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Updated:  Aug 12, 2013
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Giovanni Dossi

Italian painter, b. about 1479; d. at Ferrara in 1542

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* Published by Encyclopedia Press, 1913.

Dossi, GIOVANNI, actually named GIOVANNI DI NICOLO DI LUTERO, but also called Dosso Dossi, an Italian painter, b. about 1479; d. at Ferrara in 1542. Dossi belonged to the School of Ferrara and was a pupil of Lorenzo Costa in Mantua. He is believed to have derived his name from the village of Dosso, in which it has been stated he was born. In conjunction with his brother Battista (1480-1548) Dossi visited Rome and Venice and passed eleven years in these places studying especially the works of Giorgione and Titian, but forming his own style, which was distinguished by romantic treatment, imaginative power, rich, brilliant, and often novel coloring. He and his brother were frequently employed by Alfonso I, Duke of Ferrara, and by his successor, Ercole II. His greatest work is the altar-piece in the Ferrara Gallery. He also painted the cartoons for the tapestry in the cathedral of that city, for those in the church of San Francesco, and in the ducal palace at Modena. Many of his frescoes still remain in the ducal palace at Ferrara and his paintings can be studied in the cathedral and churches of Modena, in the Louvre, and in the galleries of Dresden, Berlin, Milan, and Vienna. He painted a portrait of Ariosto and the poet enrolled his name, in conjunction with those of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Titian, in the poem of "Orlando Furioso", but the portrait cannot now be identified, although many other portraits by Dossi are still in existence. The landscape backgrounds of his pictures are marked by beauty of coloring and fine imaginative quality. On his return from Venice he appears to have settled down in Ferrara. His work has a close kinship with that of the Venetian School.


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