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Giulio
Romano
Italia 
1499−1546
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Biography and information
 
Julio Romano (Pippi) (ital. Giulio Romano (Pippi), 1492, Rome, Italy — 1564, Mantua, Italy) — the most famous among students Raphael representative of Italian painting and architecture, one of the founders of Mannerism, who worked in this style most distinctively. A native of Rome, in this city he worked almost all his life, but the most famous originality of his work — painting in the Palazzo del Te — is located in Mantua. Giulio Romano was one of the youngest and most promising students of Raphael. He helped him paint the Vatican Loggia and the Villa Farnesina. When the teacher died, he was only 21 years old. According to the sketches of the master Giulio Romano could finish his projects in the Vatican.

Features creativity Giulio Romano: the works that came out from under the painter’s brush, whether it be murals or paintings, are made in the characteristic manner of some redundancy of details in the composition, they are characterized by deliberate complication of poses and angles, coldish detachment of images. Being a supporter of Mannerism, he gradually came to this style through a gradual departure from the traditions of the Italian Renaissance. It is for this reason that the early works of the painter clearly traced the features that distinguish the art of the High Renaissance, which the author took over from his great teacher, Raphael.

Famous paintings and frescoes by Giulio Romano: "Fornarina","Margarita Monferratskaya","Virgin Mary with a baby", "Christmas and the worship of shepherds".

The 16th century was a kind of turning point in the development of art for Rome. This was caused by the crisis of the principles of humanism and realism, which until then had dominated Italian culture in the era of High Renaissance. In Rome, these sentiments among representatives of art and architecture manifested themselves specifically: the masters did not refuse the traditions of the Renaissance, they seemed to have creatively exhausted. Many artists simply followed the illustrious Michelangelo, and more often, Raphael, exactly repeating their characteristic style and not adding anything to it that could indicate that the work belonged to another author.

Period of work with Rafael

At first this happened to Giulio Romano. Their joint work with Raphael began with a fresco painting of the inner walls of the Vatican. Then Romano created frescoes in the villa that belonged to the Farnese family, and Raphael also worked on its walls. Later, this great master of the High Renaissance era designed Villa Madama, and Giulio Romano once again worked on this grand palace under the guidance of a genius.

Exit from the influence of Raphael, the painter could only after his death, when he had to finish the work of the master, which he did not have time to finish. The frescoes in the Vatican Hall of Constantine relate precisely to these, partly independent works of Giulio Romano.

At about the same time, immediately after his mentor passed away, the artist wrote several murals with mythological subjects, as well as biblical content. The first independent works of Romano are literally saturated with the Raphael style and are almost exact reproduction of his technique both in terms of composition, and all that concerns color and color. In part, this can be explained by the fact that the artist only finished writing the work of Raphael on sketches made by his hand. However, it can be assumed that due to the long training of the great master the painter was deprived of the need and desire to develop his own style.

Exploring the later works of the author, you can find confirmation of this, because over time, paintings by Giulio Romano not only ceased to resemble Raphael, but also became almost alien to them in style.

Mannerism in the paintings of Giulio Romano in the post-Raphael period of creativity

In the 20s of the XVI century, the Duke of Gonzago invited the already famous painter for painting of palaces in Mantua. Mythological and historical themes were used as a storyline. Romano wrote scenes from the Trojan War and plots borrowed from the myths about Diana.

Palazzo del Te in the Italian city of Mantua became the first independent work of Romano. He himself designed this building, adhering to the principles of Mannerism, and then painted the walls of this palace in the same characteristic manner. The "Overthrow of the Giants" is a huge fresco created to decorate the walls of the Palazzo del Te, and it can be considered the epitome of a style developed by Romano by that moment. On this canvas, his tendency to hyperbolization is clearly visible: the mannerism and pretentiousness of the poses, attracting the viewer’s attention to being extremely unnatural, borders on riskiness. This is Romano’s corporate style of the second period of his work, in which he completely lost the influence of Raphael. The light naturalness inherent in the Raphael period of the painter’s creativity was replaced by the inventiveness of the composition, the tendency to exaggerated pomp, up to pomp.

This is particularly evident from the frescoes created by Giulio Romano in the 1930s in the Hall of Giants. The walls and the ceiling in this room, thanks to the skill of the painter, are a single composition depicting a grand catastrophe with a mythological plot in which Jupiter punishes with lightning. This picture in spirit echoes Michelangelo’s later work, The Last Judgment. Both works were created under the influence of the tragedy characteristic of that period of the development of Italy. But they differ fundamentally. Giulio Romano’s canvas is completely devoid of a heroic beginning, it is replaced by the external effect of the grandeur of what is happening. The death of people and the destruction is supposedly savored by the author, which causes a feeling of his anti-human attitude, which, in general, is a conceptual feature quite typical of Mannerism.

Thanks to the paintings of Giulio Romano, made on the walls of many buildings of northern Italy of the XVI century, the Italians had the opportunity to feel the spirit of the Roman culture of one of its best eras — the High Renaissance. However, he, in his later works, changing the simplicity of the composition and the veracity of the image, creates a more elaborate and completely alien to the Renaissance style, called Mannerism by art historians.

Even William Shakespeare could not resist the talent of Julio Romano — he became the only Renaissance painter whom the playwright mentioned in his work. In the play "Winter's Tale" there are several lines about the artist: "… the work of the famous master Giulio Romano, who imitates nature with such perfection, seems to have surpassed it when he himself was immortal and could revive his creations."
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Giulio Romano. Portrait Of Isabel
Portrait Of Isabel
Giulio Romano
1518, 95×120 cm
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Giulio Romano. The lady at toilet (Fornarina)
The lady at toilet (Fornarina)
Giulio Romano
1521, 111×92 cm
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12 artworks total
1523, 37×30.5 cm
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