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Domenico Beccafumi - Italian Artist From Art History

Art History - Historical Artists > B > Domenico Beccafumi


Historical Artist - Domenico Beccafumi (1486 - 1551)

Originally Domenico di Giovanni di Pace, he took the name of his father’s patron and called himself Domenico Beccafumi. He went to Rome and admired the work of Raphael and Michelangelo. He then encountered Leonardo da Vinci’s paintings on a trip to Florence. Beccafumi’s early paintings were the forerunners of Mannerism, leaning towards emotional and compositional imbalance rather than the harmonious art of the Renaissance. In the late 1520’s, he became the official painter to the Sienese republic, decorating many churches with his paintings and frescoes. Beccafumi also was a mosaic designer, sculptor, wood engraver, and etcher. He is considered one of the last undiluted representatives of the Sienese school of painting.

Compared to the equilibrated, geometric, and self-assured Florentine style, the Sienese style of painting, edges into a more irrational and emotionally-unbalanced world. Buildings are often transected, and perspectives awkward. The setting is often hallucinogenic; the colors, discordant. In Medieval Italy, Siena had been an artistic, economic, and political rival of Florence; but wars and natural disasters caused a decline by the 15th century. Beccafumi's style is among the last in a line of Sienese artists, a medieval believer of miracles awaking in Renaissance reality.

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