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Fra Bartolommeo (1472-1517)

( Originally Published 1955 )



Italian, Florentine. He was not an innovator like many of his Florentine contemporaries. Reflecting the influence of the dominating men of his time. Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Michelangelo, his art is dignified, monumental and rather impersonal. He was also considerably affected by the fanatic religious reformer Savonarola, whose sermons caused him in 1497 to burn all his works that were not strictly religious in content, and may have caused him to enter a monastery in 1500. Born in Florence, he entered the shop of Cosimo Rosselli in 1485 with his close friend the painter Albertinelli, and in 1492 opened a shop with Albertinelli. In 1498 he began a Last Judgment for Santa Maria Nuova, which Albertinelli took over when Bartolommeo entered the Dominican monastery at Prato in 1500. For four years he lived there in retirement and did very little painting. He was made director of the painters' workshop in San Marco, Florence, in 1505, and after a trip to Venice in 1508 resumed the partnership with Albertinelli. In 1514 he went to Rome, where he fell under the influence of 1lichelangelo and Raphael. The same year he contracted. malaria and after some further activity in Lucca and Flor.. ence died in 1517. His most famous work is the Lamentation of 1516 in the Pitti Palace, done under Leonardo's influence. Other works are in the same gallery and in the Uffizi. in the cathedral and gallery of Lucca, and in the cathedral of Volterra.



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