Pellegrino Tibaldi

Dates(Bolognese), 1527 - 1596
DiedMilan, Italy

A builder's son, Pellegrino Tibaldi began his career with an unknown teacher in Bologna before he was thirteen. His early style combined the classicism of Innocenzo da Imola and Raphael's followers with an elegant Mannerist draftsmanship influenced by Parmigianino.

Tibaldi's years in Rome were critical to defining his mature style. Arriving around 1545, he worked with Perino del Vaga on frescoes in Castel Sant'Angelo. His combination of muscular Michelangelesque Mannerism with his own graceful Mannerist style earned him the opportunity to complete the commission after his mentor's death in 1547.

Summoned to Bologna around 1555 by Cardinal Giovanni Poggi, Tibaldi painted witty frescoes in the Palazzo Poggi, now the university, depicting the story of Ulysses. Extravagant posturings and combinations of forms created striking patterns that made space appear expansive and elastic. Pupils from the Carracci Academy studied his frescoes, and his ceilings directly inspired Annibale Carracci's decorations in the Palazzo Farnese gallery in Rome.

After twenty years as architect for Cardinal Carlo Borromeo, Tibaldi traveled to Spain at the invitation of King Philip II in 1586. There he supervised the decoration of the Escorial and spread Mannerism to Spain through his vast output. Rich and ennobled, Tibaldi returned to Milan in 1596 and died shortly thereafter.

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