Jacopo da Pontormo An Italian Mannerist Painter and Portraitist
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Jacopo Carucci (May 24, 1494 — January 2, 1557), usually known as Jacopo da Pontormo, Jacopo Pontormo or simply Pontormo, was an Italian Mannerist painter and portraitist from the Florentine School. His work represents a profound stylistic shift from the calm perspectival regularity that characterized the art of the Florentine Renaissance. He is famous for his use of twining poses, coupled with ambiguous perspective; his figures often seem to float in an uncertain environment, unhampered by the forces of gravity.
Jacopo Carucci was born at Pontorme, near Empoli, to Bartolomeo di Jacopo di Martino Carrucci and Alessandra di Pasquale di Zanobi. Vasari relates how the orphaned boy, “young, melancholy and lonely,” was shuttled around as a young apprentice:
Jacopo had not been many months in Florence before Bernardo Vettori sent him to stay with Leonardo da Vinci, and then with Mariotto Albertinelli, Piero di Cosimo, and finally, in 1512, with Andrea del Sarto, with whom he did not remain long, for after he had done the cartoons for the arch of the Servites, it does not seem that Andrea bore him any good will, whatever the cause may have been.
Main works in Florence; Deposition from the Cross, 1525-1528
The large altarpiece canvas for the Brunelleschi-designed Capponi Chapel in the church of Santa Felicita, Florence, portraying The Deposition from the Cross, is considered by many Pontormo’s surviving masterpiece (1528).
Pontormo shares some of the mannerism of Rosso Fiorentino and of Parmigianino. In some ways he anticipated the Baroque as well as the tensions of El Greco. His eccentricities also resulted in an original sense of composition. At best, his compositions are cohesive. The figures in the Deposition, for example, appear to sustain each other: removal of any one of them would cause the edifice to collapse. In other works, as in the Joseph canvases, the crowding makes for a confusing pictorial melee. It is in the later drawings a graceful fusion of bodies in a composition which includes the oval frame of Jesus in the Last Judgement.
Pontormo’s Early Works (until 1521)
Leda and the Swan (uncertain attribution), 1512–1513, Uffizi Gallery, Florence
Apollo and Daphne, 1513, Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine
Holy Conversation, 1514, San Luca Chapel, Santissima Annunziata, Florence
Madonna and Child with the Infant St John the Baptist, c.1514, Whitfield Fine Art, London
Episode of Hospital Life, 1514, Accademia, Florence
Veronica and the Image, 1515, Medici Chapel, Santa Maria Novella, Florence
Visitation, 1514–1516, Santissima Annunziata, Florence
Lady with Basket of Spindles(attributed to Andrea del Sarto), 1516–1517, Uffizi Gallery, Florence
Marriage bedchamber panels for Pier Francesco Borgherini. (Two others by Francesco Bacchiacca)
Joseph reveals himself to his brothers, 1516-17, National Gallery, London
Joseph sold to Potiphar, 1516-17, National Gallery, London
Joseph’s Brothers Beg for Help, 1515, National Gallery, London
Pharaoh with his Butler and Baker, 1516–1517, National Gallery, London
Joseph in Egypt, 1517-18, National Gallery, London
*St. Quentin (Also attributed to Giovanni Maria Pichi), 1517, Pinacoteca comunale, Sansepolcro
Portrait of Furrier, 1517–1518, Louvre, Paris
St Jerome & St Francis, 1518, Whitfield Fine Art, London
Madonna with Child and Saints, 1518, San Michele Visdomini, Florence
Portrait of Musician, 1518–1519, Uffizi Gallery, Florence
St Anthony Abbott, 1518–1519, Uffizi Gallery, Florence
Portrait of Cosimo the Elder, 1518–1519, Uffizi Gallery, Florence
John the Evangelist & the Archangel Gabriel, 1519, Church of S. Michele, Empoli
Adoration of the Magi, 1519-21, Palazzo Pitti, Florence
Vertumnus and Pomona, 1519–1521, Villa Medici, Poggio a Caiano
Study of Man’s Head (Drawing), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City