Italian painter and architect. He was one of the leading artists in
Milan in the early 16th century. His early training as a goldsmith may
indicate a relatively late start to his activity as a painter, and none
of his work may be dated before 1490. The style of his early work
parallels that of such followers of Vincenzo Foppa as Bernardino
Butinone, Bernardo Zenale and Giovanni Donato da Montorfano. He assumed
the name Bramantino very early in his career, indicating that he was in
close contact with Donato Bramante, whose influence is uppermost in his
early work. Probably his earliest surviving painting is the Virgin
and Child (Boston, MA, Mus. F.A.). It is an adaptation of a type of
half-length Virgin with standing Christ Child well known in Milan. The
linear emphasis and the dramatic treatment of light are aspects derived
from Bramante’s work. Bramantino stressed graphic quality in this
picture, and throughout his early work he was considerably influenced by
Andrea Mantegna and by the visual aspects of prints. His Risen Christ
(Madrid, Mus. Thyssen–Bornemisza) derives from Bramante’s Christ at
the Column (c. 1490; Milan, Brera) but has a more precise
musculature and a much harder use of line. The conception of the figure
set against a rocky background, derived from Leonardo da Vinci’s
Virgin of the Rocks (versions, London, N.G.; Paris, Louvre), also
indicates Bramantino’s persistently eclectic nature.
Madonna del latte
Boston, Museum of Fine Arts.
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