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Zoppo Marco (Italian 1433 - 1498)

Marco Zoppo (1433 - 1498) was an Italian painter of the Renaissance period, active mainly in his native Bologna. He was a pupil of the painter Lippo Dalmasio then for a few years with Francesco Squarcione around 1455, and thus part of the Bolognese School of painting. He was a contemporary of Andrea Mantegna. He painted a number of ‘’Virgin enthroned with infant and saints’’ in Bologna. Francesco Francia was one of his pupils. He died in Venice to he had left after working for Francesco Squarcione.

Italian painter (originally Marco di Ruggero). The earliest dated notice of Zoppo is an agreement of 24 May 1455 concerning his legal adoption by the Paduan painter Francesco Squarcione. The document indicates that at the time it was drawn up Zoppo had been living in Squarcione's house for about two years and at 23 years old was already recognized as a painter of considerable ability. According to the agreement, Francesco Squarcione, who was childless and had recently become a widower, acknowledged Zoppo as his sole heir in return for Zoppo's work in painting. The contract, however, was short-lived. By October of the same year, Zoppo had left Francesco Squarcione and was living in Venice. Two documents record the terms by which the adoption agreement was to be annulled and the arrangements drawn up not only to compensate Zoppo for work he had uted for which Francesco Squarcione had received payment, but also to cover Squarcione's costs for having provided Zoppo with lodging and artists' materials. Clearly Zoppo quickly discovered that the conditions placed on him by Francesco Squarcione were not to his advantage. Like other young artists who came into contact with Francesco Squarcione, most notably Andrea Mantegna, who had a similar experience in the late 1440s, Zoppo soon realized that his success as an artist rested on gaining his freedom, even though this could be achieved only by relinquishing his rights to Squarcione's substantial estate.

Zoppo was active in Venice (1455, 1468-73) and uted further works in Bologna, including a triptych for the Collegio di Spagna, and a number of Madonna Enthroned with Infant and Saints. Influenced by Mantegna and by Jacopo and Giovanni Bellini, Zoppo produced paintings in a distinctively harsh and precise style and an album of drawings formerly attributed to Andrea Mantegna(British Museum, London).

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