Bernardino Luini

(c. 1480—1532)

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(b ?Luino, Lake Maggiore, ?c.1480; d ?Lugano, 1532).

Milanese painter, one of the most notable of Leonardo's followers in Lombardy. Little is known of his life (estimates of his birthdate have ranged from 1460 to 1490), but his large output indicates that he must have enjoyed a successful career (he was unusual among Leonardo's followers in that he painted numerous frescos as well as easel pictures). His work is well represented in the Brera in Milan and many of his frescos and altarpieces are in Lombard churches. He also painted mythological subjects (Cephalus and Procris, c.1522, NG, Washington). Luini adapted Leonardo's style to conservative taste; he also sentimentalized it, and this helps account for his great popularity with the Victorians. His best work is of high quality, but he ran a busy workshop and some of his followers and copyists vulgarized his style into almost a parody of Leonardo, with sickly smirks and exaggerated chiaroscuro.

Subjects: Art.

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