Bramantino (1465-1530) (Bartolomeo Suardi)

"Bramantino (1465-1530) (Bartolomeo Suardi)" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Wednesday 27th April 2011

Bartolomeo Suardi named Bramantino, Italian painter and architect, was born and died in Milan in circa1465-1530. There is very little information known about him with the certainty. Among those few data is his travel to Rome in 1508, which divided artists carrier in two. He is known most of all as a painter, and it is harder to speak about his architect activity judging only by one example (even that not brought to the end): Mausoleo Trivulzio in Milan; he also participated in construction works of Duomo in Milan, and in 1525 he received a licence of "ducal architect and painter" from Francesco II Sforza.

In painting Bramantino concentrated his attention on perspective construction, functioning as a dramatic accent. His teacher was Bernardino Butinone and his first famous works were Madonna che allatta (circa 1485) (Boston, Mus.of Fine Arts), and Nativita' (Milan, Pin.Ambrosiana).
The architectonic and illusory tastes were influenced by Bramante, with who he was working in Milan since 1499 and even his name Bramantino indicates their straight collaboration: Argo (Milan, Castello Sforzesco); Cristo alla colonna, Uomo dei dolori (Lugano, Coll.Thyssen).

It is probable that in 1500 Bramantino made a trip to the central Italy which determined his artistic classic maturity: Epifania (London, Nat.Gall.); designs for the tapestry of Mesi (Months) (see on the left December from the series of Months), ordered by Giangiacomo Trivulzio (Milan, Castello Sforzesco) (1501-circa1504), introducing himself as the most modern painter working in Milan in those times.
His Roman period (from 1508) had double effect: accent on expansion of forms, and at the same time transformation of the figures on the paintings in idols separated from reality, and the backgrounds presented as archeological back-drops of a surreal aspect: Madonna, angeli e santi (Milan, Pin.Ambrosiana), Crocifissione (Milan, Brera), Fuga in Egitto (Locarno, Santuario della Madonna del Sasso), Madonna e otto santi (Florence, Gall.Palatina di Palazzo Pitti). In the end of his carrier, after 1525, in his works Pieta' (Milan, Coll.Werner); two temperas with Pieta' and Pentecoste (Mezzana, Parrocchiale), abstraction overcomes the extreme limits.

The style of Bramantino could be noticed in works of later artists Bernardino Luini and Gaudenzio Ferrari.

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