Cesare da Sesto

Dates1477 - 1523

Scholars are uncertain about the chronology of Cesare da Sesto's life. What is clear is his style: a characteristic, lifelong synthesis of Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael's art. Equally apparent is this itinerant painter's importance: he spread the new artistic ideas of the High Renaissance, transmitting elements of Raphael's style to northern Italy and aspects of Leonardo to Italy's southern regions.

Cesare was originally from Lombardy; little is known about his education. As early as 1506, he may have been in Rome, working with Baldassare Peruzzi and probably coming into contact with the young Raphael. After his years in Rome, Cesare probably spent time in Milan. His paintings from this period display his characteristic marriage of Leonardo's means of expression and theme with Raphael's articulation of human form.

By 1514 Cesare had left Milan, traveling south, probably through Rome, Florence, and Siena, then settling in Naples and Messina. There his paintings influenced local artists learning the High Renaissance style. After six years in southern Italy, Cesare returned to Milan, where he had a workshop and received commissions until his death.