Jacopo Da Ponte Bassano - Encyclopedia


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JACOPO DA PONTE BASSANO (1510-1592), Venetian painter, was born at Bassano. He was educated by his father, who was himself an artist, and then completed his studies at Venice. On the death of his father he returned to Bassano and settled there. His subjects were generally peasants and villagers, cattle and landscapes, with some portraits and historical designs. His figures are well designed, and his animals and landscapes have an agreeable air of simple nature. His compositions, though they have not much eloquence or grandeur, have abundance of force and truth; the local colours are well observed, the fleshtints are fresh and brilliant, and his chiaroscuro and perspective are unexceptionable. He is said to have finished a great number of pictures; but his genuine works are somewhat rare and valuable - many of those which are called originals being copies either by the sons of Bassano or by others. Bassano's style varied considerably during his lifetime. He naturally was at first a copier of his father, but his productions in this style are not of great value. He was then strongly attracted by the lightness and beautiful colouring of Titian, and finally adopted the style which is recognized as his own. Although he painted few great pictures, and preferred humble subjects, yet his altarpiece of the Nativity at Bassano is estimated highly by the best judges, and in Lanzi's opinion is the finest work of its class.

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