Bartolomeo Veneto
Unknown - 1531

The only clues about Bartolomeo Veneto's life are the signatures, dates, and inscriptions on his paintings. Working in the northern Italian regions of the Veneto and Lombardy, he began as a painter of small, devotional paintings and developed into a fashionable portraitist. He probably trained with Venetian master Gentile Bellini. His earliest dated painting, a Virgin and Child, also shows the influence of Giovanni Bellini's paintings of that subject. In his early career Bartolomeo frequently copied and signed religious works by other painters from northeastern Italy such as the Bellinis. Bartolomeo worked at the Este court in Ferrara from 1505 to 1508, where he developed his style in the rich culture of the Renaissance court there. By 1520 he was a successful portrait painter in Milan, depicting fashionable young men in contemporary costume. Leonardo da Vinci had revived portraiture there and Bartolomeo's style displays Leonardo's influence. A strong chiaroscuro gives structural coherence and a new psychological suggestiveness to his paintings, as in the Getty Museum's Lady Playing a Lute. Bartolomeo's sitters are characterized by elaborate costumes depicted in meticulous detail. In his late work, softer, more fluid handling shows his awareness of Titian's portraiture.

"Ghirlandaio" Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2001 © 1997-2000 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.