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Niccolò dell' Abate

(c. 1510—1571)

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(b Modena, c.1510; d ?Fontainebleau, 1571).

Italian Mannerist painter, active for much of his career in France. He spent his early career in and around Modena, mainly as a decorator of secular buildings (little of this work survives intact). From 1547 to 1552 he lived in Bologna, his work of this period including decorations in the Palazzo Poggi (now part of the university). The subjects include landscapes and musical parties, with elegantly dressed, elongated figures influenced particularly by Parmigianino. In 1552 Niccolò moved to France, where he remained for the rest of his life. For much of this time he worked at Fontainebleau, initially under Primaticcio. Most of his work in the palace itself has been lost, and he is now remembered more for his landscapes with figures from mythological stories (Landscape with the Death of Eurydice, ?1557, NG, London). In these he was a precursor of Claude and Poussin in the long-lived tradition of French classical landscape. Niccolò also painted portraits in both Italy and France.

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