Italian painter, also known as Polidoro Lanzani; Polidoro de Renzi di Lanzano; Polidoro Veneziano. Documented in Venice before 1536, he specialized in paintings showing various combinations of the Holy Family and saints in informal, outdoor settings. Although Polidoro was not a pupil of Titian,
his works are closely dependent on the older master s paintings of this type and have often been mistakenly attributed to him. The Holy Family with the Infant St John the Baptist (c. 1550; Paris, Louvre) is typical of Polidoro s work. A delicately handled figure group is set in a spacious wooded landscape, where the foliage is treated with literal precision. The Christ Child leans forward to accept a lamb offered by St John. The motif was often used by Polidoro but is found earlier in Titian s Virgin and Child with St Agnes and the Infant St John the Baptist (c. 1535; Dijon, Muse des Beaux-Arts).
Despite his continuing allegiance to the lyricism of the early Titian,
Polidoro was also receptive to the increasingly ornamental style of Bonifazio de Pitati in the 1540s and to Veronese
s decorative classicism in the 1550s. The Holy Family with the Infant St John the Baptist, Mary Magdalene and a Donor (c. 1560; Dresden, Gemäldegalerie) is characterized by a new stress on elegant costume and richly patterned surfaces. The figure group is placed in a forward plane against prominent Classical architecture to give added monumentality to the composition. Polidoro occasionally executed altarpieces (e.g. the Pentecost, 1546; Venice, Accademia), ceiling paintings (e.g. Venice, S Salvatore, refectory, destroyed) and portraits (e.g. Isabella d Este, Marchesa of Mantua, Boston, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum), but he was less successful in these genres. Nonetheless, Ridolfi s report that Polidoro was little regarded in his day appears to be contradicted by Dolce s inclusion of him in a list of the 12 greatest painters in Italy.
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