Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Beccafumi I

Portrait study
c. 1530-35

c. 1525

After a youthful period of study in Rome, Domenico Beccafumi (1486-1551) returned to his native city of Siena. He remained there for the rest of his career, the dominant artist of his time and place and a pioneer of Mannerism.

Holy Family
c. 1545-50

Fresco study
c. 1530-35

St. Mark

St. Matthew

Beccafumi excelled as a painter of miracles. His cycle from the life of St. Catherine of Siena (the best-known local saint, who had lived two centuries earlier) included a near-transparent rendering of the Holy Spirit (immediately below) hovering like a hummingbird in front of Catherine's face in order to deliver a non-earthly communion wafer to her mouth.

Mystical Communion of St. Catherine of Siena

St. Catherine of Siena receiving Stigmata
c. 1513-18

Appearance of Archangel Michael atop Castel Sant' Angelo
c. 1538