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Polidoro da Caravaggio

Caravaggio, h. 1499 - Messina, h. 1543

Polidoro left his native Lombardy for Rome around 1515, where he entered the workshop of Raphael (1483-1520). In 1517-1518 he worked with Giulio Romano (c. 1499-1546) and Perino del Vaga (1501-1547) on the frescoes in the Vatican Logge; he developed a particularly close friendship with the latter artist, who probably prepared the plans for Polidoro's frescoes of the Passion (early 1520s) in the Cappella degli Svizzeri in S. Maria della Pieta, also at the Vatican. During his early period, he also collaborated with Maturino da Firenze (1490-1527/28), an artist in the circle of Peruzzi (1481-1536), inspired by whose example Polidoro decorated innumerable facades with grisaille friezes in Rome and Naples. While few of these frescos survive in Rome -and none of his Neapolitan output is extant- many of the schemes are nevertheless preserved in drawings and engravings by later artists. His decorations in the chapel of Fra' Mariano in S. Silvestro al Quirinale, Rome (c. 1526) may also have been executed with the assistance of Maturino, but they also reflect the influence of Rosso Fiorentino (1494-1540), Parmigianino (1503-1540) and Michelangelo (1475-1564). During the Sack of Rome in 1527, Polidoro moved briefly to Naples (again, little survives of his work executed there), before settling the following year in Messina. Here, isolated from the influence of Rome, his numerous altarpieces show an increasingly expressive quality, such as the Road to Calvary (Capodimonte, Naples), which he painted before 1534 for S. Annunziata dei Catalani; for this he made many preparatory oil sketches (Turner, N.: From Michelangelo to Annibale Carracci. A century of Italian drawings from the Prado, Art Services International-Museo Nacional del Prado, 2008, p. 72).

Artworks (2)


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