Pontormo, Jacopo da

Pontormo, Jacopo da
(1494-1556/7)
   Florentine painter, as-sociated with the mannerist reaction against the monumental spirit of High Renaissance art, even though his development was strongly influenced by the work of two of the greatest figures of the High Re-naissance, Michelangelo and the German Albrecht Dürer. Unlike his friend and fellow mannerist Rosso Fiorentino, his work did not strive for shocking effects or engage in deliberate exaggeration and distortion but instead presented its human subjects as withdrawn and isolated, reflecting the shy, introspective personality of the artist him-self. While Pontormo's fresco The Visitation (1514-1516) seems to follow the classical, idealized style of the Renaissance, his Joseph in Egypt (ca. 1518) already shows traits of mannerism, above all in its sense of anxiety and its unfocused composition. His fresco of Ver-tumnus and Pomona (1520-1521), painted for Pope Leo X, is con-ventional and beautifully executed Renaissance art, but his Passion (1523-1526) and especially his altarpiece of the Lamentation (1525-1528) again show the disordered composition and the tortured figures that mark the emergence of mannerism. His human figures, well illustrated by his drawing of a young girl (ca. 1526), are moody and withdrawn, far removed in spirit from the masterpieces of the High Renaissance, though not inferior in workmanship.

Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. . 2004.


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