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Portrait of a young woman

Giuliano Bugiardini (January 29, 1475 – February 17, 1555) was an Italian painter and draughtsman working in the late-Renaissance style known as Mannerism. He was born and was mainly active in Florence.[1]



Also known as Giuliano di Piero di Simone, Giuliano Bugiardini may have initially apprenticed with a sculptor Bertoldo, but then became the apprenticed of the painter Domenico Ghirlandaio.[2] In Ghirlandaio's workshop he came to know Michelangelo.[3]

Bugiardini was well regarded, and in 1503 he joined the Compagnia di San Luca, the painter’s guild, where he met Mariotto Albertinelli,[2] an association that continued until 1509, when Albertinelli moved to the studio of Fra Bartolomeo. He completed certain works left unfinished by Fra Bartolomeo when he died.[3]

Virgin and St Mary Magdalene with St John the Baptist

Some years later in Rome, while at work on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo sought Giuliano Bugiardini's services but later rejected them. Vasari mentioned Bugiardini assisted Michelangelo very briefly in 1508 with the painting of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. He painted a Martyrdom of St Catherine for Santa Maria Novella in Florence, based on Michelangelo's sketches. He also painted in Bologna in 1526–1530.


His earliest known works of between 1495 and 1500 show the influence of his master Ghirlandaio. Other early influences were Fra Bartolomeo and Mariotto Albertinelli.[1]

The major artists of the Italian High Renaissance also shaped the style of the early 16th century in Florence, including Raphael, Perugino, Leonardo, and Michelangelo. Some art historians are of the view that he may have lacked the necessary understanding of the formal principles of these great artists and was unable to express himself in their magnificent classical way. They regard his paintings as often awkward translations of High Renaissance motives into archaic, outdated terms. They alsos deem his style as thin and dry and relying too much on outline drawing.[3] Other historians regard his use of lucid and dense colours as an adequate processing of influences from Michelangelo and Agnolo Bronzino. His most appealing surviving late work is the Virgin and St Mary Magdalene with St John the Baptist (c. 1540; Metropolitan Museum of Art) in which Bugiardini employed the style of Fra Bartolommeo with a new fluency and breadth of form derived from Michelangelo.[1]

Portrait of a Woman, The 'Nun'

His work, Portrait of a Woman, called "The Nun" (Uffizi Gallery) shows the artist also had a subtle talent as portraitist.[2]

Many drawings once given to Bugiardini are now attributed to others.[1]

Further readingEdit

  • Freedberg, Sydney J. (1993). Pelican History of Art (ed.). Painting in Italy, 1500-1600. Penguin Books Ltd. p. 238.
  • Land, Norman. "Michelangelo's Shadow: Giuliano Bugiardini". Explorations in Renaissance Culture 31, 1 (Summer 2005), 1–18.
  • Pagnotta, Laura. Giuliano Bugiardini. Turin: Umberto Allemandi, 1987.
  • Wilk [Blake McHam], Sarah. "Bugiardini's Holy Family with the Young St. John the Baptist". Perceptions 2 (1982): 7-16.


  1. ^ a b c d "Bugiardini, Giuliano." Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. Web. 1 Jun. 2016
  2. ^ a b c Giuliano Bugiardini at the Uffizi website
  3. ^ a b c Federico Zeri and Elizabeth E Gardner, Italian Paintings: Florentine School, a collection catalog, Metropolitan Museum of Art Publications, 1971, pages 189-191

External linksEdit

  Media related to Giuliano Bugiardini at Wikimedia Commons