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Saint BartholomewSaint BartholomewBartolomeo VivariniVenetianca. 148535 1/8 x 16 3/4 in (89.5 x 42.6 cm)Tempera and gold on panelAllentown Art MuseumAllentown,<p>Bartolomeo Vivarini (Murano, c.1430- 1491)</p><p>Bartolomeo Vivarini was the younger brother of Antonio Vivarini, founder of one of the most important Venetian workshops of the Quattrocento. Presumably, Bartolomeo trained with Antonio and joined his workshop around 1450. The two brothers worked together until ca. 1460. After that time, Bartolomeo produced work as an independent artist.  Bartolomeo Vivarini was popular in Venice, and his work was coveted by prestigious and wealthy clients, including religious communities as well as private patrons. He was greatly influenced by painters from Padua, especially Andrea Mantegna, as he developed an interest for volume and perspective, as well as naturalism. His use of decorative features such as putti, floral festoons, and architectural elements relates to the works of Marco Zoppo and Giorgio Schiavone. His work is characterized by a linear style that underlines volume and tridimensionality of human forms, factors that set him apart from the work of his famous brother. The brightness of his palette is also quite personal.</p><p>At first glance, Bartolomeo’s body of work seems repetitive. His technique also follows contemporary conventions. However, recent scholarship indicates that Bartolomeo Vivarini experimented with binding media, especially with drying oils, and combined oil paint layers with tempera. His use of gold leaf is also less extensive than in the case of his brother and sometimes it is only applied to stress particular elements and drapery.  He was also the first artist who introduced the idea of the <em>Sacra Conversazione</em> in Venice.</p><p>The painting, probably a panel from an altarpiece, presents the figure of <em>Saint Bartholomew</em> standing in a slight <em>contrapposto</em> over a flat, marbled base. His right foot is projected to the viewer’s space in an illusionistic manner.  The figure of the saint is framed by a brilliant red backdrop that falls behind his feet, an artifice that accentuates the impression of Saint Bartholomew’s coming to our space. The rest of the background is decorated with gold leaf. </p><p>The style of the painting, the detailed and naturalistic rendering of <em>Saint Bartholomew’</em>s hair and features, as well as his devout expression remind us of his <em>Saint Bartholomew</em>(<em>Polyptych Contini Bonacossi</em>, 1490). Vivarini also used the red backdrop in the diptych of <em>Saint Magdalen and Saint Barbara</em> at the Galleria dell'Accademia in Venice (1490).   This particular composition is very closely related to the figure of Saint James (1490) that is depicted in a large polyptych currently at the J. Paul Getty Museum.  The Allentown painting has also been loosely tied to the <em>Coronation of the Virgin</em> (New Orleans Museum of Art, c. 1460-1470) as these panels are nearly identical in height and share similar framing elements.</p><p><a href="">Polyptych by Bartolomeo Vivarini</a></p><p>Short video by the Getty Museum that discusses the <em>Polyptych with Saint James Major, Madonna and Child and Saints</em>, by Bartolomeo Vivarini.</p><p><a href="">Bartolomeo Vivarini at the Balboa Art Conservation Center</a></p><p>An in-depth discussion about the treatment history of a panel painting by Vivarini between an art conservator and an art historian.</p><p><a href="">Bartolomeo Vivarini - Cavallini to Veronese: A Guide to the Major Works of the Italian Renaissance Painters</a></p><p>A comprehensive list of the artist's major works and related paintings.</p><p>Betz, Mary Catherine and Christina Milton. "A Study of Panel Paintings from an Altarpiece by Antonio Vivarini From the Walter Art Museum." In <em>29th Annual ANAGPIC Association of North American Graduate Programs in Conservation Student Conference Papers</em>, 6-15. New York: Conservation Center Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, 2003.</p><p>Boskovits, Miklos et al. <em>Italian Paintings of the Fifteenth Century, The Collections of the National Gallery of Art</em> . Washington: National Gallery of Art, 2003.</p><p>Calvano, C.D. et al. “Fingerprinting of egg and oil binders in painted artworks by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry analysis of lipid oxidation by-products.” In<em> Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry</em> 400, (2011): 2229–2240.</p><p>Falcucci, Claudio et al. “Il Trittico di Bartolomeo Vivarini nella Chiesa di San Giorgio Martire di Zumpano (Cosenza).” In<em> Kermes; arte e tecnica del Restauro</em>, Vol. 23, 77 (Jan-March 2010): 29-43. </p><p> Holgate, Ian. “Santa Monica, Venice and the Vivarini.” In <em>Art and the Augustinian Order in Early Renaissance Italy, </em>edited by Louise Bourdua and Anne Dunlop, 163-81. Hampshire: Ashgate, 2007.</p><p> Humfrey, Peter. “The Bellini, The Vivarini, and the Beginnings of the Renaissance Altarpiece in Venice.” In <em>Italian Altarpieces 1250-1550. </em><em>Function and Design, </em>edited by Eve Borsook and Fiorella Superbi Gioffredi, 139- 76<em>. </em>Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994.</p><p> Pallucchini, Rodolfo. <em>I Vivarini.</em> Venezia: Neri Pozza Editore, 1961.</p><p>Sponza, Sandro and Valentina Piovan. “Il Trittico Risarcito Sul Restauro del <em>Trittico della Madonna della Misericordia</em> di Bartolomeo Vivarini.” In <em>Pittura Veneziana dal Quattrocento al Settecento, </em>a cura di Giuseppe Maria Pilo<em>, 22-9.</em> Venice: Arsenale Editrice, 1999.</p><p>Steer, Susan. “The Patron of Bartolomeo Vivarini’s 1464 polyptych for S.Andrea della Certosa, Venice.” In <em>The Burlington Magazine</em>, Vol. 144, 1196 (Nov. 2002): 687-90.</p><p><em>The Samuel H. Kress Memorial Collection of the Allentown Art Museum. </em>Allentown, PA: Allentown Art Museum, 1960.​</p>A step-by-step description of Bartolomeo Vivarini’s working method based on a technical study of The Saint Bartolomew (now located at the Allentown Art Museum in Pennsylvania), a panel that was likely part of a larger altarpiece. The techniques and materials outlined include the preparation of a panel support, sizing, gesso ground, underdrawing, pouncing, gilding, and egg tempera painting.

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