Vittore Carpaccio

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Vittore Carpaccio

Italian artist

Born 1450 - Died 1525

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CARPACCIO, VITTORIO, or VITTORE (c.1465—c.1522), Italian painter, was born in Venice, of an old Venetian family. The facts of his life are obscure, but his principal works were executed between 1490 and 1519; and he ranks as one of the finest precursors of the great Venetian masters. The date of his birth is conjectural. He is first mentioned in 1472 in a will of his uncle Fra Ilario, and Dr Ludwig infers from this that he was born c.1455, on the ground that no one could enter into an inheritance under the age of fifteen; but the inference ignores the possibility of a testator making his will in prospect of the beneficiary attaining his legal age. Consideration of the youthful style of his earliest dated pictures (St Ursula series, Venice, 1490) makes it improbable that at that time he had reached so mature an age as thirty-five; and the date of his birth is more probably to be guessed from his being about twenty-five in 1490. What is certain is that he was a pupil (not, as sometimes thought, the master) of Lazzaro Bastiani, who, like the Bellini and Vivarini, was the head of a large atelier in Venice, and whose own work is seen in such pictures as the S. Veneranda at Vienna, and the Doge Mocenigo kneeling before the Virgin and Madonna and Child (formerly attributed to Carpaccio) in the National Gallery, London. In later years Carpaccio appears to have been influenced by Cima da Conegliano (e.g. in the Death of the Virgin, 1508, at Ferrara). Apart from the St Ursula series, his scattered series of the Life of the Virgin and Life of St Stephen, and a Dead Christ at Berlin, may be specially mentioned.

Select Bibliography:
  • Fry, Roger. “A Genre Painter and his Critics.” Quarterly Review. London, April 1908.
  • Molmenti, Pompeo and Gustav Ludwig, lang. trans. by R. H. Cust. Life and Works of Vittorio Carpaccio. 1907.
  • Rinaldi, Stefania Mason, lang. trans. by Andrew Ellis. Carpaccio: The Major Pictorial Cycles. Skira, October 2000
  • Sgarbi, Vittorio. Carpaccio. Abbeville Press, Inc.; July 1995.

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