(b. ca. 1500, Lodi, d. ca. 1561, Lodi)


Italian painter, part of a family of painters. Their workshop dominated art in Lodi in the 16th century. Early collaborative projects with Martino and Albertino remain problematic.

Callisto, the son of Martino, probably moved to Brescia in 1523; the first major extant dated work is a Nativity (1524; Brescia, Pinacoteca Civica Tosio-Martinengo), painted for S Clemente, Brescia. In Brescia he studied the work of Moretto da Brescia and of Gerolamo Romanino, with whom he may have collaborated. Their influence is seen in the Visitation (1525; Brescia, S Maria Calchera) and especially in the group of works painted for churches in the Valcamonica. These include a Deposition (1527; Esine parish church); a Virgin Enthroned with Saints (Breno, S Antonio); a frescoed lunette of the Virgin Enthroned with Saints (Borno, oratory of S Antonio), and three frescoes - the Beheading of St John the Baptist, the Assumption and the Life of St George (all Erbanno, S Maria del Restello). These have a freshness and vigour that has sometimes led scholars to attribute them to Romanino. One of his best-known works, a genre scene, The Concert (Philadelphia, Museum of Art), is more Venetian in style.

In 1529 Callisto returned to Lodi to complete a polyptych of the Massacre of the Innocents for the cathedral. This had been left unfinished by Albertino. This same year he was commissioned to paint the chapel containing the organ in the church of the Incoronata, Lodi. Throughout the rest of his career, alone or with his brothers and son, he worked in this church, on the chapel of St John the Baptist (1530-32); the chapel of the Crucifixion (1534-38); the chapel of St Anthony (1552); and the chapel of St Anne (1558). The scenes he painted demonstrate a growing interest in the art of Pordenone and in Cremonese art, a trend also evident in the Assumption of 1533 (Codogno, S Biagio).

The later years of Callisto's career show him to have been very well established, working frequently in Milan in the major churches of S Maria presso S Celso (1542, 1546, 1554), S Ambrogio (c. 1545) and S Maurizio Maggiore (1555).

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