Bartolommeo, Fra (1472–1517)
Bartolommeo, Fra (1472–1517)
Artist born in Savignano di Prato, near Florence in Tuscany. Showing talent as a boy, Bartolommeo was apprenticed to the workshop of Cosimo Rosselli, where his first works were influenced by Piero di Cosimo, Domenico Ghirlandaio, and Fra Filippo Lippi. He also made an intense study of the works of Leonardo da Vinci. In 1498 he created a famous portrait of Girolamo Savonarola, the Dominican friar who denounced in his sermons what he proclaimed to be the vain and degenerate works of Florentine artists. Bartolommeo took Savonarola's sermons to heart and brought many of his own works to the bonfires where books, art, and sculptures were destroyed. He joined the Dominican order in 1500, and became a monk in the convent of San Marco in Florence. He gave up painting until 1504, when his superior ordered him to run the monastery's workshop. Under the instruction of Raphael, he studied the use of perspective and color. He completed altarpieces for cathedrals in Lucca and Florence, Italy, and Besancon, France. In 1513 he moved to Rome, painted Peter and Paul and St. Mark Evangelist, considered by many to be his finest work. His paintings show a mastery of color, light, and texture, and he was especially masterful in painting clothing and intricate drapery.
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