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LORENZO DI CREDI (1459-1537)

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Originally appearing in Volume V07, Page 390 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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LORENZO DI CREDI (1459-1537), Italian artist, whose surname was Barducci, was born at Florence. He was the least gifted of three artists who began life as journeymen with Andrea del Verrocchio. Though he was the companion and friend of Leonardo da Vinci and Perugino, and closely allied in style to both, he had neither the genius of the one nor the facility of the other. We admire in Da Vinci's heads a heavenly contentment and smile, in his technical execution great gloss and smoothness of finish. Credi's faces disclose a smiling beatitude; his pigments have the polish of enamel. But Da Vinci imparted life to his creations and modulation to his colours, and these are qualities which hardly existed in Credi. Perugino displayed a well-known form of tenderness in heads, moulded on the models of the old Umbrian school. Peculiarities of movement and attitude become stereotyped in his compositions; but when put on his mettle, he could still exhibit power, passion, pathos. Credi often repeated himself in Perugino's way; but being of a pious and resigned spirit, he generally embodied in his pictures a feeling which is yielding and gentle to the verge of coldness. Credi had a respectable local practice at Florence. He was consulted on most occasions when the opinion of his profession was required on public grounds, e.g. in 1491 as to the fronting, and in 1498 as to the lantern of the Florentine cathedral, in 1504 as to the place due to Michelangelo's " David." He never painted frescoes; at rare intervals only he produced large ecclesiastical pictures. The greater part of his time was spent on easel pieces, upon which he expended minute and patient labour. But he worked with such industry that numbers of his Madonnas exist in European galleries. The best of his altar-pieces is that which represents the Virgin and Child with Saints in the cathedral of Pistoia. A fine example of his easel rounds is in the gallery of Mainz. Credi rivalled Fra Bartolommeo in his attachment to Savonarola; but he felt no inclination for the retirement of a monastery. Still, in his old age, and after he had outlived the perils of the siege of Florence (1527), he withdrew on an annuity into the hospital of Santa Maria Nuova, where ha died. The National Gallery, London, has two pictures of the Virgin and Child by him.
End of Article: LORENZO DI CREDI (1459-1537)
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CREDENTIALS (lettres de creance)
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