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Cambiaso, Luca

Moneglia, Liguria, 1527 - El Escorial, Madrid, 1585

Luca Cambiaso was the most celebrated Mannerist painter of the Genoese school, and the inventor of many large-scale fresco decorations in both palaces and churches in the city. As a draftsman, he is celebrated for having invented a style of figure drawing in which form is simplified into geometric, often cubic, components. Trained by his father, the mediocre painter Giovanni Cambiaso (1495-1579), from 1544, when he was only seventeen years old, Luca collaborated with him on the decoration of the palace of Antonio Doria. It seems likely that Luca visited Rome in 1547-1550, where his encounter with the work of Michelangelo was to have a decisive impact on his development, perhaps accounting for his early preference for boldly conceived compositions, with figures seen in emphatic foreshortening and exaggerated gestures. In his mature work in Genoa, carried out in the 1550s and 1560s, his style became calmer and more restrained. This was also the period of his collaboration with a fellow Genoese painter, Giovanni Battista Castello Il Bergamasco (c. 1509-1569). The masterpiece of this middle period in his career is his ceiling fresco of the Rape of the Sabines in the Villa Imperiale di Terralba, Genoa, painted before 1565. He was summoned by Philip II to Spain in 1583 to work at the Escorial and at Madrid, where his principal surviving work is the fresco of the Gloria on the ceiling of the sacristy of the monastery church of El Escorial (Turner, N.: From Michelangelo to Annibale Carracci. A century of Italian drawings from the Prado, Art Services International-Museo Nacional del Prado, 2008, p. 104).

Artworks (14)

El Amor dormido
Oil on canvas, Second half of the XVI century
Cambiaso, Luca
The Holy Family
Oil on canvas, Second half of the XVI century
Cambiaso, Luca
The Death of Lucretia
Oil on canvas, Last third of the XVI century
Cambiaso, Luca (Attributed to)
Saint Anne, the Virgin and the Christ Child
White lead on paper, XVI century
Cambiaso, Luca (Attributed to)
Design for ornament in the form of a winged lionness
Grey-brown wash on blue paper, XVI century
Cambiaso, Luca
Seated lioness, with one of its front paws raised
Pencil on grey paper, XVI century
Cambiaso, Luca
Fortitude
Wash on yellow paper, XVI century
Cambiaso, Luca
Battle between Hercules and the Amazons
Pencil on brown paper, 1544 - 1550
Cambiaso, Luca
Hercules shooting his bow
Wash on brown paper, 1544 - 1550
Cambiaso, Luca

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