Paris Bordone

Dates(Venetian), 1500 - 1571

In 1516 Paris Bordone entered Titian's studio in Venice but left after his ability to imitate Titian's style provoked his master's hostility. When Bordone received his first commission in 1518, the powerful Titian promptly took it for himself. After winning a 1534 competition that failed to attract important Venetian commissions, Bordone found work elsewhere.

The particulars of Bordone's artistic development remain unclear, because he repeated figure studies from his model book throughout his career. Always consistent, however, was his delight in texture and detail, seen in luxurious fabrics, lustrous gems, and soft, supple skin. Around 1538 he worked at Fontainebleau, where his style absorbed the rhythmic grace, expressive artifice, and sensuality of the other Italian painters there. Bordone increasingly became identified with glossy portraiture, frequently illustrating the theme of problematic love. He often painted beautiful courtesans and erotic mythological and allegorical subjects, which appealed to his wealthy clients.

After meeting Lorenzo Lotto in Venice during the 1540s, Bordone imbued his portraits with a new intimacy. He traveled extensively in the 1540s and 1550s, working in Milan, Bavaria, Fontainebleau, and his native Treviso. Around 1560 Bordone again returned to Venice, then as one of its most famous artists.