Pomarancio (2)

Pomarancio is also a surname by which NICCOLO CIRCIGNANI is generally known. He was a painter of the Florentine school of the 16th century, and was born at Pomarancio, near Volterra. He was probably a disciple of Titian, whose assistant he was in his works in the great room of the Belvedere, in the Vatican. He arrived at Rome quite young, and painted there a number of frescos, among which we mention the cupola of St. Pudentiana, The Lord surrounded by Angels (tribune of S. Giovanni Paolo), St. John the Baptist (church of the Consolazione), and thirty-two horrible Scenes of Martyrdom (San Stefano Rotondo), vigorous, but executed with little care. It is probable that Pomarancio spent the last years of his life in his native place, where he died after 1591; for the works which must be referred to his last period are all among numerous paintings of his preserved in Volterra. At S. Giusto a Descent from the Cross is signed "Nicolaus Circinianus di Ripomarance pingebat A.D. 1580;" and at the Battisterio, on an Ascension, one of his best works, we read, "Nicolaus de Circignanis Volaterranus pingebat anno 1591." In the cathedral of the same city there remains of the frescos with which he had adorned the tribune a God- Father; at St. Pietro, in Selci, an Annunciation (oil-painting), and at San Francesco a Pieta. Pomarancio was frequently aided by his pupils, the best known of whom are Cristoforo Roncalli, called also Pomarancio, and his own son, Antonio Circignani, who remained in obscurity during his father's lifetime, and came suddenly into repute by the paintings with which he adorned a chapel of Santa Maria Traspontina at Rome: they exhibit some features successfully borrowed from Baroccio. At Florence, under the portico of the hospital of S. Matteo, he painted some frescos in 1614: The Disputation with the Doctors; The Massacre of the Innocents; The Adoration of the Kings; and The Nativity. Called at a mature age to Citta di Castello, Antonio lived there several years, painting for churches and private persons. It is believed that at the age of sixty years he settled again in the village of Pomarancio, the cradle of his family, where he died in 1630. See Lanzi, Hist. of the Painters; Spooner, Biog. Hist. of the Fine Arts, s.v.

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