ASPERTINI, Amico Italian Painter, ca.1474-1552
He was born in Bologna to a family of painters (Guido Aspertini and Giovanni Antonio Aspertini, his father), and studied under masters such as Lorenzo Costa and Francesco Francia. He is briefly documented in Rome between 1500-1503, returning to Bologna and painting in a style influenced by Pinturicchio. In Bologna in 1504, he joined Francia and Costa in painting frescoes for the newly restored Oratory of Santa Cecilia in San Giacomo Maggiore, a work commissioned by Giovanni II Bentivoglio.
In 1507-09, he painted a fresco cycle in San Frediano in Lucca. Asperini painted in 1508-1509 the splendid frescoes in the Chapel of the Cross in the Basilica di San Frediano in Lucca. Aspertini was also one of two artists chosen to decorate a triumphal arch for the entry into Bologna of Pope Clement VII and Emperor Charles V in 1529.
He died in Bologna.
Giorgio Vasari describes Aspertini as having an eccentric personality, who, half-insane, worked so rapidly with both hands that chiaroscuro was split, chiaro in one hand, scuro in the other. He quotes Aspertini as complaining that all other Bolognese colleagues were copying Raphael. Aspertini also painted façade decorations (all lost), and altarpieces, many of which are often eccentric and charged in expression. For example, his Bolognese Pieta appears to occur in an other-worldy electric sky. Heroic Head c. 1496
Tempera on wood, 37,5 x 36,5 cm
Christian Museum, Esztergom