PADOVANINO
(b. 1588, Padova, d. 1649, Venezia)

Biography

Italian painter, originally Alessandro Varotari. He was the son of Dario Varotari (d. 1598), a painter and architect, pupil of Veronese, and of Samaritana, the daughter of Giovan Battista Ponchino. The family is of German origin.

His earliest training is unknown, though Boschini (1674) stated that Padovanino studied by copying the frescoes of Titian in the Scuola di S Antonio, Padua, and other works by the master, above all those of his youth or his early maturity. The influence of Titian remained fundamental to Padovanino's art. The Incredulity of St Thomas (1610; Padua, S Lucia) is his first dated work and faithfully imitates that of Titian; other youthful works are direct copies, among them The Pentecost (Venice, Accademia) and the Virgin and Child (Padua, Cathedral).

He moved to Venice in 1614 and settled there until his death thirty-five years later. Though today he is principally thought of as a follower of Titian, and indeed he is known to have painted a number of copies after the master's works, Padovanino was a talented and successful painter in his own right. He went on at least two visits to Rome (in the mid-1610s and again in 1625), during which he was able to study the works of Michelangelo and Annibale Carracci, but Palma Giovane and of course Titian remained the over-riding influences in his work.