VITI, Timoteo
(b. 1469, Urbino, d. 1523, Urbino)


Timoteo Viti (also called Timoteo da Urbino), Italian painter. He was the grandson of the painter Antonio Alberti; his father was also a painter. He was apprenticed to Francesco Francia in Bologna between 1490 and 1495; aspects of Viti's style would seem to confirm an apprenticeship in Bologna.

In 1495 he returned to Urbino and replaced Giovanni Santi, the recently-deceased father of Raphael, as painter to the small court there. He completed paintings of the Muses in the Ducal Palace that Santi had left unfinished. The precocious Raphael, who was eleven at his father's death, continued to run his father's workshop with help from his family. It is assumed that Viti contributed to the training of Raphael, who was fourteen years his junior.

In 1504 Viti, along with Girolamo Genga, was commissioned by Bishop Arrivabene to decorate the chapel of San Martino in the cathedral. He continued to work successfully in the Marches for the rest of the decade, and as far south as Siena, where he and Genga collaborated on paintings in the Palazzo Petrucci in about 1508.

Around 1514, Viti formed part of the large team assembled by Raphael and worked on the frescoes Raphael designed in the Chigi Chapel in Santa Maria della Pace in Rome. Raphael's mature style influenced him for a period afterwards, as can be seen in the large altarpiece of Christ Appearing to Mary Magdalene, Sts Michael the Archangel and Anthony Abbot (c. 1512) for the church of Sant'Angelo Minore in Cagli (Pesaro). In later works he rejected Raphael's influence and looked back to the art of the late 15th century. In his last paintings (such as the Mary Magdalene of 1521 in Gubbio Cathedral) his style became heavier, possibly as a result of the increasing intervention of pupils.

According to Vasari, Timoteo was an artist, a poet, and a musician. He was also politically active in Urbino. He served as magistrate in 1508 and chief magistrate in 1513. He died in Urbino.

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