Amico Aspertini

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Vault of the Chapel of the Cross in the Basilica di San Frediano, Lucca, Italy.

Amico Aspertini (c. 1474 – 1552), also called Amerigo Aspertini, is an Italian Renaissance painter whose complex, eccentric, and eclectic style anticipates Mannerism. He is considered one of the leading exponents of the Bolognese School of painting.


He was born in Bologna to a family of painters (Guido Aspertini and Giovanni Antonio Aspertini, his father), and studied under masters such as Lorenzo Costa and Francesco Francia. He is briefly documented in Rome between 1500–1503, returning to Bologna and painting in a style influenced by Pinturicchio. In Bologna in 1504, he joined Francia and Costa in painting frescoes for the Oratory of Santa Cecilia next to San Giacomo Maggiore, a work commissioned by Giovanni II Bentivoglio.

In 1507-09, he painted a fresco cycle in San Frediano in Lucca. Asperini painted in 1508-1509 the splendid frescoes in the Chapel of the Cross in the Basilica di San Frediano in Lucca. Aspertini was also one of two artists chosen to decorate a triumphal arch for the entry into Bologna of Pope Clement VII and Emperor Charles V in 1529.

He died in Bologna.

Giorgio Vasari describes Aspertini as having an eccentric personality, who, half-insane, worked so rapidly with both hands that chiaroscuro was split, chiaro in one hand, scuro in the other. He quotes Aspertini as complaining that all other Bolognese colleagues were copying Raphael. Aspertini also painted façade decorations (all lost), and altarpieces, many of which are often eccentric and charged in expression. For example, his Bolognese Pieta appears to occur in an other-worldy electric sky.

Anthology of works[edit]


  • Francis P. Smyth and John P. O'Neill (Editors in Chief) (1986). National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, ed. The Age of Correggio and the Carracci: Emilian Painting of the 16th and 17th Centuries. pp. 56–61. 
  • Freedberg, Sydney J. (1993). Pelican History of Art, ed. Painting in Italy, 1500-1600. Penguin Books Ltd. pp. 404–409. 

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Adoration of the Shepherds by ASPERTINI, Amico". Retrieved 2012-02-18. 
  2. ^ "Amico Aspertini, Pietà". Retrieved 2012-02-18. 
  3. ^ "Saint Sebastian". 1961-01-09. Retrieved 2012-02-18. 
  4. ^ "Heroic Head by ASPERTINI, Amico". Retrieved 2012-02-18.