COSTA, Lorenzo the Elder
(b. ca. 1460, Ferrara, d. 1535, Mantova)

Portrait of Giovanni Bentivoglio (detail)

c. 1492
Tempera on wood
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

This signed work is one of most well-known of Lorenzo Costa's artistic production. In the portrait of Bentivoglio there is obviously a sound knowledge of Antonello Messina's style, but what really dominates is the solidity and sculptural relief of the form, which Costa draws from Venetian painting. This is visible in the sturdy build of the whole figure, the imposing neck, and the well-placed head. Costa, who moved to Bologna from his native Ferrara in 1482, was one of the most interesting and modern exponents of Northern painting in this period.

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