Dosso Dossi

Dosso Dossi

▪ Italian painter
original name  Giovanni Lutero  or  Giovanni Luteri  
born c. 1490, Ferrara or Mantua [Italy]
died 1542, Ferrara, Duchy of Ferrara [Italy]
 late Italian Renaissance painter, the leader of the Ferrarese school in the 16th century. He is first recorded in 1512, in Mantua, but by then he must have been in Venice and absorbed the art of Giorgione, whose style dominates Dosso's “Nymph and Satyr.” He may also have seen some of the early works of Titian. His style was founded on the romantic approach to landscape, which reached its highest expression in Giorgione's “Tempest,” but Dosso also added something of Titian's richness and a personal quality of fantasy, which reflects his knowledge of the works of the Ferrarese painters Cosmè Tura, Francesco del Cossa, and Ercole de' Roberti. He worked in Florence in 1517 and must have come once more under the influence of Titian, whose early mythologies were painted for Dosso's own patron Alfonso I of Ferrara. Although the event is not supported by documentary evidence, it is probable that Dosso traveled to Rome about 1520 with his brother Battista, also a painter. In Rome Dosso became acquainted with the works of Michelangelo, Giulio Romano, and Raphael, whose late style greatly influenced Dosso. In his later works there is an unearthly light falling on melancholy figures arranged in a romantic dreamland. Dosso was the friend of the great Ferrarese poet Ariosto, who celebrated him in Orlando Furioso as one of the nine greatest living painters; and Dosso's most famous work, “The Sorceress Circe” (c. 1530; Borghese Gallery, Rome), has been seen as almost an illustration to Ariosto. In his later years, Dosso collaborated with his brother Battista. Together, they worked in Pesaro, Trento, and Ferrara.

Additional Reading
Felton Gibbons, Dosso and Battista Dossi: Court Painters at Ferrara (1968); Luisa Ciammitti, Steven F. Ostrow, and Salvatore Settis (eds.), Dosso's Fate: Painting and Court Culture in Renaissance Italy (1998); Peter Humfrey and Mauro Lucco, Dosso Dossi: Court Painter in Renaissance Ferrara (1998).

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Universalium. 2010.

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