FERRARI, Gaudenzio
(b. ca. 1475, Valduggia, d. 1546, Milano)


Italian painter, active in his native Piedmont and in Lombardy. Gaudenzio was an original and powerful artist, unduly neglected because much of his work is inaccessible. His early work was strongly intluenced by Leonardo and his Milanese followers, and throughout his life he remained eclectic, absorbing into his highly-charged, emotional style elements from Pordenone and Lotto and also, for example, from the engravings of Dürer. He was an artist of considerable power and individuality, but his work has remained comparatively little known because much of it is in fairly remote situations.

Gaudenzio's first mature work was a large dividing wall for Santa Maria delle Grazie at Varallo (1513). His most remarkable works are The Stations of the Cross in a series of chapels at the Sanctuary of Sacro Monte, Varallo, in which life-size foreground figures are carved in the round and the rest of the scene painted behind them. He managed to repeat this in later works, such as the frescos and altarpiece in S. Cristoforo in Vercelli (1529-34), and in some late paintings that he produced in Milan.