POMIS, Pietro de
(b. ca. 1569, Lodi, d. 1633, Graz)

Biography

Giovanni Pietro Telesphoro de Pomis, Italian painter, architect, engineer and medallist, active in Austria. He trained as a painter in Venice, probably in the workshop of Tintoretto. Although no dated or signed works from his Venetian period are known, a number of paintings are now attributed to him that were earlier ascribed to the circle of Tintoretto. Around 1589 Pomis entered the service of Archduke Ferdinand II, later Holy Roman Emperor, who appointed him official painter to the court in Graz in 1597. In the service of the Archduke, Pomis travelled in 1598 to Rome, Loreto and Spain, in 1601 to Hungary and in 1608 to Florence. His works from this period include an altarpieces and portraits.

Pomis's architectural work included the façade design (1611) for Maria-Hilf-Kirche, which he modelled on Palladio's church of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice. The interior of the church is also attributed to Pomis, although both it and the façade were altered in the 18th century. In 1615 Pomis designed the sacristy for Graz Cathedral, and in the same year construction began on his best-known work, the Graz Mausoleum (completed 1638). Although his plans have been lost, a medal produced by Pomis (1622; Steiermärkisches Landesmuseum, Graz) depicts his conception of the façade. The project comprises two independent buildings, the church of St Catherine and the Mausoleum. The church consists of a single nave with a semicircular apse and transepts, the crossing covered by a high drum and dome. The Mausoleum has an oval ground-plan and is covered by an elliptical dome surmounted by a tall lantern. The entrance façade of the church comprises a massive frontispiece with a large pediment that was strongly influenced by Giacomo della Porta's façade at Il Gesù (1571-84), Rome. The design and decoration of the interior were clearly influenced by Pomis's travels to Venice and Lombardy.

In 1615, at the height of his career, Pomis was appointed fortifications engineer in Friuli.