Bernardino Poccetti (Biographical details)

Bernardino Poccetti (painter/draughtsman; Italian; Male; 1548 - 1612)

Also known as

Poccetti, Bernardino; Barbatelli, Bernardino


Painter, specialist in sgraffito facades. b. San Mariano di Valdelsa 1548, d. Florence 1612. Taught by Michele di Ridolfo (q.v.). He specialised as a fresco painter and early in his career painted palace facades in Florence, gaining for himself the nickname 'Bernardino delle facciate' or 'Bernardino delle Grottesche': surviving examples include the Palazzo di Bianca Capello. At this time he came into contact with the group of painters around Santi di Tito (q.v.) who were practising a more naturalistic approach to painting in reaction to the then prevailing style of Mannerism. In 1578-80 he was briefly in Rome. After his return to Florence he was much employed in painting large-scale decorative frescoes, including: six lunettes in the Chiostro Grande, S. Maria Novella (1582-4); decoration of the monks' choir, Certosa del Galluzzo (he began working for the Certosini on this and subsequent projects in 1591, continuing in their employ until his death); frescoes in the Cappella Neri, S. Maria Maddalena de' Pazzi (1598-1600); and, perhaps his best-known works, the fourteen lunettes in the Chiostro Grande, SS Annunziata, Florence. Poccetti's style is hard to characterise. Although it falls into the same general category as the work of other painters who had been inspired by Santi di Tito, e.g. Cigoli (q.v.) and Empoli (q.v.), the mood of his painting sets it apart. It is differentiated by the tranquility of his more contemplative interpretation of the Counter-Reformation message, which contrasts so strongly with other artists' more agitated and dramatic undertstanding of it. He was a prolific draughtsman of great originality, fortunately well represented in the British Museum.


Nicholas Turner, 'Florentine Drawings of the Sixteenth Century', London, 1986