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Bernardino Licinio

Painter

Born
ca. 1485 / 1490 in Venice (oder Poscante)
Died
1549 / 1565 in Venice

One Work by Bernardino Licinio

Biography

Very little is known about the life of Bernardino Licinio. The artist must have been born in the second half of the 1480s in either Venice or Poscante into a family from Bergamo. He possibly received his artistic training in the Bellini workshop; in any case, his work exhibits the lasting influence of Giovanni Bellini. Later the director of a productive atelier himself, Licinio produced numerous individual and group portraits in addition to half-figure Madonna portraits and large-format altarpieces. Over the course of his career, which can be traced through documented paintings, he adapted to changes in contemporary Venetian painting. For example, his early religious works show the influence of Bellini and Giorgione, whereas his paintings from the 1520s and 1530s largely follow the pattern of Titian. His signed triptych from 1528 with the Resurrection of Christ in S. Giovanni Battista in Lonato, for example, is clearly indebted to Titian's 1522 altarpiece with the same subject for SS. Nazzaro e Celso in Brescia. Nevertheless, Licinio remained more conservative than the leading artists of his time. In his portraits he demonstrated his interest in works by Lorenzo Lotto and again Titian, as two signed and dated works reveal: the 'Portrait of a Man with a Missal' from 1524 in the City Art Gallery in New York and the 'Portrait of Stefano Nani' from 1528 in the National Gallery in London. Also remarkable are his group portraits, among them the portrait of a sculptor with five assistants in the collection of the Duke of Northumberland at Alnwick Castle and the family portrait of Arrigo Licinio, the artist's older brother, also active as a painter, which is now in the Galleria Borghese in Rome. The date of Licinio's birth, like that of his death, is unknown. He must have died in Venice after 1549, but at the latest in 1565.