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Nymphs and Satyr, by William Bouguereau (Detail)
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Piero di
Cosimo
Italian artist
born 1462- died 1521

Nationality:
Italian

Teacher of:
Andrea del Sarto (1486-1530)


Biographical Information

PIERO DI COSIMO (1462-1521), the name by which the Florentine painter Pietro di Lorenzo is generally known. He was born in Florence about 1462, and worked in the bottega of Cosimo Rosselli [1439-1507] (from whom he derived his popular name). Other influences that can be traced in his work are those of Filippino Lippi [c.1457-1504], Luca Signorelli [c.1441-1523], and Leonardo da Vinci [1452-1519], and, as has been recently suggested by Professor R. Muther, that Hugo van der Goes [c.1440-1482], whose Portinari altar-piece (now at the Spedale of S. Maria Novella in Florence) helped to lead the whole of Florentine painting into new channels. From him, most probably, he acquired the love of landscape and the intimate knowledge of the growth of flowers and of animal life. The influence of Hugo van der Goes is especially apparent in the Adoration of the Shepherds, at the Berlin Museum. He had the gift of a fertile fantastic imagination, which, as a result of a journey to Rome in 1482 with his master, Rosselli, became directed towards the myths of classic antiquity. He proves himself a true child of the Renaissance in such pictures as the Death of Procris, at the National Gallery, the Mars and Venus, at the Berlin Gallery, the Perseus and Andromeda series, at the Uffizi in Florence, and the Hylas and the Nymphs belonging to Mr Benson. If, as we are told by Vasari [1511-1574], he spent the last yeats of his life in gloomy retirement, the change was probably due to [Girolamo] Savonarola [1452-1498], under whose influence he turned his attention once more to religious art. The Immaculate Conception, at the Uffizi, and the Holy Family, at Dresden, best illustrate the religious fervour to which he was stimulated by the stern preacher.

With the exception of the landscape background in Rosselli's fresco of the Sermon on the Mount, in the Sistine Chapel, we have no record of any fresco work from his brush. On the other hand, he enjoyed a great reputation as a portrait painter, though the only known examples that can be definitely ascribed to him are the portrait of a warrior, at the National Gallery, (No. 895), the so-called Bella Simonetta, at Chantilly, the portraits of Giuliano di San Gallo and his father, at the Hague, and a head of a youth, at Duiwich. Vasari relates that Piero excelled in designing pageants and triumphal processions for the pleasure-loving youths of Florence, and gives a vivid description of one such procession at the end of the carnival of 1507, which illustrated the triumph of death. Piero di Cosimo exercised considerable influence upon his fellow pupils Albertinelli [1474-1515] and Bartolommeo della Porta [1472-1517] and was the master of Andrea del Sarto [1486-1530]. Examples of his work are also to be found at the Louvre in Paris, the Harrach and Liechtenstein collections in Vienna, the Borghese Gallery in Rome, the Spedale degli Innocenti in Florence, and in the collections of Mr John Burke and Colonel Cornwallis West in London. A Magdalen from his brush was added to the National Gallery of Rome in 1907.

See Piero di Cosimo, by F. Knapp (Halle, 1899); Piero di Cosimo, by H. Haberfeld (Breslau, 1901).

Source: Entry on the artist in the 1911 Edition Encyclopedia.

Allegory

1500
Panel
National Gallery of Art (Washington, District of Columbia, United States)

Web Gallery of Art
Added: 2004-08-01
Allegory
The Discovery of Honey

c1505-c1510
Oil on panel
Worcester Art Museum (Worcester, Massachussetts, United States)

Web Gallery of Art
Added: 2004-08-01
The Discovery of Honey
The Finding of Vulcan on Lemnos

1495-1505
Oil and tempera on canvas
Wadsworth Atheneum (Hartford, Connecticut, United States)

Web Gallery of Art
Added: 2004-08-01
The Finding of Vulcan on Lemnos
Perseus Frees Andromeda

c1515
Oil on wood
70 x 123 cm
(27.56" x 48.43")
Galleria degli Uffizi (Florence, Italy)

Web Gallery of Art
Added: 2004-08-01
Perseus Frees Andromeda
Perseus Frees Andromeda [detail #1]

c1515
Oil on wood
70 x 123 cm
(27.56" x 48.43")
Galleria degli Uffizi (Florence, Italy)

Web Gallery of Art
Added: 2004-08-01
Perseus Frees Andromeda [detail #1]
The Death of Procris

c1500
Oil on panel
65 x 183 cm
(25.59" x 72.05")
National Gallery (London, United Kingdom)

Web Gallery of Art
Added: 2004-08-01
The Death of Procris
The Misfortunes of Silenus

c1505-c1510
Oil on panel
Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachussetts, United States)

Web Gallery of Art
Added: 2004-08-01
The Misfortunes of Silenus
Venus, Mars, and Cupid

1490
Oil on panel
72 x 182 cm
(28.35" x 71.65")
Staatliche Museen (Berlin, Germany)

Web Gallery of Art
Added: 2004-08-01
Venus, Mars, and Cupid
The Adoration of the Christ Child

1505
Oil on wood
Galleria Borghese (Rome, Italy)

Web Gallery of Art
Added: 2004-08-01
The Adoration of the Christ Child
The Building of a Palace

1515-1520
Oil on panel
83 x 197 cm
(32.68" x 77.56")
Ringling Museum of Art (Sarasota, Florida, United States)

Web Gallery of Art
Added: 2004-08-01
The Building of a Palace