Sebastiano del Piombo
Sebastiano del Piombo was an Italian painter of the High Renaissance and early Mannerist periods famous as the only major artist of the period to combine the colouring of the Venetian school in which he was trained with the monumental forms of the Roman school. He belongs both to the painting school of his native city, where he made significant contributions before he left for Rome in 1511, that of Rome, where he stayed for the rest of his life, whose style he adopted. Born Sebastiano Luciani, after coming to Rome he became known as "Sebastiano Veneziano" or "Viniziano", until in 1531 he became the Keeper of the Seal to the Papacy, so got the nickname del Piombo thereafter, meaning "of the lead", from his new job title of Piombatore. Friends like Michelangelo and Ariosto called him "Fra Bastiano". Never a disciplined or productive painter, his artistic productivity fell still further after becoming piombatore, which committed him to attend on the pope most days, travel with him, he had to take holy orders as a friar, despite having a wife and two children.
He now painted portraits, few works of his survive compared to his great contemporaries in Rome. This limited his involvement with the Mannerist style of his years. Having achieved success as a lutenist in Venice when young, he turned to painting and trained with Giovanni Bellini and Giorgione; when he first went to Rome he worked alongside Raphael and became one of the few painters to get on well with Michelangelo, who tried to promote his career by encouraging him to compete for commissions against Raphael. He painted portraits and religious subjects in oils, once he was established avoided the large fresco schemes that took up so much of the time of Raphael and Michelangelo, his earlier career in both Venice and Rome was somewhat overshadowed by the presence of greater painters in the same city, but after the death of Raphael in 1520 he became Rome's leading painter. His influence on other artists was limited by his lack of prominent pupils, little dissemination of his works in print copies.
Sebastiano del Piombo was born in Venice, though there is no certainty as to his background. His birthdate is extrapolated from Vasari's statement that he was 62 at his death in 1547; that he was first known as a musician and singer may suggest an upper-middle-class background. Like his contemporary Raphael, his career was marked by his ability to get on well with both other artists and patrons, he began to train as a painter at a late age 18 or 20, so around 1503–05, becoming a pupil of Giovanni Bellini and afterwards of Giorgione, both of whose influence is apparent in his works. No signed or documented works survive from his period painting in Venice, many attributions are disputed; as with other artists, some of Sebastiano's works have long been confused with Giorgione's. Like Titian, he may have completed work left unfinished at Giorgione's death in 1510; the earliest significant work attributed to him is a portrait of a girl in Budapest, of about 1505. He is now assigned the unfinished and reworked Judgement of Solomon now at Kingston Lacy.
This dramatic and imposing picture, "one of the masterpieces of Venetian narrative painting", was long attributed to Giorgione. After extensive restoration in the 1980s, removing overpainting, the painting is now left with traces of the three different compositions visible. Still over 2 × 3 metres, it seems to have been larger, with some 40 cm lost along the left edge. There are two versions of the elaborate architectural background, a recurrent interest of Sebastiano's Venetian period; the last setting is in a basilica, which may reflect a "more learned" picture intended for a building holding courts of justice. The figure at the front of the executioner, left without clothes or the baby, is drawn from classical sculpture. Four standing figures of saints in niches on the organ-shutters of San Bartolomeo, now in the Gallerie dell'Accademia in Venice, date from c. 1508–09, are "very Giorgionesque" the pair on the insides. They were painted at the same time as Giorgione's frescos for the Fondaco dei Tedeschi just by the church, the German's church in Venice, at this time held Albrecht Dürer's Madonna of the Rose-Garlands of 1506.
The outside pair of shutters show what Sebastiano had learnt from Bellini. Their technique has developed "from the earlier smooth surface to the application of paint in heavy brushstrokes", the figure of Saint Sebastian shows awareness of classical sculpture; the main altarpiece for San Giovanni Crisostomo, Venice of 1510–11 shows the patron saint, Saint John Chrysostom reading aloud at a desk, a Mary Magdalene looking out at the viewer, two other female and three male saints. The organ-shutters for the church were painted; the style shows developments "towards a new fullness of form and breadth of movement" that may have been influenced by the Florentine painter Fra Bartolommeo, in Venice in 1508. Aspects of the composition were innovative, copied by Venetian painters, including Titian. In 1511 the Papal banker Agostino Chigi was the richest man in Rome, a generous patron of the arts. Ea
Donato Bramante, born as Donato di Pascuccio d'Antonio and known as Bramante Lazzari, was an Italian architect. He introduced Renaissance architecture to Milan and the High Renaissance style to Rome, where his plan for St. Peter's Basilica formed the basis of design executed by Michelangelo, his Tempietto marked the beginning of the High Renaissance in Rome when Pope Julius II appointed him to build a sanctuary over the spot where Peter was crucified. Bramante was born under the name Donato d'Augnolo, Donato di Pascuccio d'Antonio, or Donato Pascuccio d'Antonio in Fermignano near Urbino. Here, in 1467, Luciano Laurana was adding to the Palazzo Ducale an arcaded courtyard and other Renaissance features to Federico da Montefeltro's ducal palace. Bramante's architecture has eclipsed his painting skills: he knew the painters Melozzo da Forlì and Piero della Francesca well, who were interested in the rules of perspective and illusionistic features in Mantegna's painting. Around 1474, Bramante moved to Milan, a city with a deep Gothic architectural tradition, built several churches in the new Antique style.
The Duke, Ludovico Sforza, made him his court architect, beginning in 1476, with commissions that culminated in the famous trompe-l'oeil choir of the church of Santa Maria presso San Satiro. Space was limited, Bramante made a theatrical apse in bas-relief, combining the painterly arts of perspective with Roman details. There is an octagonal sacristy, surmounted by a dome. In Milan, Bramante built the tribune of Santa Maria delle Grazie. However, in 1499, with his Sforza patron driven from Milan by an invading French army, Bramante made his way to Rome, where he was known to the powerful Cardinal Riario. In Rome, he was soon recognized by Cardinal Della Rovere, shortly to become Pope Julius II. For Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile or Julius II, Bramante designed one of the most harmonious buildings of the Renaissance: the Tempietto of San Pietro in Montorio on the Janiculum. Despite its small scale, the construction has all the rigorous proportions and symmetry of Classical structures, surrounded by slender Doric columns, surmounted by a dome.
According to a engraving by Sebastiano Serlio, Bramante planned to set it within a colonnaded courtyard. In November 1503, Julius engaged Bramante for the construction of the grandest European architectural commission of the 16th century, the complete rebuilding of St Peter's Basilica; the cornerstone of the first of the great piers of the crossing was laid with ceremony on 17 April 1506. Few drawings by Bramante survive, though some by his assistants do, demonstrating the extent of the team, assembled. Bramante's vision for St Peter's, a centralized Greek cross plan that symbolized sublime perfection for him and his generation was fundamentally altered by the extension of the nave after his death in 1514. Bramante's plan envisaged four great chapels filling the corner spaces between the equal transepts, each one capped with a smaller dome surrounding the great dome over the crossing. So Bramante's original plan was much more Romano-Byzantine in its forms than the basilica, built. Bramante worked on several other commissions.
Among his earliest works in Rome, before the Basilica's construction was under way, is the cloister of Santa Maria della Pace near Piazza Navona. Santa Maria presso San Satiro, Milan, ca. 1482–1486 Palazzo della Cancelleria, Rome, ca. 1489-1513 Santa Maria delle Grazie. Palazzo Caprini, started around 1510 Leon Battista Alberti Giorgio Vasari Sauer, Joseph. "Donato Bramante". Catholic Encyclopedia. 2. Donato Bramante Source Information, Pictures & Documentaries about Donato
The Entombment of Christ (Caravaggio)
Caravaggio created one of his most admired altarpieces, The Entombment of Christ, in 1603–1604 for the second chapel on the right in Santa Maria in Vallicella, a church built for the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri. A copy of the painting is now in the chapel, the original is in the Vatican Pinacoteca; the painting has been copied by artists as diverse as Fragonard, Géricault and Cézanne. On 11 July 1575, Pope Gregory XIII issued a bull confirming the formation of a new society called the Oratory and granting it the church of Santa Maria in Vallicella. Two months after the bull, the rebuilding of the church commenced. Envisaged in the planned reconstruction of the Chiesa Nuova, as it became known, was the dedication of all the altars to the mysteries of the Virgin. Starting in the left transept and continuing around the five chapels on either side of the nave to the right transept, the altars are dedicated to the Presentation of the Temple, the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Nativity, the Adoration of the Shepherds, the Circumcision, the Crucifixion, the Pietà, the Resurrection, the Ascension, the Descent of the Holy Ghost, the Assumption and the Coronation.
The Entombment was planned and begun in 1602/3. The chapel in which the Entombment was to be hung, was dedicated to the Pietà, was founded by Pietro Vittrice, a friend of Pope Gregory XIII and close follower of Filippo Neri; the Capella della Pietà occupied a'privileged' position in the Chiesa Nuova: Mass could be celebrated from it and it was granted special indulgences. The chapel, placed in the right nave of the Chiesa Nuova, was conceded to Vittrice in June 1577, the foundation of the chapel ratified in September 1580; some time after his death in March 1600, a legacy of 1,000 scudi became available for the maintenance of the chapel, it was built in 1602, held to be the earliest date for the commission of Caravaggio's painting. Indeed, on 1 September 1604, it is described as'new' in a document recording that it had been paid for by Girolamo Vittrice, Pietro's nephew and heir. Girolamo Vittrice had a direct connection with Caravaggio: in August 1586 he married Orinzia di Lucio Orsi, the sister of Caravaggio's friend Prospero Orsi and the niece of the humanist Aurelio Orsi.
Aurelio, in turn, was a one-time mentor to the young Maffeo Barberini, who became Pope Urban VIII in 1623. It is through these connections that Girolamo's son, became bishop of Alatri in 1632, was able to bestow the gift of Caravaggio's Fortune Teller on Pope Innocent X Pamphilij after being appointed governor of Rome in 1647; the painting was universally admired and written about by such critics as Giulio Mancini, Giovanni Baglione, Gian Pietro Bellori and Francesco Scanelli. The painting was taken to Paris in 1797 for the Musée Napoléon, returned to Rome and installed in the Vatican in 1816; this counter-reformation painting – with a diagonal cascade of mourners and cadaver-bearers descending to the limp, dead Christ and the bare stone – is not a moment of transfiguration, but of mourning. As the viewer's eye descends from the gloom there is, too, a descent from the hysteria of Mary of Clopas through subdued emotion to death as the final emotional silencing. Unlike the gored post-crucifixion Jesus in morbid Spanish displays, Italian Christs die bloodlessly, slump in a geometrically challenging display.
As if emphasizing the dead Christ's inability to feel pain, a hand enters the wound at his side. His body is one of a muscled, thick-limbed laborer rather than the usual, bony-thin depiction. Two men carry the body. John the Evangelist, identified only by his youthful appearance and red cloak supports the dead Christ on his right knee and with his right arm, inadvertently opening the wound. Nicodemus grasps the knees in his arms, with his feet planted at the edge of the slab. Caravaggio balances the stable, dignified position of the body and the unstable exertions of the bearers. While faces are important in painting in Caravaggio it is important always to note where the arms are pointing. Skyward in The Conversion of Saint Paul on the Road to Damascus, towards Levi in The Calling of Saint Matthew. Here, the dead God's fallen arm and immaculate shroud touch stone. In some ways, the message of Christ: God come to earth, mankind reconciled with the heavens; as usual with his works of highest devotion, Caravaggio never fails to ground himself.
In the center is Mary Magdalene, drying her tears with a white handkerchief, face shadowed. Tradition held that the Virgin Mary be depicted as eternally young, but here Caravaggio paints the Virgin as an old woman; the figure of the Virgin Mary is partially obscured behind John. Her right hand hovers above his head. Seen together, the three women constitute complementary expressions of suffering; the left figure imitates the costume from Caravaggio's Penitent Magdalene. Andrew Graham-Dixon asserts that these figures were modelled by Fillide Melandroni, a frequent model in his works and about 22 years old at the time. Caravaggio's composition seems to be related to Michelangelo's Pietà as St. Peters, his Florentine Pietà, from which he takes the figure of Nicodemus. In the latter case, Caravaggio transports Michelangelo self-portrait to his own painting. Althou
Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, known as Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. His work is admired for its clarity of form, ease of composition, visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur. Together with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, he forms the traditional trinity of great masters of that period. Raphael was enormously productive, running an unusually large workshop and, despite his death at 37, leaving a large body of work. Many of his works are found in the Vatican Palace, where the frescoed Raphael Rooms were the central, the largest, work of his career; the best known work is The School of Athens in the Vatican Stanza della Segnatura. After his early years in Rome, much of his work was executed by his workshop from his drawings, with considerable loss of quality, he was influential in his lifetime, though outside Rome his work was known from his collaborative printmaking. After his death, the influence of his great rival Michelangelo was more widespread until the 18th and 19th centuries, when Raphael's more serene and harmonious qualities were again regarded as the highest models.
His career falls into three phases and three styles, first described by Giorgio Vasari: his early years in Umbria a period of about four years absorbing the artistic traditions of Florence, followed by his last hectic and triumphant twelve years in Rome, working for two Popes and their close associates. Raphael was born in the small but artistically significant central Italian city of Urbino in the Marche region, where his father Giovanni Santi was court painter to the Duke; the reputation of the court had been established by Federico da Montefeltro, a successful condottiere, created Duke of Urbino by Pope Sixtus IV – Urbino formed part of the Papal States – and who died the year before Raphael was born. The emphasis of Federico's court was rather more literary than artistic, but Giovanni Santi was a poet of sorts as well as a painter, had written a rhymed chronicle of the life of Federico, both wrote the texts and produced the decor for masque-like court entertainments, his poem to Federico shows him as keen to show awareness of the most advanced North Italian painters, Early Netherlandish artists as well.
In the small court of Urbino he was more integrated into the central circle of the ruling family than most court painters. Federico was succeeded by his son Guidobaldo da Montefeltro, who married Elisabetta Gonzaga, daughter of the ruler of Mantua, the most brilliant of the smaller Italian courts for both music and the visual arts. Under them, the court continued as a centre for literary culture. Growing up in the circle of this small court gave Raphael the excellent manners and social skills stressed by Vasari. Court life in Urbino at just after this period was to become set as the model of the virtues of the Italian humanist court through Baldassare Castiglione's depiction of it in his classic work The Book of the Courtier, published in 1528. Castiglione moved to Urbino in 1504, when Raphael was no longer based there but visited, they became good friends, he became close to other regular visitors to the court: Pietro Bibbiena and Pietro Bembo, both cardinals, were becoming well known as writers, would be in Rome during Raphael's period there.
Raphael mixed in the highest circles throughout his life, one of the factors that tended to give a misleading impression of effortlessness to his career. He did not receive a full humanistic education however, his mother Màgia died in 1491 when Raphael was eight, followed on August 1, 1494 by his father, who had remarried. Raphael was thus orphaned at eleven, he continued to live with his stepmother when not staying as an apprentice with a master. He had shown talent, according to Vasari, who says that Raphael had been "a great help to his father". A self-portrait drawing from his teenage years shows his precocity, his father's workshop continued and together with his stepmother, Raphael evidently played a part in managing it from a early age. In Urbino, he came into contact with the works of Paolo Uccello the court painter, Luca Signorelli, who until 1498 was based in nearby Città di Castello. According to Vasari, his father placed him in the workshop of the Umbrian master Pietro Perugino as an apprentice "despite the tears of his mother".
The evidence of an apprenticeship comes only from Vasari and another source, has been disputed—eight was early for an apprenticeship to begin. An alternative theory is that he received at least some training from Timoteo Viti, who acted as court painter in Urbino from 1495. Most modern historians agree that Raphael at least worked as an assistant to Perugino from around 1500. Vasari wrote that it was impossible to distinguish between their hands at this period, but many modern art historians claim to do better and detect his hand in specific areas of works by Perugino or his workshop. Apart from stylistic closeness, their techniques are similar as well, for example having paint applied thickly, using an oil varnish medium, in shadows and darker garments, but thinly on flesh areas. An excess of resin in the varnish causes cracking of areas of paint in the works of both masters; the Perugino workshop w
The Franciscans are a group of related mendicant religious orders within the Catholic Church, founded in 1209 by Saint Francis of Assisi. These orders include the Order of Friars Minor, the Order of Saint Clare, the Third Order of Saint Francis, they adhere to the teachings and spiritual disciplines of the founder and of his main associates and followers, such as Clare of Assisi, Anthony of Padua, Elizabeth of Hungary, among many others. Francis began preaching around 1207 and traveled to Rome to seek approval from Pope Innocent III in 1209 to form a new religious order; the original Rule of Saint Francis approved by the Pope disallowed ownership of property, requiring members of the order to beg for food while preaching. The austerity was meant to emulate the ministry of Jesus Christ. Franciscans preached in the streets, while boarding in church properties. Saint Clare, under Francis's guidance, founded the Poor Clares in 1212, which remains a Second Order of the Franciscans; the extreme poverty required of members was relaxed in the final revision of the Rule in 1223.
The degree of observance required of members remained a major source of conflict within the order, resulting in numerous secessions. The Order of Friars Minor known as the "Observant" branch, is one of the three Franciscan First Orders within the Catholic Church, the others being the "Conventuals" and "Capuchins"; the Order of Friars Minor, in its current form, is the result of an amalgamation of several smaller orders completed in 1897 by Pope Leo XIII. The latter two, the Capuchin and Conventual, remain distinct religious institutes within the Catholic Church, observing the Rule of Saint Francis with different emphases. Conventual Franciscans are sometimes referred to as greyfriars because of their habit. In Poland and Lithuania they are known as Bernardines, after Bernardino of Siena, although the term elsewhere refers to Cistercians instead; the name of the original order, Ordo Fratrum Minorum stems from Francis of Assisi's rejection of extravagance. Francis was the son of a wealthy cloth merchant, but gave up his wealth to pursue his faith more fully.
He had cut all ties that remained with his family, pursued a life living in solidarity with his fellow brothers in Christ. Francis adopted the simple tunic worn by peasants as the religious habit for his order, had others who wished to join him do the same; those who joined him became the original Order of Friars Minor. The modern organization of the Friars Minor comprises three separate families or groups, each considered a religious order in its own right under its own minister General and particular type of governance, they all live according to a body of regulations known as the Rule of St Francis. First OrderThe First Order or the Order of Friars Minor are called the Franciscans; this order is a mendicant religious order of men, some of whom trace their origin to Francis of Assisi. Their official Latin name is the Ordo Fratrum Minorum. St. Francis thus referred to his followers as "Fraticelli", meaning "Little Brothers". Franciscan brothers are informally called the Minorites; the modern organization of the Friars Minor comprises three separate families or groups, each considered a religious order in its own right under its own minister General and particular type of governance.
They all live according to a body of regulations known as the Rule of St Francis. These are The Order of Friars Minor known as the Observants, are most simply called Franciscan friars, official name: Friars Minor; the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin or Capuchins, official name: Friars Minor Capuchin. The Conventual Franciscans or Minorites, official name: Friars Minor Conventual". Second OrderThe Second Order, most called Poor Clares in English-speaking countries, consists of religious sisters; the order is called the Order of St. Clare, but in the thirteenth century, prior to 1263, this order was referred to as "The Poor Ladies", "The Poor Enclosed Nuns", "The Order of San Damiano". Third OrderThe Franciscan third order, known as the Third Order of Saint Francis, has many men and women members, separated into two main branches: The Secular Franciscan Order, OFS known as the Brothers and Sisters of Penance or Third Order of Penance, try to live the ideals of the movement in their daily lives outside of religious institutes.
The members of the Third Order Regular live in religious communities under the traditional religious vows. They grew out of the Secular Franciscan Order; the 2013 Annuario Pontificio gave the following figures for the membership of the principal male Franciscan orders:. Order of Friars Minor: 2,212 communities. A sermon Francis heard in 1209 on Mt 10:9 made such an impression on him that he decided to devote himself wholly to a life of apostolic poverty. Clad in a rough garment, and, after the Evangelical precept, without staff or scrip, he began to preach repentance, he was soon joined by a prominent fellow townsman, Bernard of Quintavalle, who contributed all that he had to the work, by other companions, who are said to have reached the number of eleven within a yea
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was an Italian painter active in Rome, Naples and Sicily from the early 1590s to 1610. His paintings combine a realistic observation of the human state, both physical and emotional, with a dramatic use of lighting, which had a formative influence on Baroque painting. Caravaggio employed close physical observation with a dramatic use of chiaroscuro that came to be known as tenebrism, he made the technique a dominant stylistic element, darkening shadows and transfixing subjects in bright shafts of light. Caravaggio vividly expressed crucial moments and scenes featuring violent struggles and death, he worked with live models, preferring to forgo drawings and work directly onto the canvas. His influence on the new Baroque style that emerged from Mannerism was profound, it can be seen directly or indirectly in the work of Peter Paul Rubens, Jusepe de Ribera, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Rembrandt, artists in the following generation under his influence were called the "Caravaggisti" or "Caravagesques", as well as tenebrists or tenebrosi.
Caravaggio trained as a painter in Milan before moving in his twenties to Rome. He developed a considerable name as an artist, as a violent and provocative man. A brawl forced him to flee to Naples. There he again established himself as one of the most prominent Italian painters of his generation, he traveled in 1607 to Malta and on to Sicily, pursued a papal pardon for his sentence. In 1609 he returned to Naples. Questions about his mental state arose from his bizarre behavior, he died in 1610 under uncertain circumstances while on his way from Naples to Rome. Reports stated that he died of a fever, but suggestions have been made that he was murdered or that he died of lead poisoning. Caravaggio's innovations inspired Baroque painting, but the Baroque incorporated the drama of his chiaroscuro without the psychological realism; the style evolved and fashions changed, Caravaggio fell out of favor. In the 20th century interest in his work revived, his importance to the development of Western art was reevaluated.
The 20th-century art historian André Berne-Joffroy stated, "What begins in the work of Caravaggio is, quite modern painting." Caravaggio was born in Milan, where his father, was a household administrator and architect-decorator to the Marchese of Caravaggio, a town not far from the city of Bergamo. In 1576 the family moved to Caravaggio to escape a plague that ravaged Milan, Caravaggio's father and grandfather both died there on the same day in 1577, it is assumed that the artist grew up in Caravaggio, but his family kept up connections with the Sforzas and with the powerful Colonna family, who were allied by marriage with the Sforzas and destined to play a major role in Caravaggio's life. Caravaggio's mother died in 1584, the same year he began his four-year apprenticeship to the Milanese painter Simone Peterzano, described in the contract of apprenticeship as a pupil of Titian. Caravaggio appears to have stayed in the Milan-Caravaggio area after his apprenticeship ended, but it is possible that he visited Venice and saw the works of Giorgione, whom Federico Zuccari accused him of imitating, Titian.
He would have become familiar with the art treasures of Milan, including Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper, with the regional Lombard art, a style that valued simplicity and attention to naturalistic detail and was closer to the naturalism of Germany than to the stylised formality and grandeur of Roman Mannerism. Following his initial training under Simone Peterzano, in 1592 Caravaggio left Milan for Rome, in flight after "certain quarrels" and the wounding of a police officer; the young artist arrived in Rome "naked and needy... without fixed address and without provision... short of money." During this period he stayed with the miserly Pandolfo Pucci, known as "monnsignor Insalata". A few months he was performing hack-work for the successful Giuseppe Cesari, Pope Clement VIII's favourite artist, "painting flowers and fruit" in his factory-like workshop. In Rome there was demand for paintings to fill the many huge new churches and palazzos being built at the time, it was a period when the Church was searching for a stylistic alternative to Mannerism in religious art, tasked to counter the threat of Protestantism.
Caravaggio's innovation was a radical naturalism that combined close physical observation with a dramatic theatrical, use of chiaroscuro that came to be known as tenebrism. Known works from this period include a small Boy Peeling a Fruit, a Boy with a Basket of Fruit, the Young Sick Bacchus a self-portrait done during convalescence from a serious illness that ended his employment with Cesari. All three demonstrate the physical particularity for which Caravaggio was to become renowned: the fruit-basket-boy's produce has been analysed by a professor of horticulture, able to identify individual cultivars right down to "... a large fig leaf with a prominent fungal scorch lesion resembling anthracnose."Caravaggio left Cesari, determined to make his own way after a heated argument. At this point he forged some important friendships, with the painter Prospero Orsi, the architect Onorio Longhi, the sixteen-year-old Sicilian artist Mario Minniti. Orsi
Daniele da Volterra
Daniele Ricciarelli, better known as Daniele da Volterra, was a Mannerist Italian painter and sculptor. He is best remembered for his association, for worse, with the late Michelangelo. Several of Daniele's most important works were based on designs made for that purpose by Michelangelo. After Michelangelo's death Daniele was hired to cover the genitals in his Last Judgment with vestments and loincloths; this earned him the nickname "Il Braghettone". Daniele Ricciarelli was born in Volterra; as a boy, he studied with the Sienese artists Il Sodoma and Baldassare Peruzzi, but he was not well received and left them. He appears to have accompanied the latter to Rome in 1535, helped paint the frescoes in the Palazzo Massimo alle Colonne, he became an apprentice to Perin del Vaga. From 1538 to 1541 he helped Perin with the painting of frescoes in the villa of Cardinal Trivuzio at Salone, in the Massimi chapel in Trinità dei Monti, the chapel of the crucifixion in San Marcello al Corso, he was commissioned the painting of a frieze in the main salon of the Palazzo Massimo alle Colonne, with the life of Fabius Maximus.
In Rome he started working in the circle of Michelangelo and befriended him. Michelangelo used his influence with Pope Paul III to secure Daniele commissions and the post of superintendent of the works of the Vatican, a position he retained until the Pope's death. Michelangelo provided him with sketches on which Daniele based some of his paintings his series of frescoes in the Orsini chapel in the Trinity College, the commission for which Daniele had received in December 1541. Daniele was commissioned by Paul III to complete the decoration of the Sala Regia. On the death of the pope in 1549 he lost his position as superintendent and the pension to which it entitled him, he devoted himself chiefly to sculpture. He died in Rome in 1566. According to Daniele's will, the marble knee of the missing left leg of the Christ from Michelangelo's Deposition was in his possession at the time of his death. Among his pupils was Giulio Mazzoni from Piacenza. Leonardo Ricciarelli was his nephew. Daniele's best-known painting is the Descent from the Cross in the Trinità dei Monti, after drawings by Michelangelo.
Daniele's two-sided painting of David killing Goliath in the Louvre too seems to have been based on Michelangelo's designs. Other notable works include the Massacre of the Innocents in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence, a portrait he drew of Michelangelo and a bust he made from Michelangelo's death mask. A well-known sculpture is the Cleopatra in the Belvedere. From France, Daniele received the commission to make a bronze equestrian statue of Henry II, but he finished only the horse; the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia gave the following description of Daniele's style as a painter: Daniele is infamous for having covered over, with vestments and fig-leaves, many of the genitals and backsides in Michelangelo's The Last Judgment fresco in the Sistine Chapel. This work was begun in 1565, shortly after the Council of Trent had condemned nudity in religious art, it earned Daniele the nickname "Il Braghettone". He chiseled away a part of the fresco and repainted the larger part of Saint Catherine and the entire figure of Saint Blaise behind her.
This was done because in the original version Blaise had appeared to look at Catherine's naked behind, because to some observers the position of their bodies suggested sexual intercourse. The loincloths and draperies in the lower half of the fresco, were not painted by Daniele, his work on the Last Judgment was interrupted at the end of 1565 by the death of Pope Pius IV, after which the scaffolding he used had to be removed because the chapel was needed for the election of a new pope. His pupils included painter Michele Alberti. Daniele Ricciarelli is a distant ancestor of Christian Orlandi on the part of paternal grandmother. Fabrizio Mancinelli, "The Painting of the Last Judgment: History and Restoration". In Loren Partridge, Michelangelo: The Last Judgment – A Glorious Restoration. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. 2000. ISBN 0-8109-8190-4; this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Williamson, George Charles. "Daniele da Volterra". In Herbermann, Charles. Catholic Encyclopedia.
New York: Robert Appleton. Media related to Daniele da Volterra at Wikimedia Commons "Ricciarelli, Daniele". Encyclopædia Britannica. 23. 1911. P. 290. Bust of Michelangelo, Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence. La "Deposizione" di Daniele da Volterra ritorna al pubblico, on the restoration of Descent from the Cross