Santi di Tito  

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Niccolò Machiavelli (Detail of 1500 portrait of Niccolò Machiavelli by Santi di Tito)
Niccolò Machiavelli (Detail of 1500 portrait of Niccolò Machiavelli by Santi di Tito)

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Santi di Tito (1536 - 1602 or 1603) was an Italian painter of Late-Mannerist or proto-Baroque style, what is sometimes referred to as Contra-Maniera.



Born in Borgo San Sepolcro, in Tuscany. There is little documentation to support the alleged training under Bronzino or Baccio Bandinelli. From 1558-1564, he worked in Rome on frescoes in Palazzo Salviati and the Sala Grande of the Belvedere (Homage of the People) alongside Giovanni de' Vecchi and Niccolò Circignani. He acquired a classical trait, described as Raphaelesque by S.J. Freedburg. This style contrasted with the reigning ornate Roman painterliness of the Federico and Taddeo Zuccari or their Florentine equivalents: Vasari, Alessandro Allori, and Bronzino. Among his pupils was Cigoli. Another pupil named Francesco Mochi became a sculptor in the Baroque style, creating among other pieces, the colossal Saint Veronica', supervised by Gianlorenzo Bernini and placed in the crossing of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.

After returning to Florence in 1564, He joined the Accademia del Disegno, and he did not venture to paint outside of Tuscany. He contributed two unusual paintings for the Duke's study and laboratory, the Studiolo of Francesco I in the Palazzo Vecchio. This artistic project was partly overseen by Giorgio Vasari. These paintings are (the Sisters of Fetonte[1] and Hercules and Iole[2]). These works, like many of those in the studiolo are crowded and overworked.

Image:Santi di Tito 001.jpg
The Sisters of Phaeton by Santi di Tito for the Studiolo at the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence.

He contributed a Sacra Conversazione for the Ognissanti and painted two altarpieces for Santa Croce in Florence: a crowded, but monumental Resurrection (1570-74) and a proto-Caravaggesque Supper at Emmaus (1574).

He returned to Florence to finished a picture of Sogliani's for S. Domenico, in Fiesole; also that he painted in the Belvedere of the Vatican, and on the catafalque of Michelangelo. He painted a Resurrection of Lazarus for the cathedral of Volterra; a Madonna for San Salvatore, Florence; a Burial of Christ for S. Giuseppe; a Baptism of Christ by St John for the Corsini palace, Florence; and as well as portraits in the Uffizi. Santi died in Florence, July 23, 1603 .

His masterpiece, and reflective of his mature style, is of the Vision of Saint Thomas Aquinas, also known as Saint Thomas Dedicating His Works to Christ. It expresses a simple pious gesture that appeared to have been lost from the theoretically-minded Florentine painters since the days of Masaccio, while maintaining the brittle, demarcated color that is classic of Tuscan works. The off-balance of the figures emphasize a diagonal rise towards the crucified Christ. It is a prescient style that will be more evident in following decades with the ascendant Bolognese School of painting, epitomized by the Agostino and Ludovico Carracci.

Partial anthology of works



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