MARCONI, Rocco
(active 1504-1521 in Venice)

Biography

Italian painter. He is mentioned as being a native of Treviso, but signed himself venetus in the contractual document for an altarpiece for Treviso. He may have been born in Venice to parents originating from Bergamo. He is documented for the first time as a witness in 1504, and then several times until 1529, including in 1517 as an auditor of the Guild of Painters, a sign that by this time he was already established.

He spent over 25 years in the workshop of Giovanni Bellini, and during this period, either in the 1490s or perhaps the late 1480s, he produced three paintings of the Virgin and Child (Strasbourg, Musée des Beaux-Arts), all signed Rochus de Marchonib. These are exact copies of Bellini's Virgin and Child (c. 1485-90; Atlanta, GA, High Museum of Art), on which it is sometimes thought that Marconi collaborated. On the basis of these signed works others have been attributed, most of which are now reattributed to the Venetian Master of the Incredulity of St Thomas. Thus there are only three or four certain works from the years Marconi spent with Bellini.

On Bellini's death (1516) Marconi moved to the workshop of Palma Vecchio and adjusted his style accordingly, although his figures retained some of the rigid quality that was characteristic of Bellini's art. He specialized mainly in paintings of Christ and the Adulteress and Christ with Martha and Mary, although many that have been attributed to him are undoubtedly not by his hand. From this second phase of his career there is also the signed altarpiece of Christ Blessing, with Two Saints (Venice, S Giovanni e Paolo). It is painted in his characteristic mixture of styles derived from Bellini and Palma Vecchio, which cannot be said of two other works that have been attributed to him: the Christ with Sts Peter and John the Baptist (Venice, Accademia) and the altarpiece in the Alte Pinakothek in Munich.