TURA, Cosmè
(b. c. 1430, Ferrara, d. 1495, Ferrara)


Cosmè (Cosimo) Tura (originaly Cosimo di Domenico di Bonaventura), Italian painter, the first major artist of the School of Ferrara, where he was appointed court painter to the Estes in 1452. His sculptural figure style was derived in the first place from Mantegna, though its tortuous, metallic quality was a product of Tura's own feverish imagination. He also acquired a feeling for monumentality from Piero della Francesca, who was painting in Ferrara c. 1449.

Tura was mainly a religious painter, his work including two huge shutters (1469) for the organ of Ferrara Cathedral, now in the Museo del Duomo; they represent The Annunciation and St George and the Princess. In Ferrara he provided paintings for the cathedral (1458), the Biblioteca del Pico (1465-67), the Sacrati Chapel (1468), and the Belriguardo Chapel (1472). Good examples of his work on a smaller scale are in the National Gallery, London. In Ferrara, he is well represented by frescoes in the Palazzo Schifanoia.. This pleasure palace belonged to the d'Este family and is located just outside the medieval town walls. Cosmè, along with Francesco del Cossa, helped produce an intricately conceived allegorical series about the months of the year and zodiac symbols. The series contains contemporary portraits of musicians, laborers, and carnival floats in idyllic parades.

Tura was an important influence on the other two major painters of the 15th-century Ferrarese School - Cossa and Roberti. The latter replaced him as court painter in 1486 and Tura died poor.

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