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Niccolò dell'Abate

about 1509/12 - 1571

Niccolò dell'Abate was the third of the Italian founders of the so-called school of Fontainebleau. These painters were employed in the decoration of the Château of Fontainebleau, the main country residence of the kings of France in the 16th century. At Fontainebleau Niccolò was chiefly occupied painting fresco decorations, under the supervision of Primaticcio. He also executed independent landscapes, such as 'The Death of Eurydice' in the Collection.

Niccolò dell'Abate was born in Modena, and worked there and in Bologna from 1547/8. His earlier works, notably fresco in Modena and Bologna, shows the influence of Parmigianino. He left for France in 1552, where he worked chiefly at Fontainebleau in conjunction with the leading painter at the court, Francesco Primaticcio (1504/5-70), who had earlier collaborated with Rosso Fiorentino.Their form of courtly Mannerism was one of the main influences on the Mannerist painters of northern Europe, such as Wtewael.