1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Pontormo, Jacopo da

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

PONTORMO, JACOPO DA (1494-1557), whose family name was Carucci, Italian painter of the Florentine school, was born at Pantormo in 1494, son of a painter of ordinary ability, was apprenticed to Leonardo da Vinci, and afterwards took lessons from Piero di Cosimo. At the age of eighteen he became a journeyman to Andrea del Sarto, and was remarked as a young man of exceptional accomplishment and promise. Later on, but still in early youth, he executed, in continuation of Andrea’s labours, the “Visitation,” in the cloister of the Servi in Florence -one of the principal surviving evidences of his powers. The most extensive series of works which he ever undertook was a set of frescoes in the church of S. Lorenzo, Florence, from the “Creation of Man to the Deluge,” closing with the “Last Judgment.” By this time, towards 1546, he had fallen under the dangerous spell of Michelangelo’s colossal genius and superhuman style; and Pontormo, after working on at the frescoes for eleven years, left them incomplete, and the object of general disappointment and disparagement. They were finished by Angelo Bronzino, but have long since vanished under whitewash. Among the best works of Pontormo are his portraits, which include the likenesses of various members of the Medici family; they are vigorous, animated and highly finished. He was fond of new and odd experiments both in style of art and in method of painting. From Da Vinci he caught one of the marked physio gnomic traits of his visages, smiles and dimples. At one time he took to direct imitation or reproduction of Albert Dürer, and executed a series of paintings founded on the Passion subjects of the German master, not only in composition, but even in such peculiarities as the treatment of draperies, &c. Pontormo died of dropsy on the 2nd of January IS 57, mortified at the ill success of his frescoes in S. Lorenzo; he was buried below his work in the Servi.