Painting of the Golden Age: A Biographical Dictionary of Seventeenth-Century European Painters

By Adelheid M. Gealt | Go to book overview

T

TANZIO DA VARALLO (d'Enrico, Antonio) (Riale d'Alanga ca. 1575- Milan? ca. 1635), Italian. Grouped with the major Milanese artists active during the first third of the seventeenth century, Tanzio da Varallo stands out for his distinctive realism and the visual tension he achieved. His pictures rank among the most gripping of the entire century.

Little is known about his early youth or training. His birthdate is not established, nor do we know who his teacher was. Contemporary accounts describe him as temperamental, tense, and violent. A document of 1600 notes that he was a painter and was given permission together with his brother Melchiorre to leave their native region to travel to Rome for the Jubilee of Pope Clement VIII. Arriving there just as Caravaggio* was having an impact, Tanzio responded to the latter's influence. Yet his assimilation is so personal that the exact relationship to Caravaggio's paintings is difficult to pinpoint.

Tanzio's earliest documented activity comes from 1616, when he is already mature. Our knowledge of his early development is sketchy. Two pictures, a Circumcision (parish church of Fara San Martino, Abruzzi) and The Virgin and Saints (Collegiata at Pescocostanzo, Abruzzi) are dated before 1616 and have a deliberately archaic power. They evidently suited the tastes of their provincial patrons. To those years should be added the altarpiece of San Carlo Borromeo Distributing the Host to the Plague Victims (parish church at Domodossola), which was also painted before 1616. These three already have the crisp, almost metallic clarity that would become

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Painting of the Golden Age: A Biographical Dictionary of Seventeenth-Century European Painters
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface And Acknowledgments ix
  • List of Artists xv
  • A 1
  • B 12
  • C 80
  • D 167
  • E 194
  • F 202
  • G 221
  • H 253
  • J 290
  • K 298
  • L 310
  • M 355
  • N 407
  • O 416
  • P 424
  • R 466
  • S 524
  • T 580
  • U 593
  • V 596
  • W 638
  • Z 652
  • Appendix: - Artists by Nationality 661
  • Museum Abbreviations 673
  • Bibliography 681
  • Index 743
  • About the Author 771
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