Bramante Di Urbino

, or Donato Lazzari, but celebrated under the former name, a painter and architect, was born at Castel Durante, in the territory of Urbino, irv 1444, and at Urbino studied the works of Fra Carnevale, er Corradini. His fame as an architect has nearly obliterated his memory as a painter, though many of his works remain at Milan and its district, and are repeatedly mentioned by Cesariani and Lomazzo, who observe that his style on the whole resembled that of Andrea Mantegna. He painted portraits, sacred and profane history, in distemper and in fresco. He too, like Mantegna, studied much after casts, thence perhaps the too salient lights of his flesh. Like him, he draped models in paper or glued linen, to avoid stiffness. Lomazzo, who cleaned one of his pictures in distemper, found that, like Mantegna, he made use of a viscous liquid. The public frescoes of Bramante at Milan, mentioned by Lomazzo and Scaramuccia, are either no more, or spoiled; but a considerable number of private ones still remain in certain apartments of the palaces Borri and CastiglionL In the Certosa of Pavia there is likewise a chapel said to have been painted by him: the proportions are square, and rather heavy; the | faces full, the aged heads grand; the colour vivid and salient, not without some crudity. The same style prevails in a picture of his belonging to the Melzi family, representing several saints and a beautiful perspective; it recurs again in an altar-piece of the Incoronata at Lodi, a charming temple built from the design of Bramante, by Gio. Bataggio, a native of the place; but his master-piece at Milan is at the church of S. Sebastian, the patron saint, in whose style no trace of Quattrocento appears.

His talents, however, being more strongly 'turned for architecture, he devoted himself to it with great success. His first patron, after his arrival at Rome, was cardinal Oliver Carafta, for whom he designed and completed the choir in the convent of the Frati della pace. This specimen of his talents recommended him to the notice of Alexander VI. in whose service he executed many designs. Under Julius II. he was employed as superintendant of his buildings, in accomplishing the grand project of joining the Belvidere with the Vatican, by means of two galleries extended across a valley. In 1504 he accompanied pope Julius to Bologna, and was engaged in fortifying the town; and during the war of Mirandola, he had several opportunities of exercising his talents in the military art. After his return to Rome, he adorned the city with many fine buildings; and at length undertook to demolish the cathedral of St. Peter’s, and to supply its place with another edifice suited to the capital of the Christian world. His plan for this purpose was adopted; and before the death of the pope, in 1513, the new structure was advanced as far as the entablature; and at the time of his own death, in 1514, the four great arches for the support of the dome were erected. The original design was abandoned by the architects who succeeded him, not without injury to the structure; but the prosecution of the work was entrusted with Michael Angelo, who praised his plan, and conformed as much as possible to his ideas. Bramante was no less estimable for his general character than for his extraordinary talents as an artist. Obliging in his disposition, he took pleasure in encouraging young persons of the profession; and he invited the celebrated Raphael, who was his cousin, to Rome, instructed him in architecture, and procured for him employment in the Vatican. He was also skilled in poetry and music, and composed extemporaneously for his harp. To him is ascribed the invention | of constructing arches by casting in wooden moulds a mixture of lime, marble dust, and water, supposed to be a revival of the stucco of the antients. His poetical works were printed at Milan, in 1756. The knowledge and practice of the art of engraving may also be added to his other accomplishments. This art he probably acquired at Milan, and his execution of it exactly resembles the style of Andrea Mantegna, that is, with the strokes running from one corner of the plate to the other, without any crossing. He died in 1514. 1


Pilkington.—Strutt.—Roscoe’s Leo.—Rees’s Cyclopædia.