Thomas Monahan

Fine Art

Leandro Bassano

Leandro Bassano (1557 – 1622), also called Leandro dal Ponte, was an Italian artist who studied under his father, Jacopo Bassano, until eventually becoming his assistant. While continuing in the tradition of his father’s more religious work, Bassano also became known for his portraits; after his father’s death and brother’s suicide, Bassano continued portraiture after taking over his brother’s studio in Venice, initially hewing closely to the style of Venetian master Tintonetto while developing his own trademark flourishes.

His approach to painting differed from his father’s in that he applied color very finely and delicately, mostly using a palette of cool, light colors, whereas his father tended to do just the opposite, applying dense and heavy brushstrokes to the canvas. Over time, his success in Venice grew so substantially that he decided to remain there for the rest of his life; he was even deemed a knight from the Doge of the city, Marino Grimani, in 1595. After which he began signing his name with the honorary Eques.

Creating a problem for scholars, much of Bassano’s work is not clearly dated, and his paintings have been confused with others artists; his Portrait of an Old Man (first half of the 17th Century) was initially attributed to Tintoretto. Aside from his portraits and more religious pieces, Bassano also painted secular themes, such as with Concert (1592), which features a coterie of musicians huddled around a table reading sheet music; and Kitchen Scene (1574 or later), in which cooks roast dinner on a fire.

A selection of works