- (ca. 1450-1523)Italian painter, born in the Tuscan town of Cortona and probably trained by Piero della Francesca. His artistic style, however, also suggests the influence of Florentine painters such as Antonio del Pollaiuolo and Andrea Verrocchio. His early works include frescoes in the Santa Casa at Loreto and some of the original paintings in the Sistine Chapel at Rome. Two frescoes, only one of which, The Testament of Moses, survives, were probably his contribution to a joint project there that involved several leading artists. In the years preceding the death of Lorenzo de'Medici in 1492, he won commissions in Flo-rence; The Court of Pan comes from this period. The peak of Sig-norelli's career came in 1499 when he was commissioned to com-plete a cycle of frescoes on the end of the world for the Chapel of St. Brizio at Orvieto, begun a half-century earlier by Fra Angelico. This cycle of six paintings occupied him from 1499 to 1503. Al-though Signorelli received additional commissions such as deco-rating the apartments of Pope Julius II in the Vatican and making paintings for the Petrucci palace in Siena, during the last two decades of his life he was eclipsed by the young painter Raphael. Signorelli was especially skilled as a draftsman, and his chalk sketches represent a high point in that branch of Renaissance pic-torial art.
Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. Charles G. Nauert. 2004.
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