Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio (1466 — 1516)

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The Virgin and Child with St. John the Baptist and St. Sebastian

Giovanni Boltraffio was an Italian painter of the High Renaissance from Lombardy, who worked in the studio of Leonardo. Boltraffio and Bernardino Luini are the strongest artistic personalities to emerge from Leonardo’s studio. According to Giorgio Vasari, he was of an aristocratic family and was born in Milan.

Young Girl Crowned with Flowers

His major painting of the 1490s is the Resurrection painted with Marco d’Oggione (Gemäldegalerie, Berlin). A Leonardesque Madonna and Child in the Museo Poldi Pezzoli of Milan, is one of the high points of the Lombard Quattrocento.

Madonna and Child

His portraits, often in profile, and his half-length renderings of the Madonna and Child are Leonardesque in conception, though the clean hard edges of his outlines lack Leonardo’s sfumato.

Portrait of Gerolamo Casio 1495

In Bologna, where he remained from 1500-1502, he found sympathetic patrons in the Casio family, of whom he painted several portraits and for whom he produced his masterwork, the Pala Casio for the Church of the Misericordia (Louvre Museum). This masterpiece depicts a Madonna and Child with John the Baptist and Saint Sebastian and two Kneeling Donors, Giacomo Marchione de’ Pandolfi da Casio and his son, the Bolognese poet Girolamo Casio, who mentioned Boltraffio in some of his sonnets.

Portrait of a Lady

Still wondering about a painting in your family collection? Contact us…it could be by Giovanni Boltraffio.