Fra Bartolomeo

Fra Bartolomeo also known as Baccio della Porta, was an Italian Renaissance painter of religious subjects. He was born in Savignano di Prato, Tuscany. He was one of the greatest painters of his time.

In the late 1490s Baccio was drawn to the teachings of Fra Girolamo Savonarola, who denounced what he viewed as vain and corrupt contemporary art. Savonarola argued for art serving as a direct visual illustration of the Bible to educate those unable to read the book.

The following year he was commissioned a fresco of the Universal Judgement for the Ospedale di Santa Maria Nuova when he became a Dominican friar in 1500. The following year he entered the convent of San Marco. He renounced painting for several years, not resuming until 1504. In that year he began a Vision of St. Bernard for Bernardo Bianco's family chapel in the Badia Fiorentina, finished in 1507. Soon thereafter, Raphael visited Florence and befriended the friar. Bartolomeo learned perspective from the younger artist.

Initially, his works showed the influence of Rosselli's assistant, Piero di Cosimo, and those of Domenico Ghirlandaio and Filippino Lippi. After his hiatus from 1500 to 1503, he seemed to change vision, taking from Raphael the representation of light and its effects over moving shapes. Fra Bartolomeo's compositions are remarkable for skill in the massing of light and shade, richness and delicacy of colouring, and for the admirable drapery of the figures, Bartolomeo having been the first to introduce and use the lay-figure with joints.

He travelled and painted in several town, going to Venezia, Lucca, Roma.