Piero di Cosimo

Piero di Cosimo dē kôˈzēmō [key], 1462–1521, Florentine painter, whose name was Piero di Lorenzo. He adopted the name of his master, Cosimo Rosselli, whom he accompanied to Rome in 1482 and assisted in the decorating of the Sistine Chapel. His religious works have charm, but more important are his animated mythological scenes. Commissioned by the Florentine Francesco Pugliese, he painted many works depicting life in a primitive, mythological state. Among these pictures are the Hunting Scene and the Return from the Hunt (both: Metropolitan Mus.); Discovery of Honey (Worcester Mus.); Discovery of Wine (Fogg Mus., Cambridge); and Vulcan and Aeolus (National Art Gall. of Canada, Ottawa). Other well-known works by Piero are the Death of Procris (National Gall., London) and Simonetta Vespucci (Chantilly). The influence of Leonardo da Vinci is evident in some of his work, including the Portrait of a Woman with a Rabbit (Yale Univ.). Piero was also well known as a designer of popular theatricals and processions.

See biography by R. L. Douglas (1946); S. J. Freedberg, Painting of the High Renaissance (1961).

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