New exhibition on Cola dell’ Amatrice, a Raphaelesque shrinking violet

The exhibition at he Pinacoteca Civica di Palazzo Arringo is open until 15 October


An exhibition of the work of Cola dell’ Amatrice (1489-1559) is at the Pinacoteca Civica di Palazzo Arringo until 15 October. This extraordinary painter and architect, creator of the façade of the Palazzo dei Capitani and Ascoli Cathedral, clearly deserves reappraisal.

Perhaps motivated by fear of being unfavourably compared with his contemporaries, he preferred to work in the provinces, far from the major centres of activity, such as Rome. As a result, since the time when Vasari first commented on his work, he has attracted very little attention. His paintings are mostly to be found in small towns, in obscure churches or spread around various museums. The exhibition brings together the majority of his works. Unfortunately it does not include his “Death and Assumption of the Virgin” from the Pinacoteca Capitolina. Probably his most mature painting, it provides a key to our understanding of the work of an artist clearly inspired by his great contemporaries, Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael. Influenced by the artists of the Ferrara school, Perugino, Melozzo and, after his stay in Rome between 1513 and 1517, Antoniazzo Romano, he modelled himself on Raphael.

A sketch book was recently discovered and identified by Roberto Cannatà. It deals not only with painting but with such topics as medicine and reveals a complex personality well aware of cultural developments during the High Renaissance.

Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Cola Filotesio'