Bramante, Donato biographical name
(born 1444, probably at Monte Asdruvaldo, Duchy of Urbinodied April 11, 1514, Rome) Italian architect and perspectivist painter. The son of a farmer, he was working as a painter by 1477. His early architectural works included the church of Santa Maria presso San Satiro (c. 1480), in which the choir is painted in perspective to give an illusion of a much larger space. In 1499 he went to Rome, where he spent the rest of his life. His Tempietto was the first masterpiece of the High Renaissance. Under the patronage of Pope Julius II, he drew up plans for the immense Belvedere courtyard in the Vatican (begun c. 1505) and the new St. Peter's Basilica (begun 1506), his greatest work. These ambitious projects were far from complete at the time of his death. Despite the grandiose scale of the St. Peter's undertaking, Bramante continued to work on other projects and played an important role in Julius II's plans for rebuilding Rome.
Tempietto, San Pietro in Montorio, Rome, designed by Donato Bramante, 1502.—G. Berengo Gardin© DeA Picture Library
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