SOLARIO, Antonio
(active 1502-1514)


Italian painter. He is mentioned in a document dated 21 April 1502 at Fermo, as 'magister Antonius Joanis Pieri de Soleriis de Venetiis habitator Firmi', which suggests that he was from Venice and had lived in Fermo for some time. The document refers to the commission to complete a polyptych for San Giuseppe da Copertino (popularly known as San Francesco), Osimo, left unfinished at his death by Vittore Crivelli. This painting, identified as the polyptych in San Francesco, Monte San Pietrangeli, shows no sign of intervention by Solario, however. His altarpiece of the Virgin and Child with Saints, also for San Giuseppe in Osimo (in situ), is documented between 1503 and 1506. On the basis of its similar style, he has also been credited with the Virgin and Child with Sts Bernard, Catherine, Jerome and Lucy in Santa Maria del Carmine in Fermo.

Antonio probably trained in Venice, and the Fermo altarpiece is clearly influenced by Giovanni Bellini. There is also a resemblance to the work of Girolamo Genga in the face of St Lucy. Antonio's other securely dated works are the Head of St John the Baptist (1508; Milan, Biblioteca Ambrosiana), the Lady Playing the Violin and Salomé (both 1511; Rome, Galleria Doria-Pamphili) and the triptych of the Virgin and Child with the Donor Paul Withypoll and Sts Catherine of Alexandria and Ursula. The identity of the donor, a London merchant tailor, and the material of the main panel, apparently oak, suggest Antonio may have worked in England.

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