The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Beccafumi, Domenico di Pace

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BECCAFUMI, Domenico di Pace, bĕk-kä-foo'mē, dō'mā-nē'kō, surnamed Mecherino, Italian painter: b. near Siena 1486; d. Siena 1551. As a shepherd boy amusing himself with drawing figures on the sand, he attracted the attention of a wealthy man, from whom he takes the name of Beccafumi, who, discerning his genius, sent him to Siena to study drawing. He there saw, admired and tried to imitate the paintings of Perugino, but having heard much of Raphael and Michelangelo, obtained means from his patron to travel to Rome. After much study of the masterpieces of the Vatican he returned to Siena and enriched its churches and its city with many noble frescoes and painted an altar-piece in the museum there. He drew and colored well, possessed strong inventive powers, was thoroughly acquainted with perspective, and excelled particularly in foreshortening, but he was not free from mannerism, and his heads are in general deficient in both dignity and beauty. He was buried with pomp in Siena Cathedral, among some of the finest monuments of his genius. His paintings include ‘Saint Catherine receiving the Stigmata’ (Siena), ‘Madonna and Child’ (Berlin), ‘Marriage of St. Catherine’ (Rome), etc. He also gained distinction as a sculptor and engraver.