Santi di Tito

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Vision of St Thomas Aquinas (1593)[1]

Santi di Tito (5 December 1536 – 25 July 1603) was one of the most influential and leading Italian painters of the proto-Baroque style – what is sometimes referred to as "Counter-Maniera" or Counter-Mannerism.[2][3]


He was born in Florence, then its own city-state.[4] There is little documentation to support the alleged training under Bronzino or Baccio Bandinelli. From 1558 to 1564, he worked in Rome on frescoes in Palazzo Salviati and the Sala Grande of the Belvedere (Homage of the People) alongside Giovanni de' Vecchi and Niccolò Circignani. He acquired a classical trait, described as Raphaelesque by S. J. Freedberg. This style contrasted with the reigning ornate Roman painterliness of Federico and Taddeo Zuccari or their Florentine equivalents: Vasari, Alessandro Allori, and Bronzino.

After returning to Florence in 1564, he joined the Accademia del Disegno. He contributed two conventionally Mannerist paintings for the Duke's study and laboratory, the Studiolo of Francesco I in the Palazzo Vecchio. This artistic project was partly overseen by Giorgio Vasari. These paintings – the Sisters of Fetonte (Phaeton) and Hercules and Iole – like many of those in the studiolo, are stylized and overcrowded.

Baldinucci recounts that Santi completely rejected the maniera of Bronzino, and embraced a classical Reformist and naturalistic style.[5] Santi went on to contribute a Sacra Conversazione for the Ognissanti and painted two altarpieces for Santa Croce in Florence: a crowded but monumental Resurrection (1570–74), and a creatively inspired and decorous Supper at Emmaus (1574).

Santi also painted a Resurrection of Lazarus for Volterra Cathedral; a Madonna for San Salvatore al Vescovo; a Burial of Christ for S. Giuseppe; a Baptism of Christ by St John for the Corsini palace, Florence. Santi died in Florence on July 23, 1603.[6]

Santi's mature style is reflected in his masterpiece of the Vision of Saint Thomas Aquinas, also known as Saint Thomas Dedicating His Works to Christ located in the church of San Marco in Florence. It expresses a simple, pious gesture that appeared to have been lost from the courtly sensibility of Italian painting since the days of Raphael, while maintaining the brittle, demarcated colour that is classic of Tuscan works. The work has an earnest fervour lacking in his earlier mannerist works, which sometimes appear like a collection of posed statues over-painted with skin hues. This new contra-maniera style finds some echoes in the rising Bolognese Baroque style of the Carracci.

Among his pupils were Ludovico Cigoli, the leading painter of art Reform in late sixteenth and early seventeenth century Florence. Another pupil named Francesco Mochi became a prominent sculptor in the Baroque style and created, among other pieces, the colossal Saint Veronica, in the crossing of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome."[7]




Portrait of Niccolò Machiavelli by Santi di Tito.jpg Pietro de' Medici - Santi di Tito - 1584-1586.jpg Santi di Tito, Ritratto di Cristina di Lorena.jpg Santi di Tito - Portrait of Maria de' Medici - WGA22720.jpg Santi di Tito - Portrait of the Young Maria de' Medici - WGA22719.jpg Santi di Tito - Portrait of a Girl - WGA22721.jpg
Maria de' Medici
Portrait of Girl
Frescoes for Cloister of Santa Maria Novella and Villa il Riposo
SMN Chiostro Grande o08 Santi di Tito, Gli apostoli Pietro e Paolo appaiono a San Domenico.JPG SMN Chiostro Grande o10 Santi di Tito, Incontro tra San Domenico e San Francesco.JPG SMN Chiostro Grande n11 Santi di Tito, San Domenico a mensa nutrito dagli angeli.JPG SMN Chiostro Grande n04 Santi di Tito, Morte di San Domenico.JPG SMN Chiostro Grande o12 Santi di Tito, San Domenico salva 40 naufragi.JPG Santi di tito, personaggi illustri della famiglia vecchietti tra ercole a riposo e putti con festone e motto 01.jpg
St Dominic's vision of Sts Peter & Paul
St Dominic and St Francis
St Dominic dines with Angels
St Dominic's Death
St Dominic Saves Shipwrecked
Villa il Riposo



  1. ^ "Art and Theory in Baroque Europe: From Mannerism to Baroque".
  2. ^ Bailey 2003, pp. 28–30.
  3. ^ Bailey 2002, pp. 31–39.
  4. ^ Bastogi 2017.
  5. ^ F. Baldinucci, Notizie dei professori del disegno da Cimabue in qua, (1681-1728) 2, pp. 540-544., ed. by F. Ranalli, Florence 1845-1847.
  6. ^ Bryan 1889, p. 179.
  7. ^ Wittkower & Connors 1999.
  8. ^ Santi di Tito. "Holy Family". Musée Fesch. Retrieved 16 October 2020.


External links[edit]

Media related to Santi di Tito at Wikimedia Commons