The High Renaissance





Lorenzo Costa


Lorenzo Costa

born c. 1460, Ferrara, Duchy of Ferrara [Italy]
died March 5, 1535, Mantua, Duchy of Mantua [Italy]

Painter of the school of Ferrara-Bologna, notable as one of the first Ferrarese artists to adopt a soft, atmospheric style of painting.
Costa was trained at Ferrara, probably under Cosme Tura, who was the first important native-born Ferrarese painter. From at least 1485 he worked at Bologna in close connection with Francia, the major Bolognese artist of the period, who led him to soften his style and eliminate his native robustness. His best works are several altarpieces in the churches of Bologna.
In 1506, soon after the expulsion of the ruling Bentivoglio family from Bologna, he was summoned as court painter to Mantua to succeed Andrea Mantegna. He had already painted (1504–06) one elaborate allegory for the Marchesa of Mantua. He spent his last years in the service of the Gonzagas, doing religious and historical pictures.

Portrait of a Lady with a Lap-dog

c. 1500
Oil on panel, 45,5 x 35,1 cm
Royal Collection, Windsor




Oil on wood, 95,3 x 75,6 cm
National Gallery, London


Court of Isabella d'Este

after 1505
Oil on canvas, 164 x 197 cm
Musee du Louvre, Paris

Madonna and Saints

S. Petronio, Bologna

Madonna and Saints
S. Petronio, Bologna


Tempera on wood
Musee des Beaux-Arts, Lyon


The Reign of Comus
(begun by Mantegna, most work done by Costa after Mantegna's death)
Musee du Louvre, Paris

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