Bernardino Licinio

Born: 1489  - Death: 1549    Located in: The Sebastiano del Piombo and Lorenzo Lotto Room  

Bernardino Licinio was a painter during the Italian High Renaissance, creating portraits and religious works. He was born in Bergamo in the town of Lombardy. It is said that he may have trained in the studio of Giovanni Bellini (1430 -1516), a prominent Venetian painter of the Bellini family. Licinio stayed close to the artistic developments of the Venetian school of painting.

Licino produced several works depicting the Virgin Mary and Child including, Holy Family with the Magdalene, Madonna Enthroned with Saints and Madonna with Child in Arms. His The Madonna and Child with Saint Joseph and a Female Martyr, now in the National Gallery of London, is close in style and conceptually to his, Madonna and Child with Saint Francis, now in the Uffizi Gallery. Several of these religious works were half-length panels, but he also produced altarpieces and privately commissioned portraits.

Licinio’s earlier painting style was much in the vein of other prominent High Renaissance artists of Venice, such as Giorgio Barbarelli da Castelfranco, called Giorgione (1477 – 1510). Giorgione was also said to have trained under Giovanni Bellini’s workshop. The best examples of Licinio’s works during this period are Adoration of the Shepherds and Portrait of a Courtesan.

His later works took much more to the style of Titian (1485 – 1576), a leading Venetian painter of Italy’s Renaissance. These religious works give a highly symmetrical positioning of saints surrounding the Virgin Mary and Child. Licinio’s piece, Virgin and Child Enthroned with Saints from 1535 is a good example of his work influenced by Titian. The Resurrection piece painted by Licino in 1528 was also influenced by a similar piece done by Titian. Some of Licinio’s well known portraits are, Portrait of Stefano Nani and Portrait of Ottaviano Grimani.

Bernardino Licinio was part of an artistic family, going on to train his nephew Giulio Licino (1527 – 1584). Bernardino’s brother, Arrigo (Giulio’s father) was also a painter, as was another brother, Fabio.

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