Piero di Cosimo, ‘Portraits of Giuliano and Francesco Giamberti da Sangallo’, 1482 -1485, Rijksmuseum

On loan from the Koninklijk Kabinet van Schilderijen Mauritshuis

Image rights: Public domain

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About Piero di Cosimo

An eccentric and sometimes reclusive figure, Renaissance painter Piero di Cosimo did not belong to particular school, but rather adopted stylistic elements from the individual artists he admired. Di Cosimo is known to have worked in the studio of Cosimo Rosselli in 1480; he and Rosselli worked together on three frescoes commissioned for the Sistine Chapel. Di Cosimo painted evocative landscapes, fantastical and mythological subject matter—including hybrid forms of humans and animals (some of which he based on Vitruvius’s account of the evolution of humankind)—and processions and pageants. He is thought to have drawn influence from Luca Signorelli for his highly modeled figures, and from Leonardo da Vinci for his sfumato technique, producing very fine shading to create atmospheric effects. Di Cosimo trained the artist Andrea del Sarto, and his groupings of figures are thought to have been sources for Michelangelo.

Italian, 1462-1521, Florence, Italy, based in Florence, Italy