Perino del Vaga


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(b Florence, ?1501; d Rome, 19/20 Oct. 1547).

Florentine painter. He took his name (del Vaga) from a minor painter with whom he worked after studying with Ridolfo Ghirlandaio. In about 1517 he moved to Rome, where he became one of Raphael's assistants working on the Vatican Loggie. After the Sack of Rome in 1527 he moved to Genoa, where he was based until the late 1530s and where his Mannerist style had great influence. His major work there was a series of mythological frescos in the Palazzo Doria. During this period he also worked in Pisa. By 1538 he was back in Rome, where he became the principal decorative artist employed by Pope Paul III (Alessandro Farnese), his work for him including frescos on the history of Alexander the Great (1545–7) in the Sala Paolina of the Castel S. Angelo. Perino's style derives from Raphael and Giulio Romano, but is ornamental rather than monumental. He was one of the leading decorative artists of his generation, and his work has been aptly described by S. J. Freedberg (Painting in Italy: 1500–1600, 1971) as ‘intelligent but facile’. He also did a number of devotional pictures in a Raphaelesque vein, notably the unfinished Holy Family (Courtauld Gal., London).

Subjects: Art.

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