Marco d' Oggiono

Datesabout 1467 - 1524

From lessons learned in Leonardo da Vinci's studio, Marco d'Oggiono forged an extremely successful artistic career. Absorbing both the techniques and themes of Italy's preeminent Renaissance painter, d'Oggiono appealed to a broad public desiring fashionable "Leonardesque" work.

The son of a successful goldsmith, d'Oggiono was probably born in Milan between 1465 and 1470. Little is known of his youth, including whom he may have trained with before encountering Leonardo. By 1490, d'Oggiono had met and become in some way associated with Leonardo; their exact working relation is undocumented. Initially, d'Oggiono collaborated on works with several of Leonardo's followers, but by the late 1490s, he had an independent career. He painted church altarpieces as well as more modest works on canvas. Very few of his earlier works have survived, but it is known that he tended to repeat successful subjects again and again.

D'Oggiono worked in Venice and Liguria before returning to Milan around 1504. He copied many works by Leonardo including several versions of the Virgin and Child, such as the Virgin of the Rock, and of the Madonna. Many more of his paintings borrowed Leonardesque themes and techniques, such as Leonardo's distinctive use of sfumato (softened outlines). Among his many commissions, d'Oggiono created a copy of the Last Supper for a monastery in Milan. The copy was required to resemble Leonardo's original but was surrounded by an elaborate trompe l'oeil freize. Far removed from Leonardo's original intentions, such a decorative flourish reveals that d'Oggiono was eager to please his patrons.

As his career progressed, d'Oggiono's work gradually shed the influence of Leonardo in favor of artists like Perugino and Leonardo's followers, such as Giampietrino. He died of the plague shortly after completing an altarpiece of the Virgin and Child in 1524.