The High Renaissance




Jacopo da Pontormo


Jacopo da Pontormo

(b Pontormo, nr Empoli, 26 May 1494; d Florence, 31 Dec 1556).

Italian painter and draughtsman. He was the leading painter in mid-16th-century Florence and one of the most original and extraordinary of Mannerist artists. His eccentric personality, solitary and slow working habits and capricious attitude towards his patrons are described by Vasari; his own diary, which covers the years 1554–6, further reveals a character with neurotic and secretive aspects. Pontormo enjoyed the protection of the Medici family throughout his career but, unlike Agnolo Bronzino and Giorgio Vasari, did not become court painter. His subjective portrait style did not lend itself to the state portrait. He produced few mythological works and after 1540 devoted himself almost exclusively to religious subjects. His drawings, mainly figure studies in red and black chalk, are among the highest expressions of the great Florentine tradition of draughtsmanship; close to 400 survive, forming arguably the most important body of drawings by a Mannerist painter. His highly personal style was much influenced by Michelangelo, though he also drew on northern art, primarily the prints of Albrecht Durer.



Leda and the Swan

Oil on wood, 55 x 40 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence



Saint Matthew
oil on wood
Capponi Chapel, San Felicita, Florence


The Meal in Emmaus
oil on canvas
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence



Fresco, 392 x 337 cm
SS. Annunziata, Florence


Sacra Conversazione

Fresco, 223 x 196 cm
SS. Annunziata, Florence

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