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Albertinelli, Mariotto (Italian, 1474 - 1515)

Mariotto di Bigio di Bindo Albertinelli (October 13, 1474 - November 5, 1515) Italian painter. Albertinelli's contribution to the Florentine High Renaissance was inspired by the work of Fra Bartolomeo, and the two artists worked together in a partnership, their paintings appearing to be the product of a single hand. Albertinelli, however, always retained artistic independence, as is revealed in certain paintings that are eccentrically archaic and in others that show a preference for conventions more typical of the early Renaissance.

Biography

Born in Florence during the High Renaissance, at the young age of 12, Albertinelli became of pupil of Cosimo Rosselli (1439 – 1507). In Rosselli’s workshop, Albertinelli befriend another pupil, Fra Bartolomeo (1472 – 1517), and the two painters would go on to open a collaborative studio in Florence. 

Albertinelli aspired to improve his drawing, studying the ancient artworks in the Medici Garden. The artist was also influenced by the sculptural style of Raphael (1483 – 1520). When the Medicis were temporarily banished in 1494, he returned to working with Bartolomeo, whose manner he copied so assiduously, according to Giorgio Vasari (1511 – 1574) that their works were sometime confused. When, in the wake of the morality campaign of the reformer Girolamo Savonarola (1452 – 1498), Bartolomeo joined the Dominican order in 1500, (hence his name Fra or Friar Bartolomeo) and temporarily gave up painting. Albertinelli, beside himself with the loss, would have joined him; but, spurred by his success in completing an unfinished Last Judgment of Bartolomeo's, he resolved to carry on alone.

Albertinelli's paintings bear the imprint of Perugino (1446 – 1524), of who Raphael studied under, in their sense of volume in space and perspective and with Fra Bartolomeo's coloring. He also implored landscape portrayals of Flemish masters like Hans Memling (1430 – 1494), and Leonardo's (1452 – 1519) sfumato technique. His chief paintings are in Florence, notably his masterpiece, the Visitation 1503, now at the Uffizi Gallery. In this work, Albertinelli captured monumentality in his figures, with a geometrically divided landscape, and a vigorous narrative presence.

Also in the Uffizi is Albertinelli’s Annunciation, Nativity and Presentation in the Temple, a predella of the Visitation, which was painted for the Chapel of Congregazione di San Martino (later Church of Santa Elisabetta) in Florence. In this piece there is also Albertinelli’s use of balance and the laws of perspective with figures who capture a strong narrative. 

Among Albertinelli’s many students were the influential Jacopo da Pontormo (1494 – 1557) and Giuliano Bugiardini (1475 – 1577).

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