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Fra Bartolommeo

Florence 1472 - 1517
Price range
500,000 – 3,000,000 USD +
Fra Bartolommeo was a Dominican friar who became the leading painter in Florence between the departure of Raphael for Rome and the rise of Andrea del Sarto.

Fra Bartolommeo’s paintings are distinguished by an aulic nobility and grandeur, intensified by smoky Leonardesque chiaroscuro. A great draftsman and landscape painter, he is best known as a sublime painter of religious subjects, primarily devotional panels and altarpieces. Fra Bartolommeo was a luminous colorist and his particular contribution was to make attendant saints seem to be actively reacting to a biblical event rather than portray them as stationary, accidental witnesses. He was a devout man and entered the Dominican order in 1500, falling under the thrall of the charismatic Dominican preacher Fra Girolamo Savonarola.

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Selected artworks

Top 3 auction prices

3,532,980 $
4,898,500 $
12,962,500 $


The sales are: Christie’s London – 7 Jul 2009 lot 15 (2,169,250 GBP), Sotheby’s New York – 26 Jan 2012 lot 22, and Christie’s New York 30 Jan 2013 lot 128. Updated 18th March 2024.
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Books on Fra Bartolommeo

Albert J. Elena and Chris Fischer, Fra Bartolommeo: The Divine Renaissance, exh. cat., Rotterdam, 2016.

Serena Padovani, ed. Fra Bartolomeo: L’eta di Savonarola e la Scuola di San Marco, exh. cat., Florence, 1996.

Giorgio Vasari, The Lives of the Artist, 1550, trans. Julia Conway Bondanella and Peter Bondanella, New York, 2009.

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