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Life of MARCO PALMEZZANO


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  Italian painter. His earliest work was probably on the fresco decoration (c. 1480-84) of the vault of the sacristy of the treasury in the Santa Casa, Loreto, designed by Melozzo da Forl. He then probably went to Rome, where he may have painted the fresco in the apse of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme. In 1493 Palmezzano is documented working with Melozzo on the fresco decoration in the Feo Chapel, S Biagio (destroyed 1944), Forl. Melozzo s influence - with a few references, also, to Venetian art - continues to be seen in his works of the 1490s. A document dated 30 May 1495, relating to the division of property between Marco and his two brothers, endows the painter with a house in Venice and all its furnishings. This suggests his presence there around that time, and the figure of St Sebastian in the altarpiece depicting St Anthony Abbot and Other Saints (Forl, Pinacoteca Civica) clearly shows the painter s familiarity with Giovanni Bellini s S Giobbe altarpiece (c. 1480; Venice, Accademia). In this work, however, one can already see a certain weakening of Palmezzano s inventive powers, which perhaps is what led him to experiment with all the artistic trends of the time. His desire to keep up to date increased as his work became more successful in the Romagna and along the Adriatic coast.
  His prolific output, which continued until 1539, evolved towards an easily identifiable, sparse, dry style. While he continually strove to utilize a modern pictorial vocabulary, his work shows no awareness of the true direction of 16th-century painting. Although Palmezzano continued painting into the first four decades of the 16th century, he is a distinctly late 15th-century artist, superficially modern but in reality limited by an arid preoccupation with the past.
  
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The Baptism of Christ
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Madonna and Child with the Infant Saint John the Baptist
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