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Definition: Bartolommeo, Fra from Philip's Encyclopedia

(Bartolommeo della Porta) Florentine draughtsman and Dominican friar. In parallel with Raphael, he contributed to the development of a new type of Madonna with Saints, specific to the High Renaissance, in which the Madonna acts as a central point for the whole composition. Bartolommeo's characteristic style is one of restraint combined with monumentality, exemplified by The Mystical Marriage of St Catherine (1511).


Summary Article: Bartolommeo, Fra (c. 1472–1517) from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Italian religious painter of the High Renaissance, active in Florence. He introduced Venetian artists to the Florentine High Renaissance style during a visit to Venice in 1508, and took back with him to Florence a Venetian sense of colour. His style is one of classic simplicity and order, as in The Mystical Marriage of St Catherine (1511; Louvre, Paris).

Greatly affected by the preaching of the revivalist Girolamo Savonarola, he burned all his nude studies, and on Savonarola's death became a Dominican monk at S Marco. After an interval due to this disturbance he resumed religious painting, and when Raphael visited Florence in 1506 he made Fra Bartolommeo's acquaintance, each artist influencing the other's work.

With Mariotto Albertinelli (1474–1515), whose friend and collaborator he became, he was a pupil of Cosimo Rosselli. Bartolommeo again worked with Albertinelli after 1508 and visited Rome in 1514, when he was impressed by Michelangelo and Leonardo, his Deposition (1516, Pitti Palace) showing Leonardo's influence. Among the works in which he collaborated with Albertinelli are the fresco of the Last Judgement (1498, Sta Maria Nuova), Madonna and Saints (Pitti), and Assumption (Berlin). Bartolommeo made use of a life-size wooden lay figure, and to this some attribute the artificialities of pose and lack of real construction beneath the ample draperies of the figures which have also been criticized in Raphael's work. Some of his finest work is in Lucca, including the Madonna della Misericordia (1515).

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