(b Pontormo, nr. Empoli, 26 May 1494; d Florence, 31 Dec. 1556). Italian painter, active in and around Florence, where he was one of the outstanding artists of his generation. According to Vasari, he studied successively with Leonardo da Vinci, Albertinelli, Piero di Cosimo, and Andrea del Sarto, whose workshop he is said to have entered in 1512. Andrea was certainly a major influence on his early work. Pontormo was precocious (he was praised by Michelangelo whilst still a youth) and by the time he painted his Joseph in Egypt (NG, London) in about 1518 he had already created a distinctive style—full of restless movement and disconcertingly irrational effects of scale and space—that put him in the vanguard of Mannerism. The emotional tension evident in this work reaches its climax in Pontormo's masterpiece, the altarpiece of the Entombment (c.

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

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