Italian painter, born in Brescia, first documented in Florence in 1508, and active mainly in Venice. His output was small and his career is said to have been unsuccessful, but he is now remembered as a highly attractive minor master whose work stands somewhat apart from the main Venetian tradition.
Savoldo was the most accomplished of sixteenth-century Brescian painters. He carefully studied the effects of light and reflections in a way that was most unusual for the time. His forte was night scenes, in which he gave his lyrical sensibility and liking for unusual light effects full play. One of the best-known examples is Mary Magdalen Approaching the Sepulchre, of which several versions exist, one in the National Gallery, London. Even though Savoldo spent much of his artistic career in Venice, he is considered to be part of the Brescia school. One reason for this is that many of his patrons were from his native city, but it is also because of his links to the current of realism and acute psychological portrayal. This could be found both in Renaissance Brescia, exemplified by Romanino,
and Bergamo, as seen in Lotto
and later Moroni.
The writer Pietro Aretino described Savoldo as decrepit in 1548 and he is not heard of thereafter.
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