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(b Cortona, c.1440/50; d Cortona, 23/24 Oct. 1523). Italian painter, active in various cities of central Italy, notably Arezzo, Florence, Orvieto, Perugia, and Rome, as well as his native Cortona. According to Vasari (who was related to him and ‘as a child of 8’ met ‘this good old man’), Signorelli was a pupil of Piero della Francesca, and this seems highly probable on stylistic grounds, for his solid figures and sensitive handling of light echo the work of the master. Signorelli differed from Piero, however, in his interest in the representation of action, which put him in line with contemporary Florentine artists such as the Pollaiuolo brothers. He must have had a considerable reputation by about 1483, when he was engaged to complete the cycle of frescos on the walls of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, left unfinished by Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Perugino, and Rosselli.

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

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