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(b ?Milan, c. 1465; d Milan, 1530).

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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