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Jacopo Pontormo

Jacopo Pontormo

*  1494 Pontormo bei Empoli
† 1557 Florenz

The important Tuscan mannerist Jacopo da Pontormo, also known as Jacopo Pontormo or simply Pontormo, named himself after his town of birth.
In 1494 Jacopo da Pontormo was born Jacopo Carucci at Pontormo, a Tuscan village near Empoli.
As of 1507 there is proof for Jacopo Pontormo, son of a painter, in Florence, where he was living with his uncle. It is likely that he spent the years between 1509 and 1512 learning a trade in the studio of Mariotto Albertinelli and presumably also with Fra Bartolommeo. In 1512/13 Jacopo da Pontormo joined the studio of Andrea del Sarto. In his artist biographies Vasari also mentions Leonardo da Vinci and Piero di Cosimo as teachers of Jacopo Pontormo.
Jacopo da Pontormo made his first main work as early as between 1514/16: the "Visitation of Mary" (Florence, Santissima Annunziata), which still shows the calm balance and ideality of paintings from his generation of teachers, but yet, they already hint at the particularities of Jacopo da Pontormo's mannerist style: a high tension of the composition and an increased psychological analysis.
In the course of his artistic development, Jacopo da Pontormo increased these tendencies ever more, until the point of an almost expressive staginess. The emotional-spiritual dramatic effect of Jacopo da Pontormo's main works was made even stronger through an accrete renunciation of a naturalist coloring. The inner tumultuousness of many his mature works lets the observer draw conclusions on Jacopo da Pontormo's mental state. According to contemporaries, the artist was a shy and solitary man.
A special feature of Jacopo Pontormo's art is the integration of northern Alpine traditions of painting. Especially German Renaissance graphic art, notably sheets by Albrecht Dürer, had some influence on the oeuvre of Jacopo da Pontormo.
Jacopo da Pontormo, who made numerous commissions for, among other, the Medici, died at Florence in 1557.