Tuesday Art ATTACK- Pontormo “Deposition from the Cross” By Christian Franzen

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Jacopo Carucci, more commonly known as Jacopo da Pontormo or just Pontormo, was born May 24th in the year 1494. He was born in the town of Pontorme, Italy. At a young age his parents died and he was shipped off to become an artist’s assistant. After arriving in Florence he assisted and stayed with Leonardo da Vinci, then later Mariotto Albertinelli, then Piero di Cosimo, and then staying with Andrea del Sarto.

During his career he predominately painted in Florence with the support of the Medici family. His work reflects his adoration for Michelangelo’s work but his work bares the most similarity to his primary teacher Andrea del Sarto. Pontormo took many commissions within and outside of Florence. Painting many church frescos and large iconographic works. In his work Pontormo began to take a different approach in depicting the figure. He began to stretch proportions and exaggerate movement as well as expression. Pontormo also expanded his pallet, using bright and luminous colors rather than the drab earth tones of the artists before him. He also to stressed solely the figures instead of the space which they occupied. The advancements Pontormo, along with contemporaries, were experimenting with developed into its own artistic style and period. This is now referred to as Mannerism.

Two of Pontormo’s most famous works are “The Annunciation” and “Deposition of the Cross” both of which are located in Santa Felicità in Florence. The “Deposition of the Cross” has become one of the trademark illustrations of the Manneristic style. The colors used in the drapery seem to be glowing while the figures are stretched in proportion and set in dramatic posses. “The Annunciation” is simply a beautiful painting. Painted into the plaster of the wall are two masterfully painted figures, the Angel Gabriel and Virgin Mary. Both are in active posses while seemingly floating in space. They are painted on opposite sides of an altar and it appears as through the Angel Gabriel will drift through the altar and address the Virgin. It’s breathtaking in person!

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