revival began, and the fashion ran the other way. Despite well over a century of dispute, controversy remains active. Large numbers of pictures attributed to Giorgione a century ago, in particular portraits, are now firmly excluded from his oeuvre, but debate is, if anything, more fierce now than then. There are effectively two fronts on which the battles are fought: paintings with figures and landscape, and portraits. According to David Rosand in 1997, "The situation has been thrown into new critical confusion by Alessandro Ballarin's radical revision of the corpus ...[Paris exhibition catalogue, 1993, increasing it] ... as well as Mauro Lucco ..[Milan book, 1996]."  Recent major exhibitions at Vienna and Venice in 2004 and Washington in 2006, have given art historians further opportunities to see disputed works side by side (see External links below).
Though he died at the young age of 33, Giorgione left a lasting legacy to be developed by Titian and 17th-century artists. Giorgione never subordinated line and colour to architecture, nor an artistic effect to a sentimental presentation. He was the first to paint landscapes with figures, the first to paint genre — movable pictures in their own frames with no devotional, allegorical, or historical purpose — and the first whose colours possessed that ardent, glowing, and melting intensity which was so soon to typify the work of all the Venetian School.
- The Test of Fire of Moses (1500–1501) - Oil on panel, 89 x 72, Uffizi, Florence
- The Judgement of Salomon (1500–1501) - Oil on panel, 89 x 72 cm, Uffizi, Florence
- Judith (c. 1504) - Oil on canvas, transferred from panel, 144 x 66,5 cm, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg
- Adoration of the Shepherds (1504) - Oil on panel, 90.8 x 110.5 cm, National Gallery of Art, Washington
- Madonna and Child Enthroned between St. Francis and St. Nicasius (Castelfranco Madonna; c. 1505) - Oil on wood, 200 x 152 cm, Duomo, Castelfranco Veneto
- The Tempest (c. 1505) - Oil on canvas, 82 x 73 cm, Accademia, Venice
- Portrait of a Young Bride (Laura) (c. 1506) Oil on wood, 41 x 33,5 cm, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
- La Vecchia (Old Woman) (c. 1508) - Oil on canvas, 68 x 59 cm, Accademia, Venice
- Pastoral Concert (c. 1508) widely now given to Titian- Oil on canvas, 110 x 138 cm, Louvre, Paris
- Portrait of a Youth (1508–10) - Oil on canvas, 72,5 x 54 cm, Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest
- The Three Philosophers (1509) - Oil on canvas, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
- Portrait of Warrior with his Equerry (c. 1509) - Oil on canvas, 90 x 73 cm, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
- Sleeping Venus (c. 1510) - Oil on canvas, 108,5 x 175 cm, Gemäldegalerie, Dresden
- The Impassioned Singer (c. 1510) - Oil on canvas, 102 x 78 cm, Galleria Borghese, Rome
- Portrait of a Young Man - Wood, 69,4 x 53,5 cm, Alte Pinakothek, Munich
One of the "Allendale group", the small Adoration of the Magi predella, London
La Vecchia, "The Old Woman", Accademia. "Col tempo",or "With age" reads the paper.
The Berlin Portrait of a Man, one of the most frequently attributed portraits
The San Diego Portrait of a Man, another of the more frequently attributed portraits
The Budapest Portrait of a Young Man, very beautiful, but damaged.
 See also
- ^ Gould, 102-3. Vasari's 1st edition had the former, his 2nd the latter. There is no documentary evidence, and Vasari gets his date of death, which is known, wrong by a year.
- ^ An old art historians' jibe JSTOR
- ^ Teresa Pignati in Jane Martineau (ed), The Genius of Venice, 1500-1600, pp. 29-30, 1983, Royal Academy of Arts, London.
- ^ The Tempest
- ^ a b 2006 Britannica
- ^ Brown, D. A., Ferino Pagden, S., Anderson, J., & Berrie, B. H. (2006). Bellini, Giorgione, Titian, and the Renaissance of Venetian painting. Washington: National Gallery of Art. ISBN 0300116772 p. 42
- ^ Charles Hope in Jane Martineau (ed), The Genius of Venice, 1500-1600, 1983, p. 35, Royal Academy of Arts, London
- ^ Cecil Gould, The Sixteenth Century Italian Schools, National Gallery Catalogues, London 1975, p. 107, ISBN 0947645225
- ^ http://www.britannica.com/ebc/article-2710 EB online
- ^ Vienna, illustrated below. Described in 2007 as "a rare example of a painting still universally attributed to Giorgione" in Lucy Whitaker, Martin Clayton, The Art of Italy in the Royal Collection; Renaissance and Baroque, p.185, Royal Collection Publications, 2007, ISBN 978 1 902163 291.
- ^ From the Louvre Museum Official Website It is often called the Fête Champêtre (meaning "Picnic") in older works.
- ^ Charles Hope in David Jaffé (ed), Titian, The National Gallery Company/Yale, p.12, London 2003, ISBN 1 857099036
- ^ Charles Hope in David Jaffé (ed), Titian, The National Gallery Company/Yale, p.14, London 2003, ISBN 1 857099036
- ^ Listed as "Giorgione (?)" in the 1996 Prado catalogue, which notes the debate, but in 2007 labelled as Titian in the gallery. See Museo del Prado, Catálogo de las pinturas, 1996, p.129, Ministerio de Educación y Cultura, Madrid, No ISBN.
- ^ Hope in ed Jaffé, Titian, 2003, op cit,p.14. Francis Richardson, who wrote the catalogue entry for the Prado painting (no. 34) in: Jane Martineau (ed), The Genius of Venice, 1500-1600, 1983, Royal Academy of Arts, London, after considering Mancini, is one of those happy to attribute the painting to Titian. The Mancini suggestion comes originally from an German article of 1933 by J. Wilde: 'Die Probleme um Domenico Mancini', JKSW
- ^ John Dixon Hunt (ed), The Pastoral Landscape, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1992, pp 146-7, ISBN 0894681818
- ^ NGA 2006 exhibition brochure, page 4
- ^ Kunthistoriches Museum 2004 exhibition website
- ^ "his works...not a score in all" in Italian Painters of the Renaissance, 1952, (many editions). By the last (1957) edition of his Lists, Berenson had changed his mind and listed all the three main "Allendale" works as "by Giorgione" - see Gould op cit p.105.
- ^ See the Art Journal review of a major 1993 Paris exhibition, which lists some Ballarin additions to the corpus by Wendy Stedman Sheard
- ^ David Rosand, Painting in Sixteenth-Century Venice, 2nd edn. 1997, p. 186, n. 74; Cambridge University Press, ISBN 05215656885 For some Ballarin attributions, see previous note.
- This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.
- Gould, Cecil, The Sixteenth Century Italian Schools, National Gallery Catalogues, London 1975, ISBN 0947645225
- Encyclopedia of Artists, volume 2, edited by William H.T. Vaughan, ISBN 0-19-521572-9, 2000
- The Complete Paintings of Giorgione. Introduction by Cecil Gould. Notes by Pietro Zampetti. NY: Harry N. Abrams. 1968.
- Giorgione. Atti del Convegno internazionale di studio per il quinto centenario della nascita (Castelfranco Veneto 1978), Castelfranco Veneto, 1979.
- Silvia Ferino-Pagden, Giorgione. Mythos und Enigma, Ausst. Kat. Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Wien, 2004.
- Sylvia Ferino-Pagden (Hg.), Giorgione entmythisiert, Turnhout, Brepols, 2008.
- Unglaub, Jonathan. "The Concert Champêtre: The Crises of History and the Limits of the Pastoral." Arion V no.1 (1997): 46-96.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Giorgione|
- David Allen Brown Introduction to 2006 Washington exhibition
- Giorgione,Myth and Enigma, 2004 exhibition at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. Good images and text on "Selected paintings"
- Colnaghi - an important Giorgionesque drawing, with list of the main literature on his drawings
Ticiano Vecellio ou Vecelli (Pieve di Cadore cerca de 1473/1490 - Veneza 27 de Agosto de 1576) foi um dos principais representantes da escola veneziana no Renascimento antecipando diversas características do Barroco e até do Modernismo. Ele também é conhecido como Tizian Vecellio De Gregorio, Tiziano, Titian ou ainda como Titien.
Reconhecido por seus contemporâneos como "o sol entre as estrelas", Tiziano foi um dos mais versáteis pintores italianos, igualmente bom em retratos ou paisagens, temas mitológicos ou religiosos.
Se tivesse morrido cedo, teria sido conhecido como um dos mais influentes artistas do seu tempo, mas como viveu quase um século, mudando tão drasticamente seu modo de pintar, vários críticos demoram a acreditar se tratar do mesmo artista. O que une as duas partes de sua obra é seu profundo interesse pela cor, sua modulação policromática é sem precedentes na arte ocidental.
Tiziano era um dos quatro filhos de Gregório Vecelli, destacado soldado e funcionário do estado, e de sua esposa Lúcia. Perto dos dez anos de idade foi levado por seu irmão, o também pintor Francesco Vecellio, para Veneza, onde entrou como aprendiz de Sebastian Zuccato, celebre por seus mosáicos. Após quatro ou cinco anos passou ao estúdio de Giovanni Bellini, naquele tempo o mais notável artista da cidade. Ali entrou para um grupo de jovens que incluia Palma de Serinalta, Lorenzo Lotto, Sebastiano Luciani e Giorgione.
Um afresco de Hércules no palácio Morosini é tido como um dos seus primeiros trabalhos, assim como A Virgem e a Criança no Belvedere Viena, e A Visitação de Maria e Isabel, do convento de Santo André, hoje na Academia de Veneza.
Tiziano formou uma parceria com Giorgione, e é difícil distinguir seus trabalhos iniciais. O primeiro só de Ticiano, reconhecidamente, é um pequeno Ecce Homo da escola de São Roque. Os dois jovens mestres foram logo reconhecidos como líderes de sua nova escola moderna, que tornou suas pinturas mais flexiveis, livres da simetria e das convenções hierárquicas que ainda estavam presentes nas obras de Bellini.
Em 1507 Giorgione foi comissionado para executar os afrescos na reerguida Fondaco de Tedeschi (de uma corporação de comerciantes alemães), onde Tiziano e Feltre trabalharam, restando alguns fragmentos reconhecidos como seus pelas gravuras de Fontana.
O talento de Tiziano apareceu nos afrescos que ele pintou em 1511 para a igreja das Carmelitas em Pádua, alguns preservados como Encontro no Portão Dourado e tres cenas da vida de Santo Antônio na escola do Santos. Em 1513 retorna a Veneza e após 1516 obtem uma patente na Fondaco de Tedeschi, espécie de cargo público, tornando-se superintendente de serviços do governo, com uma renda razoável, especialmente para terminar trabalhos de Bellini, que morrera, no hall do palácio ducal. Ele se instalou num ateliê no Grande Canal e trabalhou para cinco Doges sucessivos.
Giorgione morreu em 1510 e Bellini, ja ancião, em 1516, deixando Tiziano, já com algumas obras de vulto em seu curriculo, sem rival na escola veneziana. Por sessenta anos ele foi o líder absoluto e indisputado, o mestre oficial e o pintor laureado da Sereníssima República de Veneza.
Durante este período (1516 - 1530), que podemos chamar de crescimento até a maturidade, o artista libertou-se das tradições de sua juventude, procurando personagens mais complexos e, pela primeira vez tentando um estilo monumental. Em 1518 produziu para o altar da igreja de Fran A Consumação da Madona, hoje na Academia Veneziana, que excitava os sentidos, começando uma peça multicolorida numa escala tão grande como a Itália ainda não vira.
O tema da Consumação, unindo na mesma composição duas ou três cenas em diferentes níveis, como céu e terra, temporal e infinito, continuou numa série de trabalhos como o retábulo de São Domingos em Ancona (1520), o retábulo de Bréscia (1522), e o retábulo de São Nicolau do Vaticano (1523), cada um a seu tempo visando uma concepção mais perfeita, finalmente alcançando uma forma insuperável no retábulo de Pesaro (1526), na igreja de Frari. Este é talvez o mais perfeito e mais estudado de seus trabalhos, pacientemente desenvolvido com uma disposição suprema de ordem e liberdade, originalidade e estilo. Aqui Tiziano deu uma nova concepção ao tradicional grupo de personagens santas movendo-se pelo espaço da obra, os planos e diferentes degraus numa trama arquitetônica.
Tiziano Vecelli estava agora no pico de sua fama, e em 1521, seguindo-se à produção de um São Sebastião para o legado papal em Bréscia (trabalho que possui inúmeras réplicas), as encomendas avolumaram-se. Um dos mais extraordinários trabalhos deste período foi A deposição de São Pedro (1530), primeiramente na igreja dominicana de San Zanipolo e destruída em uma luta com a Áustria em 1867, e da qual só restam cópias. A associação da paisagem com uma cena de morte mostra uma tragédia sobressaltada, patética, como nem Tintoretto ou Delacroix souberam fazer.
Continuou simultaneamente com sua série de pequenas Madonas que ele elaborava com belas paisagens à maneira pastoral, sendo A Virgem com o coelho atualmente no Louvre, o exemplo acabado dessas imagens. Também do mesmo período é Entombment, igualmente no Louvre. Foi igualmente o período de séries de temas mitológicos, como Bacanais de Madri, e Baco e Ariadne de Londres, talvez a mais brilhante obra do neo-paganismo do Renascimento, muito imitada mas nunca superada. Finalmente, foi neste período de maestria que Tiziano compôs os retratos e bustos de jovens, como Flora nos Uffizi ou Jovem no toucador no Louvre.
Em 1525, após um pouco de vida desregrada e a conseqüente agitação, sossegou casando-se com Cecília, talvez para legitimar seu primeiro filho Pomponio e os dois ou três que o seguiram. Mas cedo ela perece, durante o parto de Lavinia (1530), causando grande aflição ao mestre. Ele se muda para uma nova casa em Bin Grande, então um lugar muito bom, com ótimos jardins e uma vista de Murano, chama sua irmã Orsa para cuidar das crianças e busca tranqüilidade. É dessa época o retrato de Pietro Aretino que envia a Gonzaga, duque de Mântua.
Durante o próximo período (1530 - 1550), como já se esboçava no seu Martírio de São Pedro, Tiziano se devotou mais e mais a um estilo dramático. Desta época é a representação da cena histórica da Batalha de Cadore, infelizmente desfigurada ou mutilada em sua maior parte, mas que mostra o esforço do artista de se superar. Como A Guerra de Pisa, A Batalha de Anghiari e A Batalha de Constantinopla foram consumidas pelo fogo que ardeu no Palácio do Doge. Existe apenas uma cópia pobre e incompleta no Uffizi e uma medíocre gravura por Fontana.
Do mesmo modo O Discurso do Marques de Vasto, de 1541 em Madri, foi parcialmente destruído por fogo, mas essa vertente de sua obra está bem representada por Apresentação da Virgem Sagrada (1539) hoje em Veneza, um de seus mais famosos quadros, e por Ecce Homo (1541), em Viena, uma das mais patéticas e longevas de suas obras-primas.
Menos sucesso fez a série de afrescos da cúpula de Santa Maria da Saúde, como A Morte de Abel, Sacrifício de Abrão e Davi e Golias. Essas cenas violentas, vistas por baixo, como na Capela Sistina, estão numa posição desfavorável à observação. Foram no entanto admiradas e imitadas, Rubens, entre outros, usou esse sistema na igreja Jesuita de Antuérpia.Também deste tempo, época de sua visita a Roma, é o começo da série das Venus reclinadas, como A Venus de Urbino e Venus e Eros, ambas no Uffizi e Venus e o Organista, em Madri, no qual se reconhece o efeito direto do contato do mestre com esculturas antigas. Giorgione já tinha utilizado esse tema, mas aqui um drapeado vermelho é suficiente, por seu colorido, para mudar o sentido da cena.
Tiziano tinha ainda, desde o início de sua carreira mostrado ser um mestre em retratos, em trabalhos como La Bella (Eleanora Gonzaga, Duquesa de Urbino), hoje no palácio Pitti. Ele pintou inúmeros príncipes, doges, cardeais, monges e artistas, teve muito sucesso em extrair de cada fisionomia os traços que a caracterizavam. Como retratista, Tiziano é comparavél a Rembrandt e Velásquez. Suas qualidades são manifestas em obras como Paulo III, em Nápoles ou a cena do mesmo papa com seus sobrinhos, Aretino, no palácio Pitti, e Eleanora de Portugal, em Madri, ou a série de Carlos V do mesmo local, o Carlos V com Cão de Caça (1533) e Carlos V em Muhlberg (1548), uma pintura equestre com uma sinfonia de vermelhos que é o nom plus ultra da arte de pintar. Carlos V honrou Tiziano nomeando-o conde palatino e cavaleiro do galão dourado, seus filhos foram feitos nobres do império, o que para um pintor daquela época era uma honra extraordinária.
O governo de Veneza não ficou tão contente com a negligencia de seu trabalho no palácio ducal e ordenou que devolvesse o dinheiro recebido, nomeando Pordenone para seu lugar (1538). No entanto este morre em menos de um ano, e tendo Tiziano se aplicado, enquanto isso diligentemente em pintar A Batalha de Cadore, teve seu cargo restaurado. Esta figura, que como tantas outras pereceu no incêndio do palácio em 1577, representava em tamanho real o momento em que o comandante veneziano D'Alviano enfrentava o inimigo, com homens e cavalos se chocando sobre um riacho.
Como sucesso profissional e mundano, a esse tempo, sua posição só pode ser comparada a Rafael, Michelangelo ou mais tarde Rubens. Tiziano visitava sua terra natal de Cadore todo ano, onde era influente e generoso. Tinha uma vila favorita na colina de Manza, onde se supõe tenha feito observações sobre as formas e efeitos da paisagem.
Em 1546 visitou Roma, onde obteve a honraria de receber a chave da cidade, seu predecessor imediato em tal homenagem tinha sido Michelangelo em 1537. Em 1547 foi até Augsburg pintar Carlos V e outros nobres do império. estava lá ainda em 1550, quando executou um retrato de Filipe II que foi enviado à Inglaterra e se provou um excelente auxiliar para conseguir a mão da Rainha Maria I da Inglaterra em casamento.
Durante os últimos anos de sua vida (1550 - 1576) o artista mais e mais absorvido em seu rendoso trabalho como retratista, e também mais crítico e perfecionista, terminou poucos grandes trabalho. Alguns ficaram dez anos no estúdio, sendo retocadas e retomadas, constantemente adicionando expressões , concisão e sutileza.
Para cada problema estético que se apresentava, ele elaborava uma nova e mais perfeita fórmula. Ele nunca igualou a emoção e tragédia da Coroação de Espinhos, hoje no Louvre; na expressão do divino e do mistério, nada mais poético que Peregrinação de Emaú. Nunca fez nada mais brilhante e grande que O Doge Grimani de Veneza ou A Trindade em Madri.
Em outro ponto de vista, ele também não fez nada mais movimentado que algumas pinturas de sua velhice, como Damem Madri, Antiopeno Louvre ou o Rapto de Europa. Deteve-se ainda no problema do chiaroscuro em fantásticos efeitos noturnos em O Martírio de São Lourenço ou no São Geronimo. No domínio do real ele sempre permaneceu forte e seguro, e seu próprio mestre, como nos retratos de sua filha Lavinia e em seus auto-retratos.
Vecelli comprometeu sua filha, a bela garota que ele amou profundamente, com Cornelio Sarcinelli de Serravale. Ela tinha sucedido a tia Orsa como governante da casa. O casamento ocorreu em 1554 e ela tristemente morreu de parto como a mãe em 1560. Tiziano estava no Conselho de Trento em 1556, com sua pintura ou os esboços no Louvre mostram.
Seu amigo Aretino morre repentinamente em 1556. Em setembro de 1565 vem até Cadore e projeta a decoração da igreja de Pieve, parcialmente executada por seus aprendizes. Uma dessas é uma Transfiguração que ostenta a inscrição Titianus fecit, como resposta aos críticos que diziam que a mão do mestre não era mais a mesma.
Continuou a aceitar encomendas até o fim. Tinha selecionado o local de seu túmulo na capela do Crucifixo na igreja de Fran, e como retribuição da permissão, ofereceu aos franciscanos um quadro da Pietá, representando a si mesmo e seu filho Horácio, mas não o terminou. Tiziano Vecelli se aproximava dos cem anos quando a peste apareceu em Veneza, matando o mestre em 27 de agosto de 1576. Enterrado na Basílica de Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, foi a única vítima da peste negra a ser sepultada numa igreja, e repousa perto de sua Madona de Ca'Pesaro. Seu filho morreu da mesma epidemia e ladrões saquearam sua casa, aproveitando a desordem da época.
Familiares e alunos
Vários outros artistas da família Vecelli navegaram nas águas de Tiziano, como seu irmão Francesco, o sobrinho Marco di Tiziano, que frequentava a casa do tio, Frabizio di Ettore, de outro ramo da família, Tommaso Vecelli e Girolamo di Tiziano. Varias obras foram retocadas pelo mestre mas nenhum lhe fez sombra. Entre seus numerosos aprendizes, destacaram-se Paris Bordone e Bonifazio com sua excelência. Domenico Theotocopuli, melhor conhecido como El Greco, foi empregado como encarregado de fazer gravuras de suas pinturas. Ele disse que muitas vezes o próprio Tiziano gravava no cobre ou na madeira.
Localização das obras
Relação dos museus que contém obras de Tiziano .
A Virgem com o coelho, Entombment, Jovem no toucador, Antiope, Coroação de Espinhos, Conselho de Trento,
A Venus de Urbino, Flora, Venus e Eros
- Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge;
- Fondazione Magnani-Rocca, Parma;
A Visitação de Maria e Isabel, A Consumação da Madona, Apresentaçãp da Virgem Sagrada, Ecce Homo, O Doge Grimani,
Eleonora de Portugal, Carlos V com Cão de Caça, Carlos V em Muhlberg, O Discurso do Marques de Vasto, A Trindade,
- Museu de Belas Artes, Budapeste;
La Bella, Aretino
- Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Veneza;
Este artigo é a tradução do verbete Titian da Wikipedia em língua inglesa, que por sua vez se baseia nas seguintes fontes:
- Vasari, Le Vite;
- Catholic Encyclopedia;
- Cecil Gould, The Sixteenth Century Italian Schools, National Gallery Catalogues, London 1975, ISBN 0-947645-22-5;
- David Jaffé (ed), Titian, The National Gallery Company/Yale, London 2003, ISBN 1 857099036;
- R. F. Heath, Life of Titan, page 5.
Seu estilo mostra a transição da terceira fase do Renascimento para a Alta Renascença. Sua primeira composição importante foi o Altar do Sacramento (1485-90) na Igreja do Espírito Santo em Florença, com uma alta qualidade artesanal e uma grande ênfase nas emoções. Passou vários anos em Portugal, e em 1502 estava de novo em Florença, quando começou o grupo do Batismo de Cristo, instalado na fachada do Batistério de São João, cujo tratamento elegante, sóbrio e dignificado, junto com a grande beleza dos corpos, o torna uma das primeiras obras importantes da Alta Renascença. Também compôs uma série de frisos policromos para a Villa Medicea di Poggio a Caiano. Em 1505 foi para Roma contratado pelo papa Júlio II para executar duas tumbas quase idênticas para os cardeais Ascanio Sforza e Girolamo della Rovere na Igreja de Santa Maria del Popolo, completadas em 1509 e consideradas suas obras mais originais. Sua última grande encomenda foi supervisionar a construção de vários edifícios na cidade de Loreto e a decoração da Santa Casa local, para onde esculpiu um relevo da Anunciação de grande riqueza plástica. A suavidade e graça de seu estilo foi um contraponto à inclinação ao drama de Michelangelo.
Antonio da Correggio
Correggio é como era conhecido o pintor italiano Antônio Allegri (Correggio, c.1489 - Idem, 5 de março de 1534). Foi um pintor da Renascença italiana, contemporâneo de Leonardo e Rafael, com obras nos principais museus de todo o mundo.
Antônio Allegri nasceu em Correggio, uma cidade italiana na Reggio Emília. A data de seu nascimento é incerta (cerca de 1489) e era filho de um comerciante. Sua infância e seus primeiros passos na pintura sào pouco conhecidos, Giorgio Vasari escreveu no seu livro Vite que era uma família muito pobre, mas sabe-se que de 1503 até 1505 foi aprendiz de Francesco Bianchi Ferrara em Modena, onde provavelmente conheceu o classicismo de Lorenzo Costa e Francesco Francia, o que pode ser reconhecido nos seus primeiros trabalhos. Depois de uma viagem a Mântua em 1506, retornou e permaneceu em Correggio até 1510. Nesse período é assinalada a obra Adoração do Menino com Santa Isabel e São João, que mostra claras influências de Costa e Mantegna. Em 1514 ele provavelmente pintou tres obras para a entrada da igreja de Santo André em Mantua, voltando a Correggio, onde contratou a execução do altar de Nossa Senhora no monastério franciscano local (atualmente em Dresden). Em 1516 Antônio se encontrava em Parma, onde se tornou amigo de M.Anselmi, um dos principais pintores maneiristas. Permaneceu ali até 1530.
Em 1519, casou-se com Girolama Francesca di Braghetis, também de Correggio. que faleceu em 1529. Desse período são Madona e o Menino com São João criança, Cristo deixando sua Mãe e a perdida Madona de Albinea.
A primeira grande encomenda a Correggio foi para pintar o teto da sala de jantar da abadessa do convento de São Paulo, em Parma. Ele pintou uma maravilhosa árvore formando um pergolado, com imagens adoraveis em óculos, lembrando o frescor da Vila Farnese em Roma . Pintou a ilusionista Visão de São João em Patmos (1520-1521) para o domo da igreja de São João Evangelista. Três anos depois decorou o domo da catedral de Parma com a brilhante Ascensão da Virgem, coroada com camadas de anjos em perspectiva. A complexidade deste trabalho e sua sugestão de um infinito divino foi inovadora. Muitos afrescos foram executados como se fossem uma tela. Outras obras-primas incluem A Lamentação e O Martirio de Quatro Santos, atualmente em Parma. Trabalhou também em suas obras sobre mitologia, melhor descritas a seguir.
Em 15 de março de 1534, morre em sua cidade natal e foi sepultado na igreja de São Francisco. Vasari conta que o pintor foi acometido de uma forte febre quando retornava a Parma para receber o dinheiro de uma encomenda.
Sómente para situar Correggio em sua época, lembremos que Alexandre VI, nascido na Espanha com o nome de Rodrigo Bórgia, era o papa da época, e sua filha Lucrécia (1480-1519 ), era casada com Alfonso d'Este, Duque de Ferrara e Módena, embora diziam ter frequentado também a cama de Francisco Gonzaga, Duque de Mantua. Allegro foi contemporâneo ainda de grandes nomes como Leonardo , Michelangelo ,Rafael , entre tantos grandes, e se quinhentos anos depois ainda se guarda sua memória, é por ter seu valor.
Obras baseadas na mitologia
Além de suas obras religiosas, Antônio de Correggio produziu uma série obras baseadas na mitologia, centrada nos Amores de Jupiter, como descrito nas Metamorfoses de Ovidio. Foram encomendadas por Francisco Gonzaga de Mantua, para decorar a Sala de Ovidio no Pallazzo Te. Entretanto foram presenteadas a Carlos V , o rei da Espanha que também dominava o Sacro Império, e deixaram a Itália pela Áustria .
Antônio Allegri era descrito por seus contemporâneos como sombrio, melancólico e introspectivo, provavelmente por sua infância numa família pobre e numerosa. Correggio foi um artísta eclético, não sendo possível identificar uma linha única entre suas obras.
Parece que emergiu sem um aprendizado maior, e não teve sucessores ou aprendizes conhecidos, mas suas obras são consideradas como revolucionárias e influentes em artistas posteriores. Um século depois de sua morte, suas obras eram bem conhecidas por Vasari, o grande historiador da arte da época, que disse sentir por não ter havido exposição suficiente de sua obra em Roma. Nos séculos XVIII e XIX, suas obras foram frequentemente citadas nos diarios de visitantes estrangeiros, o que mostra a revalorização de sua arte durante o Romantismo. O vôo da Madona na cupula da catedral de Parma inspirou varias decorações em locais leigos e religiosos.
- Madona (1512-14) - Castelo Sforza, Milão
- Adoração dos Magos (1516-18) - Pinacoteca de Brera, Milão
- Ecce Homo - National Gallery, Londres
- O Casamento Místico de Santa Catarina (1510-15) - National Gallery of Art, Washington
- Madona com São Francisco (1514) - Gemäldegalerie, Dresden
- Madona de Albinea (1514) - perdida
- A Virgem e o Menino com um anjo(Madona do Latte) - Budapest
- Madona e o Menino com São João criança (1516) - Museu del Prado, Madri
- O Descanso durante a fuga do Egito com São Francisco (1517) - Galleria degli Uffizi. Florença
- Retrato de um cavalheiro (1517-19) - Hermitage, são Petresburgo
- A Adoração do Menino (1518-20) - Galleria degli Uffizi. Florença
- Sala de São Paulo (1519) - Convento de São Paulo, Parma
- O Casamento miístico de Santa Catarina (c.1520) - Louvre, Paris
- Ascensão de São João (1520-24) - Igreja de São João Evangelista, parma
- Madona com São Jeronimo (c. 1522) - Galleria Nazionale, Parma
- Madona do Scalla (c. 1523) - idem
- Deposição da cruz (1525) - idem
- Noli me Tangere (c. 1525) - Museu del Prado, Madri
- Assunção da Virgem (1526-30) - Catedral de Parma
- Natividade (1528-30) - Gemäldegalerie, Dresden
- A Educação de Cupido (c. 1528) - National Gallery, Londres
- Venus e Cupido com um sátiro (c. 1528) - Louvre, Paris
- Madona com São Jorge (1530-32) - Gemäldegalerie, Dresden
- Ganimedes"(1531-32) - Kunsthistorisches Museum, Viena
- Jupiter e Io (1531-32) - idem
- Leda e o cisne (1531-32) - Staatliche Museen, Berlin
- Danae c. 1531) - Galleria Borghese, Roma
- Alegoria da Virtude (c. 1532-34) - Louvre, París
- Roberto Longhi, Il Correggio e la Camera di San Paolo a Parma, Genova 1956
- R. Longhi, Le fasi del Correggio giovine e l'esigenza del suo viaggio a Roma, in "Paragone", maggio 1958, pp. 34-53, ripubbl. in Da Cimabue a Morandi, saggi di storia della pittura italiana scelti e ordinati da Gianfranco Contini, Milano 1978, pp. 711-726
- P.Piva, E. Dal Canto, Dal Correggio a Giulio Romano. La committenza di Gregorio Cortese, Mantova 1989
- D. Ekserdjian, Correggio, Silvana Editoriale, Milano 1997.
- M. Di Giampaolo, Correggio disegnatore, Milano 2001
- Carrassat, P.F.R., Maestros de la pintura, Spes Editorial, S.L., 2005. ISBN 84-8332-597-7
- Deswarte, S., «Correggio», en Diccionario Larousse de la Pintura, I, Planeta-Agostini, Barcelona, 1987. ISBN 84-395-0649-X
- Pérez Sánchez, A.E., «La pintura del "Cinquecento". El Manierismo en Italia», en Historia del arte, Anaya, Madrid, 1986. ISBN 84-207-1408-9
Grünewald: Altar de Isenheim
Giovanni da Bologna
Il Gesú, roma
Van Dyck (Vandyke)
FATOS HISTÓRICOS IMPORTANTES NO PERÍODO:
- Imperador Maximiliano I
- Papa Júlio II
- Henrique VIII da Inglaterra
- Papa Leão X
- Francisco I da França
- Reforma de Lutero
- Imperador Carlos V
- Fundação Companhia de Jesua
- Filipe II da espanha
- Elizabete I da Inglaterra
- Ascensão da República Holandesa
- Guerra os Trinta Anos
- Carlos I da Inglaterra
- Luis XIV da França
- Incêncio de Londres
- Declaração da Independência
- Revolução Francesa
- Imperador Napoleão I
- Revoluções Européias Ruskin
- William Morris
- Invenção da Fotografia (primeiros daguerreótipos)
- I Guerra Mundial
- II Gerra Mndial