Dossi, Dosso

, an artist, was a native of Dosso in the Ferrarese territory, and from the school of Costa went to Rome, where he studied six years, and five at Venice; and formed a style which is sometimes compared to that of Raphael, sometimes to that of Titian, and sometimes is said to resemble Coreggio. His name, with that of Gio. Batista his brother, has been ranked with the first names of Italy by Ariosto, their countryman; and the pictures of Dosso prove that he did not owe the high rank in which | he is placed by the poet, to partiality. The head of his St. John at Patmos, in the church a' Lateran at Ferrara, is a prodigy of expression. Of his most celebrated picture in the church of the Dominicans at Faenza, there remains now only a copy: time destroyed the original. It represents Christ among the Doctors, and even in the copy the simplicity of the composition, the variety of the characters, and the breadth and propriety of the drapery, deserve admiration. Seven of his pictures, and perhaps of his best time, are at Dresden, and the best of these is that much praised one of the Four Doctors of the Church. Dosso, in partnership with his brother, was much employed in works for the court of Alphonso and Ercole II. dukes of Ferrara; and to that connection with him, a character so much inferior to himself, we may probably ascribe the aspersions and illiberal criticism of Vasari. The style of Dosso retains something more obsolete than the style of the great masters with whom he is compared; but he has a novelty of invention and drapery all his own; and withal a colour which with variety and boldness unites a general harmony. This excellent artist died about 1560, but his age has not been ascertained. 1


Pilkington, edit. 1810.