The Artist Birthday Series

Jacopo Pontormo

Pontormo-Visitazione1
“The Visitation of Virgin and St. Elizabeth,” by Jacopo Pontormo, 1514-16

Done around the same time as the Visitation, His series on the life of Joseph, show a much more mannerist leaning. According to Giorgio Vasari, the sitter for the boy seated on a step is his young apprentice, Bronzino.

"Joseph In Egypt," by Jacopo Pontormo, 1517- . The sitter for the boy sitting on the steps is believed to have been Pontormo's assistant, and future master painter, Bronzino.
“Joseph In Egypt,” by Jacopo Pontormo, 1517- . The sitter for the boy sitting on the steps is believed to have been Pontormo’s assistant, and future master painter, Bronzino.

In 1522, when the plague broke out in Florence, Pontormo left for the Certosa di Galluzzo, a cloistered Carthusian monastery where the monks followed vows of silence. He painted a series of frescoes, now quite damaged, on the passion and resurrection of Christ.

"The Resurrection of Christ," by Jacopo Pontormo, 1523. The series of frescoes located in the Certosa di Galluzzo monastery have been preserved as best as they can, after being severely damaged over the centuries.
“The Resurrection of Christ,” by Jacopo Pontormo, 1523. The series of frescoes located in the Certosa di Galluzzo monastery have now been preserved as best as they can, after being severely damaged over the centuries.

The emotionally charged, large altarpiece canvas for the Brunelleschi-designed Capponi Chapel in the church of Santa Felicità, Florence, portraying The Deposition from the Cross, is considered by many Pontormo’s surviving masterpiece (1528). The figures, with their sharply modeled forms and brilliant colors are united in an enormously complex, swirling ovular composition, housed by a shallow, somewhat flattened space. Although commonly known as The Deposition from the Cross, there is no actual cross in the picture. The scene might more properly be called a Lamentation or Bearing the Body of Christ.

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