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(b Urbino, ?1535; d Urbino, 30 Sept. 1612). Italian painter and draughtsman, generally considered the greatest and most individual artist of his time in central Italy. Apart from two visits to Rome early in his career (1556, 1560–3), he was based in Urbino all his life. During his second stay in Rome he is said to have abandoned his frescos in the Casino of Pius IV in the Vatican gardens because he thought that rivals were trying to poison him, and for the rest of his life he suffered from debilitating stomach pains (possibly the result of ulcers rather than poison).

Text Source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)