Bartolommeo della Porta
28 March 1472 – 31 October 1517

Biographical outline,
published by Chris Fischer in his work: Fra Bartolommeo. Rotterdam 1990, p. 27-30. All with mention of very precise sources.  

1472-1483.
Bartolommeo della Porta was born in Soffignano, near Firenze, Italy, on 28 March 1472. His mother Bartolommea di Zanobi di Salimbene was of Firenze; his father Paolo di Jacopo, of Genuese descent, lived near the city gate of San Piero Gattolini (now Porta Romena), Firenze. His father was a mule driver. His mother died shortly after giving birth to Bartolommeo.
 In 1476 Paolo di Jacopo married Andrea di Michele di Cenni da Ponzano. In 1477 Bartolommeo’s half-brother Piero was born.
In 1478 Paolo di Jacopo acquired the house near the gate of San Piero Gattoloni, and Bartolommeo got the nickname Baccio della Porta.

In the Lent of 1483 Girolamo Savonarola preached in the church of San Lorenzo, Firenze.

1483 or 1484.
Bartolommeo is placed in the studio of Cosimo Rosselli on the recommendation of the sculptor Benedetto da Maiano.

July 1487.
Bartolommeo’s father, Paolo of Jacopo, died.

1489. Savonarola preached in de church of San Marco, Firenze.

1490 or 1491.
Bartolommeo left Cosimo Rosselli’s workshop and started a partnership with Mariotto Albertinelli at his family home near the gate of San Piero Gattolini.

1491
July: Girolamo Savonarola became prior of the priory of San Marco, Firenze.

1492
April 8: Death of Lorenzo il Magnifico.

1493.
Bartolommeo’s partnership with Mariotto Albertinelli is interrupted.

1494.
November 9:  Piero de’Medici and his family are exiled from Firenze. The partnership with Albertinelli was resumed shortly afterwards.

1495.
Savonarola lent his support to a new constitution. The Gran Consiglio or parliamentary assembly was founded.

1497.
 Data inscribed on the painting ‘Annunciation’ for the cathedral in Volterra.
On 12 May Savonarola was excommunicated by Pope Alexander VI.

1497-1498.
7 December 1497 or 27 February 1498 Bartolommeo burned his drawings of nudes on one of the bonfires built by the followers of Savonarola, the so-called ‘Pagnoni’.

1498.
In this year Bartolommeo painted the portrait of Savonarola in the priory of San Marco, Firenze. Savonarola lived there.

Girolamo Savonarola, O.P. on panel 47 x 31 cm.
Preserved in the cell of Savonarola in the Museo di San Marco (priory San Marco), Firenze.

Italy 1952, Mi 868, Sc 609.
Triest 1962, Mi 185, Sc 153, with overprint AMG-FTT:
Allied Military Government - Free Territory Trieste.

Also Gambia 1999, Mi 3484, Sc 2180 q.

1498.
April 8: The priory of San Marco was stormed by the anti-Savonarolist faction, known as the ‘Arrabiati’. Bartolommeo is among the defenders. Savonarola and his companions Fra Domenico Buonavicini and Silvestri Maruffi were captured in the library of the priory – this is marked by a commemorative plate – and imprisoned.

1498.
Mai 23: After a trial Savonarola and his companions were hanged and then burned on the Piazza della Signatura, Firenze. There is a commemorative plate. Their ashes were strewn in the river Arno.

1499.
Bartolommeo painted wings for a tabernacle commissioned by Francesco del Pugliese, now in Uffizi, Firenze.

1499, April 22.
Contract with Gerozzo Dini for the execution of the ‘Last Judgement’ at the hospital of Santa Maria Nuova, Firenze, now in the Museo di San Marco, Firenze.

1500.
July 15: Bartolommeo gave power of attorney to Mariotto Albertinelli and the latter’s father.
October 29: They rented Bartolommeo’s house near the gate of San Piero Cattolini in Firenze to Marco di Francesco di Gerio Ferrini for one year.
July 26: Bartolommeo became novice at the priory of San Domenico in Prato.

1501.
March 14:The painting ‘Last Judgment’s finished.
July 26: Bartolommeo took his first vows as friar of the priory of San Domenico in Prato. He donated all his possessions to his brother Piero.
September 11: Piero leased Bartolommeo properties to Albertinelli. Piero is placed in the care of Jacopo di Simone di Antonio of San Donato in Poggio.
December 12: Bartolommeo gave power of attorney to Albetinelli, according to an authorization granted by the priory of San Domenico in Prato.

1502.
Piero Soderini was elected Gonfaloniere for life.

1504.
June: Sante Pagnini of Lucca became prior of San Marco, Firenze.
July 24: Simone di Simone di San Donato in Poggio surrendered the guardianship of Bartolommeo’s brother Piero.
July 26: Bartolommeo took his second vows (for life).
November 18:  Bartolommeo signed a contract with Bernardo del Bianco for an altarpiece for Bernardo’s family chapel in the Badia, Firenze.

1504 or 1505.
The probable date of the lost painting ‘Christ and the Woman of Samaria’.

1505.
January 1: Bartolommeo’s brother Piero entered Albertinelli’s workshop as an apprentice.

1506.
April 30: Payment from Domenico Perini for the ‘Noli Me tangere’, Louvre, Paris.
June: Nicolaus Schomberg or Schönberg of Germany became prior of San Marco.

1507.
August 19: Bartolomeo of Faenza became prior.

1508.
Spring: Bartolommeo de la Porta travelled to Venice, where he was influenced by Giovanni Bellini, and became one of the chief exponents of colour composition in the Florentine school. He signed the contract for ‘God the Father, Mary Magdalen and Saint Catherine of Siena’, commissioned by the Dominicans of the priory of San Pietro Martire at Murano. Preserved in the Pinacoteca Guinigi in Lucca.
November: Payment from the Comtemplanti Brotherhood for the painting ‘Assumption’, formerly in the Kaiser Friedrich Museum, Berlin.

1509.
Presumed date of the ‘Madonna di San Marco’, commissioned for the family chapel of Pietro Cambi at San Marco, and of ‘Saint Georg and the Dragon’, an unfinished mural in the house of Pier del Pugliese.
May: Giovanni Asaria became prior of San Marco.
After June: Bartolommeo painted a ‘Head of Jesus’ and a ‘Head of the Virgin’, which were presented to Gonfaloniere Soderini as a token of gratitude for the return of the bell of San Marco.

1510.
Data inscribed on the ‘Sacra Conversazione’, a workshop painting, now in the ‘Kunsthistorisches Museum’, Vienna.

1511.
Date inscribed on the ‘Sacra Conversazione with the Mystic Marriage of St Catherine of Siena’, today in the Louvre, Paris. And the following workshop paintings: ‘Virgin and Child with St Peter and Paul’, in the church of St Catherine in Pisa; ‘Holy Family with the infant St John’, Galleria Borghese, Rome; ‘Holy Family with the infant St John’, Galleria Orsini, Firenze; ‘Christ carrying the Cross’, Museo di San Marco, Firenze. (Was probably dated 1511, later retouched and changed to 1514.)

1511.
Probable date of ‘St Vincent Ferrer’, Museo di San Marco, Firenze; ‘Pieta’, for the church of San Gallo, now in Museo Pitti; ‘Five Busts of Saints’, painted in fresco over the doors of the dormitory on the ground floor of the priory of San Marco, Firenze.
May 7-July 3: In this period Ferry Carondelet paid the first instalment to Bartolommeo and Albertinelli for work on the Çarondelet Altarpiece’, for the cathedral in Besançon.

The Madonna Carondelet, panel 260 x 230 cm, ca 1511, preserved in the Cathedral of Besançon, France. Carondelet (or Carandolet, Carondolet, 1469-7/8 Febr. 1645) was the Dean of the Cathedral Chapter of the Cathedral in Besançon (1493), and after many functions Archbishop of Palermo and Primate of Sicilia.

Congo People's Republic 1992, Mi 1335, Sc 995C; 1998, Mi 1529, Sc --.


June: Sante Pagnini of Lucca became prior of San Marco for the second time.
June 5: The Cartusian monks at Pavia commissioned a ‘Pieta’ from Albertinelli.
July 3: Payment of the Certosa of Pavia, probably for the ‘Annunciation’, now in the ‘Musée des Beaux-Arts’, Geneva.
October 3: Payment from Michele Mastiani, probably for the ‘Virgin and Child with Sts Peter and Paul’ for the church of Santa Catherine in Pisa.

1512.
Date inscribed on the ‘Pala Pitti’, Academia Florence and on the workshop’ painting ‘Saints Catherine of Alexandria and Mary Magdalen’, Siena, Pinacoteca Nazionale.

February, 17: Contract with Jacopo Panciatichi  for an altarpiece for the San Domenico in Pistoia.
March: The Florentine government acquired the ‘Sacra Conversazione with the Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine of Siena’, Paris, Louvre, to present it as a gift to Jacques Hurault, bishop of Autun and the French king ambassador in Florence.
August 31: Gonfaloniere Soderni flied Florence. 
On this date the government allowed the Medici to return.

September 1: Cardinal Giovanni de’ Medici returned to Florence with his brother Giuliano and nephew Lorenzo. The Medici party took control of the government and the Gran Consiglio was dissolved.

5213.
January 5: Dissolution of the partnership between Fra Bartolommeo and Albertinelli. The contract with Jacopo Panciatichi for an altarpiece for San Domenico, Pistoia, was annulled.
March 11: Cardinal Giovanni de’Medici became Pope Leo X.
May: Filippo Lorenzo di Strozzi became prior of San Marco, Florence.
June 10, 17, 19: Payments from the government for work on the ‘Pala del Gran Consiglio’.
August 1513 or spring 1514; Fra Bartolommeo visited Rome. Fra Mariano Fetti commissioned the painting ‘The apostles, Peter and Paul’, Musei Vaticani, for the church of San Silvestro al Quirinale. The painting of Saint Peter was left unfinished when Fra Bartolommeo leaved the city earlier than planned.

1514.
Probable date of ‘Saint Sebastian’, formerly in the collection of the Alaffre family, Pézenas near Toulouse, and of ‘Saint Mark the Evangelist’, Museum Pitti, Florence.
July 10: Fra Bartolommeo was reported to have finished two ‘Madonnas’ for the Ospizio della Magdalena near Caldine in the Mugnone Valley.

1515.
Date inscribed on the ‘Virgin and Child with two music making Angels’, Saint Petersburg Hermitage; the ‘Madonna della  Misericordia, Lucca Museo di Villa Guinigi,  and ‘the ‘Incarnation of Christ’, Louvre Paris.
Probable date of the ‘Virgin and Saint Elisabeth with the Christ Child and the Infant Saint John’ in the Pitti Florence.
January 1: Francesco Filippo of Florence was placed with Fra Bartolommeo as an apprentice.
May: Jeronimo de’Rossi became prior of San Marco.
October 4: Fra Bartolommeo painted the ‘Annunciation’ in the church of the Ospizio della Magdalena near the Caldine in the Mugnone Valley.
October 5: Death of Mariotto Albertinelli.
November 30: Triumphal entry of Pope Leo X into Florence.
Month unknown: King François of France invited Fra Bartolommeo to Paris.

 

1516.
Date inscribed on the ‘Salvator Mundi’,
Galleria Palatina,
Florence.
This probably covered the entire decoration
of the Billi Chapel.

 'Salvator Mundi surrounded by the Evangelists'.
Canvas 282x204 cm , 1516, in Galleria Palatina.

Galleria Palatina in Palazzo Pitti, Florence.

Ajman 1972, Mi 1924.

 

1516. Date of the ‘Presentation in the temple’.

Vienna Kunsthistorisches Museum;

 

Guyana 1994, Mi 4970, Bl 445; Sc 2899.

 

 

1516.
Date of ‘The Assumption’, Naples, Museo di Campodimonte; the ‘Holy Family’, Kenwood; and of the ‘Holy Family’, Rome, Galleria Nazionale; the ‘; Virgin and Saint Elizabeth with the Christ Child and the Infant Saint John’, in the collection of Lady Cook. Probable date of the lost ‘Rape of Dina’.
May 23: Fra Bartolommeo was in Ferrara where he apparently undertook to paint a ‘Feast of Venus’ for the Camerino d’Alabastro of Alfonso d’Este.
December 3: List of the paintings by Fra Bartolommeo compiled by Fra Bartolommeo Cavalcanti, syndic of the priory of San Marco.
December 22: At the Ospizio della Madonna del Lecceto, Fra Bartolommeo lent Francesco di Filippo di Antonio di Ridolfo 10 gold ducats.

Detail of the Entombment of Christ. (the burial of Christ), also named 'Pieta', oil on panel 158 x 199 cm. 1516. Completed after Bartolommeo's death on 31.10.1516, by Bugiardini, 1517.
Preserved in the Galleria Palatina in Palazzo Pitti, Florence.

St. Christopher, Nevis, Anquilla 1974, Mi 275. Sc 283.

1517.
Date inscribed in the ‘Noli Me Tangere’ in the garden chapel of the Ospizio della Maddalena at Le Caldine in the Mugnone Valley.
June 14: In a letter to Alfonso d’Este, Duke of Ferrara, Fra Bartolommeo  wrote that he had sent to Ferara ‘two paintings with sacred subjects’, and that he was about to start on another.

1517: Fra Bartolommeo's death.
 
There is a self-portrait of Fra Bartolommeo that he sketched with the help of a mirror.
He worked without interruption, standing by the window, with effect that he was total paralysed on one side. He could not move himself.  Doctors recommended him the medicated bath in San Filippo.
He quite some time, but he got little benefit.  Fra Bartolommeo was mad about fruit, although it was very bad for him. In the morning of 27 October 1517 he consumed a large amount of figs, got serious fever, and died on 31 October.
Source: Giorgio Vasari: De levens van de grootste schilders. By Henk van Veen, Amsterdam (Contact), 1998, p.214.   


Philately

The Holy Family, detail.
Preserved in the Galleria Borghese, Rome.

Burundi 1981, Mi 1561, 1565, Bl 114; Sc 582, C283, d.
Burundi 1981, with tax: Mi 1569, 1573, Bl 115.
The same painting on
Cook Islands 1969, Mi 233, Bl 5;
Sc 269.

 

Madonna, the Christ Child with the infant Saint John the Baptist.
Preserved ?

Sierra Leone 1992, Mi 1929, Sc 1595.
The same picture: Grenada-Grenadines 1985, Mi 784, Sc 725.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Holy Family.

preserved ???

Niue 1990, Mi 768, Sc 590.

 

 


 

Saint Dominic.
Fresco in the priory of San Marco, Florence.
 
Fresco is retouched by the designer of the stamp.

 

Spain 1965, Mi 1533, Sc 1295.

 

 

 

The Virgin, the Christ Child and the infant Saint John the Baptist.
Panel 13 x 75 cm. Preserved in the National Gallery (collection Mond) in London.

Trinidad and Tobago 1971, Mi 286, Sc 203.

 

 

 

 


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