(b Cortine in Valdibiana Montaperti, 1484; d
Siena, between Jan and May 1551).
Italian painter, sculptor,
draughtsman, printmaker and illuminator. He was one of the
protagonists, perhaps even the most precocious, of Tuscan
Mannerism, which he practised with a strong sense of his
Sienese artistic background but at the same time with an
awareness of contemporary developments in Florence and Rome.
He responded to the new demand for feeling and fantasy while
retaining the formal language of the early 16th century.
None of Beccafumi’s works is signed or dated, but his highly
personal maniera has facilitated almost unanimous
agreement regarding the definition of his corpus and the
principal areas of influence on it. However, some questions
concerning the circumstances of his early career and the
choices available to him remain unanswered. The more extreme
forms of Beccafumi’s reckless experimentation underwent a
critical reappraisal only in the later 20th century.
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