Pordenone, Giovanni Antonio Licin (I)O Regillo Da

Pordenone, Giovanni Antonio Licin (I)o Regillo DA

generally called simply "Il Pordenone," an Italian painter of great celebrity, was born at Pordenone, in Friunli, in 1484. From the vigor of conception, the elevation of mind, and the style of execution which distinguish his works, it has been presumed, though it is not certain, that he frequented the school of Giorgione. Though on the whole inferior to Titian, he presumed to be his rival. Pordenone chiefly excelled in fresco. His composition was very simple, his heads rarely speak of deep passion, and his chief excellence was color. He painted flesh with a marvelous softness. His portraits were fine, and he frequently represented several persons on one canvas. It is difficult to see on what qualities his competition with Titian is founded; for though Pordenone painted lifelike and rich toned portraits, and grouped his compositions in a spirited manner, he is not by any means to be compared with Titian, of whom he professed himself in such dread that he painted with his shield and poniard lying at his side. Certainly the saints and virgins of Pordenone, which hang in the gallery of Venice beside tile works of Titian, do not look as if it had cost the latter much trouble to distance his competitor. As Pordenone principally painted frescos in North or Upper Italy. he was known in Lower Italy only by his tine oil-paintings. His most splendid work in oil is the altar-piece of Santa Maria dell' Orto at Venice, representing a San Lorenzo Giustiniani surrounded by other Saints, among whom are St. John the Baptist and St. Augustine. The frescos of Pordenone are spread over the towns and castles of Friuli; some are at Genoa, Mantua, and Venice, but the best-preserved are on N.T. subjects at Piacenza, and especially in the cathedral at Cremona. He was highly esteemed by the emperor Charles V, who ennobled him. Hercules II, duke of Mantua, called him to Mantua to paint cartoons for tapestry to be made in Flanders, but he soon afterwards died (in 1539), as it was suspected, of poison. We have very few easel pictures by Pordenone, and those which are attributed to him in galleries are oftentimes proved not to be his, or are under so much doubt that it is unsafe to risk a list of them. The Glory of S. Lorenzo Giustiniani, in the Academy of Venice, is one of his finest works. Much has been said of The Woman taken in Adultery, in the Berlin Museum, but it is so repainted (the heads of the Savior and the woman being almost new) that it can do little honor to any artist of the 16th century. Several of Pordenone's pictures are in England. In the National Gallery is a colossal figure of An Apostle. See Mrs. Clement, Handbook of Painters, Sculptors, etc., s.v.; Radcliffe, Schools and Masters of Painting, p. 209 sq., et al.; Vasari, Lives of the Painters; Lanzi, History of Painting in Italy; Spooner, Biog. Hist. of the Fine Arts, s.v. (J. H. W.)

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