Sebastiano del Piombo

about 1485 - 1547
Venetian-born and trained, perhaps by Giorgione, Sebastiano moved in 1511 to Rome, where he became a major portraitist and painter of religious subjects. He was a protégé of Michelangelo, who significantly influenced his art. His late style could be dark and sombre, and his figures have an almost clumsy force.

Sebastiano's early Venetian works resemble those by Giorgione. The Pope's banker, Agostino Chigi, one of the great patrons of the time, recognised his talent and brought him to Rome, where he also painted for patrons such as Pierfrancesco Borgherini.

It was in Rome that Sebastiano became one of the rare friends of Michelangelo, and was drawn into his rivalry with Raphael. This culminated in Michelangelo providing designs for Sebastiano's 'Raising of Lazarus', in an effort to outshine its direct competitor, Raphael's 'Transfiguration'.

After Raphael's death, Sebastiano was the foremost painter in Rome and the first artist to return there (from Venice in 1529) after the 1527 Sack of Rome. The Pope rewarded his service by making him Keeper of the Papal Seal (hence his name the Piombo).

Related paintings

Portrait of a Lady
Sebastiano del Piombo
1540s
Portrait of a Lady
The Daughter of Herodias
Sebastiano del Piombo
1510
The Daughter of Herodias
The Raising of Lazarus
Sebastiano del Piombo
about 1517-19
The Raising of Lazarus
Portrait of a Lady with the Attributes of Saint Agatha
Attributed to Sebastiano del Piombo
about 1540
Portrait of a Lady with the Attributes of Saint Agatha
 
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