The Portrait Society | Palma il Giovane

20/08/1997 | 20th centuryCharcoal and acrylic on canvas50 x 40 cm

Palma il Giovane was the son of the little-known painter Antonio Negretti and great-nephew of the Renaissance painter Palma il Vecchio. Already in his youth, Palma il Giovane made copies of Titian's works and it seems that he was largely self-taught. In 1567, Guidobaldo II della Rovere, Duke of Urbino recognised Palma's talent. He supported the young painter financially and sent him to study in Rome, where Palma spent the next five years. Back in Venice, he followed Tintoretto's style. Palma received his first major public commission after the fire of the Doge's Palace in 1577: for the new decoration of the Sala del Maggior Consiglio he painted two historical scenes and an allegorical ceiling painting. In the 1580s, he executed numerous large-scale cycles of paintings for Venetian churches and other public commissioners. After Tintoretto's death in 1594, Palma became the most sought-after artist in Venice. Among his commissioners were mainly churches, but Palma also continued to work on the decoration of the Doge's Palace. His great fame also attracted the attention of commissioners from abroad, including Emperor Rudolf II and King Sigismund III of Poland. In 1620, Palma was granted permission to erect his own funerary monument above the door to the sacristy in the church of Santi Giovanni e Paolo, with busts of himself, Titian and Palma il Vecchio. Underneath is the tomb of Palma il Giovane. In return, he painted two paintings for the sacristy of the church, a Crucifixion and a Resurrection, without payment.

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