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Sebastiano del Piombo - biography and paintings

Sebastiano del Piombo - biography and paintings

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Sebastiano Luciani, known to us as Sebastiano del Piombo, was born around 1485 in Venice. It arose after he received the position of importer of lead seals on documents of the papal court and the Vatican. From the word "lead" and went his nickname "Lead", preserved in history.

The master, born in Venice, in the early years of his activity was heavily influenced by such eminent artists as Titian and Giorgione. Since he was a student of Giovanni Bellini, his work, of course, was affected by the influence of the artistic manner of the teacher.

In 1511, Sebastiano moved to Rome at the invitation of a famous banker to decorate his villa. Villa Farnesina has survived to the present day, impressing with its forms, style and decoration. This fact suggests that the young artist was very successful and reached a fairly high position with the then "abundance" of talented artists in Italy. It is interesting that in the future the artist was removed from work, as the client did not like the frescoes he painted, illustrations for the Metamorphoses of the Roman poet Ovid.

Despite the failure, del Piombo does not leave Rome. This had a positive effect on his creative manner, as he met Rafael Santi, one of the three Renaissance titans. His influence on the works of Sebastiano was expressed in a more balanced and competent composition, a strict and elegant style of the image. However, the master’s canvases retained the color characteristic of Venetian painting, which positively affected the quality and effect of the image.

Early works are rich in color, but without a bright riot of colors. In his canvases one can feel the influence of Titian's painting with soft color combinations and rich tints of tones, as if immersed in fog. Subsequently, the color scheme of the artist’s paintings is slightly reduced, and preference is given to more restrained colors. But the spectacularity of the Venetian style persists until the end of his days.

If acquaintance with Raphael brought harmony to the artist's work, then the influence of the Renaissance rebel - Michelangelo Buonarotti - changed the style of the master, making him more gloomy and severe. The best picture of this period is the “Resurrection of Lazarus”, the creation of which took two years - from 1517 to 1519.

Later works written during the period of the counter-reformation are distinguished by restrained color, dark tones and rather gloomy themes.

In 1527, due to the attack on Rome, the artist returned to Venice, where he created several famous paintings. Among them are the harsh and gloomy "Carrying the Cross" and a magnificent portrait of Andrea Doria - the famous Venetian admiral and statesman.

Returning to Rome after four years, the artist becomes the papal keeper of the seals. Due to this profitable and honorable position, the master had to take tonsure and became a monk. In the last years of his life, he painted exclusively portraits, among which were images of his benefactor Pope Clement VII, Christopher Columbus, Pietro Aretino, Julia Gonzaga and many other famous people of that time. He pays great attention to the creation of poetic works. The artist died in Rome in 1547. His work was awarded a description in the writings of Giorgio Vasari.

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