A Selection of Important Italian Artists

Like Italian art but want to know about artists beyond our beloved Ninja Turtles (aka Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael, and Donatello)? This article is for you! By and far these are just some artists, and this is not a comprehensive list of Italian artists. If you are curious about a more extensive list please contact me directly,

Guido di Pietro ‘Fra Angelico’

c.1395 – c.1455 (fig. 1)

  • Brunelleschi and Donatello type of perspective (approx. 1425)
  • San Marco one of his most famous commissions
  • Received many commissions for studiolo decorations
  • Specify people by movements, etc. (historical narrative)

Wikipedia Link

Jacopo Bellini

c.1400 – c.1470 (fig. 2)

  • Born in Venice
  • Part of the four great Renaissance Masters
  • Some claim his is the first to use vanishing points in works
  • Andrea Mantegna's teacher

Wikipedia Link

Tommaso di Ser Giovanni di Simone ‘Masaccio’

1401 – c.1428 (fig. 3)

  • Born in Florence
  • Part of the four great Renaissance Masters
  • One of the first artists to use vanishing point in works
  • Profane paintings rare in the Renaissance period
  • Did frescos for Brancacci Chapel

Wikipedia Link

Piero della Francesca

c.1415 – c.1492 (fig. 4)

  • Born in Tuscany
  • Known for use of humanism and geometric forms/perspective in works
  • Inspired by Masaccio
  • Supposedly was commissioned by Frederico da Montefeltro in Urbino

Wikipedia Link

Pietro Vannuci ‘Perugino’

c.1446 – 1523 (fig. 5)

  • Born in Umbria
  • Developed some of the classic expressions used by Raphael/High Ren. artists
  • Emphasized landscape
  • First painter to work on the Sistine Chapel & Vatican
  • Used commercialism to promote himself
  • Influenced by Leonardo (use of sfumato)
  • Taught in same workshop as Lorenzo di Credi (contemporary), Raphael, Leonardo
  • Potentially taught by Piero della Francesca
  • Raphael's teacher

Wikipedia Link

Jacabo Carucci ‘Pontormo’

1494 – 1557 (fig. 6)

  • Active in Florence
  • Mannerist painting (Mannerism = in the manner of Michelangelo)
  • Influenced by Leonardo & Andrea del Sarto

Wikipedia Link

Angolo di Cosimo ‘Bronzino’

1503 – 1572 (fig. 7)

Wikipedia Link

Sebastiano del Piombo

c.1485 - 1547 (fig. 8)

  • Active in Venice & Rome
  • Only artist to combine Venetian school with Roman school (styles)
  • Became a piombatore (Italian for plumber), so traveled with Pope & crew
  • Trained under Bellini & Giorgione
  • Worked w/ Raphael & Michelangelo

Wikipedia Link

Giovanni Battista di Jacopo ‘Rosso Florentino’

1495 – 1540 (fig. 9)

  • Active in Florence
  • Court painter for Cosimo I de' Medici
  • Trained under Andrea del Sarto

Wikipedia Link

Jacobo Robusti ‘Tintoretto’

c.1518 - 1594 (fig. 10)

  • Active in Venice
  • Partners with Veronese
  • Studied under Titian (only 2 days)

Wikipedia Link

Paolo Veronese

1528 - 1588 (fig. 11)

  • Active in Venice
  • Early Mannerism style in works
  • Partners with Tintoretto  

Wikipedia Link

fig. 1 Fra Angelico
fig. 2 Bellini
fig. 3 Masaccio

fig. 4 Piero della Francesca
fig. 5 Perugino
fig. 6 Pontormo

fig. 7 Bronzino
fig. 8 Sebastiano del Piombo
fig. 9 Giovanni Battista di Jacopo

fig. 10 Tintoretto
fig. 11 Veronese

Image Credits

fig. 1 Fra Angelico, The Annunciation, 1437-46, fresco, Museum of San Marco [link]

fig. 2 Bellini, Madonna and Child, c.1465, oil on panel, LA Museum of Art [link]

fig. 3 Masaccio, The Tribute Money, 1425, fresco, Basilica of Our Lady of Carmel (Florence) [link]

fig. 4 Piero della Francesca, The Resurrection of Jesus Christ, 1463, fresco, Museo Civico di Sanseporlcro (Tusdcany) [link]

fig. 5 Perugino, Delivery of the Keys to Saint Peter, c.1481, fresco, Sistine Chapel [link]

fig. 6 Pontormo, Visitation of Carmignano, 1528, oil and board, Rectory of Saints Michael and Francis (Tuscany)[link]

fig. 7 Bronzino, Eleanor of Toledo with her son Giovanni de' Medici, 1544-45, oil on panel, Galeria degli Uffizi [link]

fig. 8 Sebastiano del Piombo, The Visitation, 1518-19, oil on canvas, Louvre [link]

fig. 9 Giovanni Battista di Jacopo, Moses defends the daughters of Jethro, c.1523, oil on canvas, Galeria degli Uffizi [link]

fig. 10 Tintoretto, The Last Supper, 1592-4, oil on canvas, Church of San Giorgio Maggiore (Venice) [link]

fig. 11 Veronese, The Wedding at Cana, 1562-3, oil on canvas, Louvre [link]

Note: All views and opinions expressed are the author's own. If you feel there is missing information or wish to discuss any of the works please contact me.