Bonifacio Bembo

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Portrait of Francesco Sforza. ca. 1460. Tempera on panel, 40 x 31 cm. Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan.

Bonifacio Bembo (active between 1447 and 1477) was an Italian painter and miniaturist of the early-Renaissance period.

Born in Brescia and formed in the late Gothic school, he was influenced by the Renaissance style. After his knowledge with Gemistus Pletho, he absorbed the latter's Neoplatonic ideals. He was also active in Cremona.

His paintings include the frescoes of the church of Sant'Agostino di Cremona in Cremona and the portrait of Francesco I Sforza and his wife Bianca Maria Visconti (both from 1462), now in the Pinacoteca di Brera of Milan. He also painted for the cloister of La Colomba at Cremona.

Bembo is usually considered the author of one of the famous Visconti-Sforza tarot decks, whose symbolism reflects his interest in Neoplatonism. He said to have died in 1498,[1] while other sources cite before 1482.[2] He was the sibling of Benedetto Bembo and uncle of Giovanni Francesco Bembo, both painters.


  1. ^ Ticozzi S.
  2. ^ Getty ULAN