His real name is Bernardino di Betto. He is born to 1456 in Perugia and died in 1513 in Siena. But, to twenty years, everyone called him Pintoricchio, the "little painter". It was indeed small size described as a "deaf, small and less like" and posterity held that it was also small by his art. His nickname would also make reference to its taste for details. It will take until the end of the 19th century that a historian to reconsider his case and finally 2008 so that the Museum of Perugia, Umbria, he devotes a large exhibition and the re-established on the 550 years of his birth.
Its low reputation is due mainly to the fact that the great biographer of Renaissance painters, Vasari, considered a secondary artist, aimed to please the people, to the vulgar. He wrote of him: "He was much more prominent that his works merited." Or: "Bernardino was often used to give her paintings of the highlights of gold to meet the people who are there knew very little art, which gave him in their eyes a further gloss." And yet, during his long career, Pintoricchio is illustrated as iconic and famous places as the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican or the Piccolomini of Siena library.
The difficulty to organize an exhibition is the fact that most of his works are frescoes and paintings have been since the quattrocento dispersed around the world 20 barely being remained in Italy. At Perugia, however, the Museum of the city was successful the tour de force gather for six months the decision of his paintings: 43 works by the painter and his workshop, plus a set of paintings drawings and contemporary documents of the artist.
The building itself is spectacular: the Palace of the Priors of 14th and 15th centuries, is located in the centre of the historic city. Access is through a huge underground, Fortress deserted and dark dated 1542, wanted by the Pope, after the war of the salt. The tone is set to understand the power of the Popes and their desire for artistic supremacy. Pintoricchio has, it seems, worked for four of them.
It is contemporary to the other great painter in Perugia, who will take the name of the city, the Perugino. But there where latter works figures and grace, the "little painter", he adds in ors and ornaments. One of the paintings that best summarize his artistic prowess has been loaned by the National Gallery, London. This "Virgin and child" is an obvious harmony. A face of a perfect oval. Clear eyes lowered to express extreme humility. It supports the standing child that takes a small globe in his hand. A landscape adorns the bottom of the composition. Curiously, Pintoricchio painted over the colour of the Holy, across the table, a large wreath of roses, to better express the illustrious character of the character. At first glance, the viewer sees that it's.
Pintoricchio is also a fanatic of the use of gold. So to give light heightened the heavy draperies of his Virgin Carmine velvet are often enhanced in the folds of this gold. The child Jesus In a table the representative with the Virgin and saint John, he shows armed with jewellery lush on the torso but on the arm, worn again as a gallon. When the child Jesus, in the detail of a fresco in Perugia, blesses a landscape, it represents the aureole of this graceful plump baby byzantine fashion: gold and Red embossed like the globe gold in the hand. Remains that the virtuosity is.
His masterpiece is an altarpiece in eight tables owned by the Museum. He mixture, in a violent imagination access tinted biblical passion and fascination for the ancient, scenes involving fantastic and religious figures. Marie is thus seated on a throne whose escape small monsters. All masks and grotesques, perspectives, Sham, use of the gold and black, in contrast. In the details "little artist" loved the great effects. It is this that makes it fascinating.