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Pinturicchio (also by Pinturicchio; Bernardino di Betto (or di Benedetto), di Biagio, Italian. Bernardino di Betto di Biagio; 1454, Perugia – 1513, Siena) – Italian painter of the Early Renaissance. The representative of the Umbrian school of the Quattrocento. Shone mainly in the field of monumental and decorative painting, were recognized and received generously paid orders from the senior audience. So, his frescoes adorn the rooms of Pope Alexander VI (known as the Borgia Apartments), the library of Aeneas Piccolomini (Pope Pius II) and other members of the then nobility.
Features of the artist Pinturicchio: the frescoes of Umbria differ excessive decorations, he was too fond of ornamentation and embellishment, worked "the rich", sparing neither gold nor azure. In this painting the brush of Pinturicchio mind-boggling for such a luxury and scope, before which sometimes even the most stinging criticism was softened and graciously forgave his lack of skill, taste and talent.
Famous paintings and frescoes by Pinturicchio: "Portrait of a boy", "The Annunciation", "Return Of Odysseus", "Madonna and child", "Death of San Bernardino".

Umbria is the most isolated region of Italy. For the exception, all others have either landlocked or border on other States. But asceticism is more than compensated by its beautiful landscapes. Thanks to them the region called "green heart of Italy". Vast olive groves, dense network of rivers, soothing waterfalls and emerald hills – no wonder this area became the cradle of a whole movement in art – the Umbrian school of painting.

Also, it is not surprising that its representatives have achieved particular skill in the writing of the recognizable landscapes of Umbria and even set the tone in the use of landscapes as background as easel portraits and monumental paintings. Raphael, Giovanni Boccati, Luca Signorelli, Pietro Perugino– it would be difficult to tell the story of the Renaissance with no mention of the names of the Umbrian Pantheon. Went in and Bernardino di Betto di Biagio (ital. Bernardino di Betto di Biagio), better known by the nickname Pinturicchio (ital. Pinturicchio) : "little artist" – because of small stature.

A talented painter

Although some of his contemporaries it seemed that the fame of the artist unfairly exaggerated, and fortune favors him only because "true their children destiny finds those who are without the assistance of any talent entirely depends on it, and that she wished for, when by the grace of her exalted those who would have remained in obscurity if it relied only on its own merits". It was explained to themselves the popularity of Pinturicchio at the esteemed customers is no less spoiled by the attention of the public, but extremely vain Vasari.

About the early life of the painter is not known absolutely nothing. Even the date of his birth determined only approximately. In most sources indicate about 1454, while others admit that the artist could have been born a few years later. The first documentary evidence of its existence is the entry in the register of the Guild of painters of Perugia, administrative centre of Umbria, dated 1481 year. The following year, Pinturicchio get paid for painting the rest of the Palazzo dei priori in Perugia – his first historically affected but stylistically modest and uninformative job.

At a young age, became a pupil of Pinturicchio, Pietro Perugino, whose influence would later be called the main source of inspiration of all his work. "If we now turn to the remaining creation of Pinturicchio, we make sure it is not that other as a paraphrase of the art of Perugino", wrote Benoitdevoted, sarcastic, condescending criticism of the heritage of the Italian painter an entire Chapter of his monumental work "History of painting". In the section "Pinturicchio – a talented painter," Alexander argues that he was "small, dull, unattractive man, and all this probably kept him at a known distance from life, which might seem to him the more joyful and enviable".

The Roman period

Anyway actually, one thing is clear: umbrico carried as envious and admirers. After his work as an assistant to Perugino in painting the Sistine chapel (along with Rafael, Botticelliand Signorelli), by Pinturicchio began to pour prestigious orders, which has made it one of the most sought after and highly paid artists of the region.

Unfortunately, all the information about the life of Pinturicchio, extant, confined to the meager information about the work and the city he wrote. We know almost nothing about his habits, personal life and preferences. Continuing work in Rome, Pinturicchio about five years paints Bufalini chapel in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Aracoeli, which stands on Capitol hill. So there was a cycle of frescoes with scenes from the life of St. Bernardino of Siena, patron Saint of the family Bufalini (customer). On one of themreally clearly shows the influence of mentor, it is very common with"The key collection" in the Sistine chapel painted by Perugino.

The next two years Pinturicchio devotes to the della Rovere chapel (Santa Maria del Popolo), which is still perfectly preserved altarpiece "Adoration". Thanks to the patronage of Pope Alexander VI and his son, Cesaro Borgia in 1492, the painter gets an order for painted rooms in the Vatican Palace (known as the Borgia Apartments). During this period, the final is the author's style of Pinturicchio as an artist-decorator, a little interested in the drama scenes, but fully deferent soul in the embellishment. To heighten the emphasis on the architectural elements he flavored paintings mosaics and stucco relief ornaments enriched with gold.

The court chronicler

In 1496 Pinturicchio returned to Perugia. At the dawn of the new century he has been creating frescos in the Cappella Baglioni in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, which is now open to tourists in the town of Spello, near the capital of Umbria. And in 1503 sent to Siena for the design of the Piccolomini library, Siena Cathedral Appendix. It holds the collection of manuscripts of the Pope Aeneas Silvio Piccolomini, who was seated on the papal throne under the name of Pius II. The major milestones of his reign and captured the painter in ten elegant and generously colored frescoes (1, 2, 3).

Cause a controversial response from fans. "The figures could hardly be worse than depicted. No creature rests firmly on his feet as if disembodied, even the beauty of the female individuals annoying due to the constant mindless and pointless repeating them. The colouring of these frescoes can hardly be tasteless. And yet they have an undeniable charm! No matter how bad they are from many points of view as architectonic decoration they are excellent"– began for the dead, came still for the health of Bernard Berenson, an American expert in the field of the Italian Renaissance.

According to some information, in Siena Pinturicchio finally the donkey got married and had kids. Here it contributes to the local Cathedral – style design floor mosaic. Together with Luca Signorelli and Girolamo Gengoubrings to life the ambitious plan of the former ruler of Siena, Pandolfo Petrucci, describing his residence, Palazzo del Magnifico, stories based on ancient myths (1, 2).

About the circumstances of the death of Pinturicchio in 1513 Vasari tells the almost comical way. The painter bought the altarpiece of the Nativity of the virgin Mary of Siena Basilica di San Francesco. At his request, the monks call on the cell to stay, and the artist insists on its utter emptiness: "They took out all but a huge and ancient conducida, so as to drag him to them seemed too bulky. But Pinturicchio, being a man of whimsical and capricious, has done so much noise and so many times that the brothers, in desperation, finally decided to remove the chest, and so they're lucky, pulling him, they broke down the Board and out of it spilled five hundred ducats of the Treasury gold, and is so upset Pinturicchio, offered good poor brethren, and so he got upset that nothing else matters to thought and from this and died".

Mark in history

Alas, to date, survived only a few easel paintings of the artist. But even one of them "Portrait of a boy"– it would be enough to write the name of Pinturicchio in the annals of the early Italian Renaissance. It was at the hearing and in recent years: in honor of the Umbrian painter received the nickname of footballer Alessandro Del Piero, former captain of the Turin club "Juventus".

Evidence that Pinturicchio been in Florence, does not exist. However, it is quite easy to imagine short his visits, given its geographic proximity and cultural ties with Tuscany. Perhaps if, following the example of Perugino, he also allowed himself "like anteyu, to draw strength" in fresh Florentine air, umbrico have been able to go beyond the reputation of the provincial Mazilu.

"Pinturicchio was unknown to the emancipation from the provincial stagnation of manners and everyday life, lead weight descended on his shoulders. The invigorating air of the outer world never touched him"– lamenting Berenson. "However, even in the worst examples of its daub Pinturicchio so has the rare and refreshing talent to us that if you are not too subtle nature, get pleasure from it and swear that it's not spotting, but a very valuable paintings"– sums up the legacy of the American painter and art historian.

Author: Natalia Azarenka
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