Il Garofalo (1481-1559)

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The Sleeping Baby Jesus

Benvenuto Tisi, or Il Garofalo, was a Late Renaissance-Mannerist Italian painter of the School of Ferrara. Garofalo’s career began in the court of the Duke d’Este. His early works have been described as “idyllic”, but they often conform to the elaborate conceits favored by the artistically refined Ferrarese court.

The Agony in the Garden

Born in Ferrara, Garofalo is claimed to have apprenticed under Panetti, and perhaps Costa, and was a contemporary of Dosso Dossi and sometimes collaborator. In 1495, he worked at Cremona under Boccaccino, who initiated him into Venetian colouring. He may have spent three years (1509-1512) in Rome. This led to a classical style, more influenced by Giulio Romano.

A Pagan Sacrifice

Even his least successful works retain, amid their frigid and porcelain quality, a harmony which marks Venetian colouring. His youthful works include the Boar Hunt in the Palazzo Sciarra. Later, the Knight’s Procession in the Palazzo Colonna in Rome — gave promise of an Italianate Cuyp, less commonplace and more romantic and refined than the Dutch artist.

St. Sebastian

His youthful works, such as The Boar Hunt in the Palazzo Sciarra and The Virgin in the Clouds with Four Saints (1518) in the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice are among his masterpieces. The Pietà (1527) in the Brera Gallery in Milan reveals an increasingly stylized treatment. The Madonna (1532) in the Modena Gallery is a charming picture; however, the large Triumph of Religion in the Atheneum at Ferrara has been described as a “bookish” affair, whose episodes are difficult to elucidate. Garofalo is one of the painters known and described by Vasari. From 1550 until his death, Garofalo was blind. In 1520, Girolamo da Carpi is said to have apprenticed in Garofalo’s workshop and worked with him on the Ferrarese projects from 1530-1540.

The Holy Family with St. Catherine

Anthology of works:

  • Madonna and Child (1510) – Galleria dell’Arte Studiolo, Milan
  • Holy Family – Musee de Angers
  • Adoration of the Child (1508-1509) – Pinacoteca Nazionale, Ferrara
  • Neptune and Pallas (1512) – Art Gallery, Dresden
  • Madona delle Nuvole (1514) – Pinacoteca Nazionale, Ferrara
  • Madonna del Baldacchino (1517) – National Gallery, London
  • Massacre of the Innocents (1519) – Pinacoteca Nazionale, Ferrara
  • Madonna del Pilastro (1523) – Pinacoteca Nazionale, Ferrara
  • Madonna Enthroned with Saints (1524) – Duomo, Ferrara
  • Madonna in Glory (1532) – Musei Capitolini, Rome
  • St. Sebastian – Museo di Capodimonte, Naples
  • Madonna Enthroned with Saints
  • Annunciation (1528) – Musei Capitolini, Rome
  • Madonna Enthroned with Saints (1532) – Modena
  • Raising of Lazarus (1534) – Pinacoteca Nazionale, Ferrara
  • Washing the Feet of Christ – National Gallery, Washington DC
  • Blessing of Saint John the Baptist (1542) – San Salvatore, Bologna
  • Annunciation (1550) Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan
  • The Virgin and Child with Saints Dominic and Catherine of Siena (c. 1500-1505) – National Gallery, London
  • The Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints William of Aquitaine, Clare, Anthony of Padua and Francis (1517-1518) – National Gallery, London
  • A Pagan Sacrifice (1526) – National Gallery, London
  • The Holy Family with Saints John the Baptist, Elizabeth, Zacharias and (?) Francis (1520) – National Gallery, London
  • Saint Catherine of Alexandria (c. 1515-1530) – National Gallery, London
  • The Agony in the Garden (1520s-1530s) – National Gallery, London
  • The Vision of Saint Augustine (c. 1518) – National Gallery, London
  • An Allegory of Love (c. 1527-1539) – National Gallery, London
  • Christ and the Samaritan Woman (1536)
  • Madonna with Saint John and Saint Elisabeth – Courtauld Institute, London
  • Jesus in the Orchard
  • The Triumph of Bacchus (1517 unfinished draft by Raffael, 1540 finished by Garofalo) – Gemäldegalerie Alter Meister, Dresden, Germany
  • Holy Family
  • Mars, Venus and Cupido – Wawel Royal Castle, Krakow

Madonna and Child, 1510

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