Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Lorenzo di Credi

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Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Volume 4
Lorenzo di Credi

by George Charles Williamson


Florentine painter, b. at Florence, 1459; d. there, 1537. Vasari gives his family name as Sciarpelloni, but his original name seems to have been Barducci. He was a pupil first of the goldsmith Credi, from whom he took his name, and then of the sculptor Verrocchio, having as fellow-pupils Perugino and Leonardo da Vinci. To the latter painter Lorenzo attached himself in terms of friendship, and he copied the manner of Leonardo with great success. When Verrocchio went to Venice to cast the bronze equestrian statue of Colleoni, he left to Lorenzo the entire administration of all his affairs, and in his will charged him to complete the statue, which he had been unable to finish, adding the following remark: "Because he has the ability to finish it properly". Leonardo was, however, instructed by the Venetians to complete the figure. Di Credi was a devout follower of Savonarola and a man of deeply religious character. He was an eminent portrait-painter, and his religious pictures were in great demand for the churches and convents of Florence and the neighbourhood. One of the finest is at Pistoja, originally painted for the hospital of the Ceppo. The portrait of Verrocchio is at Florence. Other examples are at Berlin, Dresden, London, Paris, Rome, and Turin. They are all remarkable for their magnificence of colour, exquisite composition, but extraordinary rigidity of drapery, the folds having the appearance of metal work in many cases and revealing the original training as a goldsmith which the artist received. He died at the age of seventy-eight in his own house in Florence, near Santa Maria Nuova, and was buried in San Pietro Maggiore. A little while before his death he bequeathed to the hospital of Santa Maria Nuova a farm which he had purchased at Casciano. He was said to have been a very slow painter, but took immense pains in the execution of all he did, prepared and ground all his own colours, and finished his paintings with exquisite refinement and care.

VASARI, Vite dei pittori (1550); BOTTARI, Note alle vite dei pittori (Rome, 1767-72); IDEM, Lettere Pittoriche (Rome, 1754-59); IDEM, Dialoghi (Lucca, 1754); unpublished MSS. of ORETTI at Bologna; BRYAN, Dict. of Painters and Engravers (New York, London, 1903); BURLINGTON FINE ARTS CLUB, Catalogues.

GEORGE CHARLES WILLIAMSON