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Renaissance Artists - Jacopo Bassano

Updated on April 23, 2010
Self Portrait later in life
Self Portrait later in life
The Last Supper 1542
The Last Supper 1542

Jacopo da Ponte, a Mannerist artist from the Renaissance period, born in 1510, Bassano del Grappa just north of Venice, initially trained by his father, Francesco also an artist. As he began to make a name for himself, Jacopo took the name of the town where he grew up and became renowned as the Renaissance naturalist artist Jacopo del Bassano.

Bassano initially trained under his father, whose village art very much influenced his style, and later went on to study with Bonifacio Veronese. Bassano's figurative work also calls to mind the works of Titian and he further developed his style studying prints of Raphael’s work. He made a name for himself with his luscious depictions of plant and foliage and uses of light and shade. Canvasses became vast landscapes; populated with people, creatures and objects they are as much about the content of the painting as they are about the subject.

The themes painted by Bassano are predominantly religious but in the Mannerist style he includes many every day articles, rural people, barns and farmhouses. His work is devoid of the grand temples, the silk and furs of his contemporaries; Bassano’s depictions are of normal people, undertaking daily tasks. Many of his works are Franciscan in content, full of nature and animals, the focal points of his pictures are often surrounded by detailed images of farm animals, dogs and cats. His painting Two hunting dogs tied to a tree is credited with being one of the first animal portraits in Western art in existence.

Bassano set up a studio in the town of his birth, married and had four sons, all of whom became artists and worked alongside their father. Francesco the Younger, Gerolamo, Giovanni Battista and Leandro. He died in 1592 having lived all his life in Bassano.

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In 2010 to celebrate his 500th birthday, the town of Bassano has honoured their feted son with an exhibition in the Civic museum. It features 40 pieces of his work, gathered from across the world and some on exhibition in Italy for the first time. Paintings from the Louvre, Milan and London all collected together in a display of his early work with a second show planned in the town for 2012. The exhibition, called exhibition “Jacopo Bassano e lo stupendo inganno dell’ochio” (Jacopo Bassano and the wonderful optical illusion) is a quote from fellow artist Annibale Carraci, who while visiting Bassano tried to pick up a book in one of his paintings.

Other Artists on this Hub

Twentieth Century Welsh Painter - Gwen John
Sister of Augustus John, Rodin's lover and artist

Female Renaissance Painter - Sofanisba  Anguissola

Female Painter from the Baroque Period - Artsmisia Gentileschi
First female member of Florence's Accademia della Arti a Disegno,

Female Painters of the Renaissance - 1400 -1650

Baroque Painter - Caravaggio
Brilliant, inspired artist, leading light who died tragically young

Rococo Portrait Painting - Rosalba Carriera Innovative miniaturist and pastellist

Dadaist - Hannah Hoch


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    • knell63 profile image

      knell63 7 years ago from Umbria, Italy

      I am happily surprised that my articles appeared so high on the Google list. I started these pieces also out of an interest in finding out who else was their that had been passed over and surpringly quite a few have become casualties along the way. I agree with you on Sofonisba's work. Artemisia Gentlesechi is another interesting character. I adore her self portrait people just don't make the effort to dress up these days when sitting down to paint. Glad you found them of interest. Many thanks

    • profile image

      Barry Klinger 7 years ago

      I typed "obscure Renaissance painters" into Google because I was wondering if superstars like Michelangelo and da Vinci were really so much better than others I have not heard of, and this web page was at the top of the list. Great service putting up these da Ponte paintings, fantastic paintings from an artist I never heard of. The self portrait looks much more real, penetrating, sympathetic yet not idealized, compared to some of the superstars. It reminds of Sofonisba Anguissola's work, a favorite artist of mine who also happened to come up high in my Google search. The landscapes with animals are very interesting, especially the one with the river of sheep cutting diagonally across the work.

    • Amez profile image

      Amez 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I truly enjoy your devotion to the Arts, I also appreciate your remarks on my Palette Knife Paints Hub. That means a lot to me coming from you.

    • De Greek profile image

      De Greek 7 years ago from UK

      To my shame, this is the first time I hear of this artist. Wonderful story and pictures. Thank you for this.

    • knell63 profile image

      knell63 7 years ago from Umbria, Italy

      Thank you ladies your support is always much appreciated and nice to see Cheeselover liked the piece as well. I will continue to track down the more obscure painters in the hope of bringing their works back to public attention.

    • cheeselover41327 profile image

      cheeselover41327 7 years ago

      Wow. That WAS good information and awesome description. Thank You.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Good information. I've seen a few of his pictures. He's a very fine artist, and I'm glad you wrote this hub about it. You did a good job.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for an interesting read and information.