BARTOLOMMEO VENETO (c. 1480--15 5 5) , Italian painter, a pupil of Gentile Bellini at Venice, influenced later by the Milanese school. He lived for some time at Cremona and also worked at Ferrara. Very little is known of this painter, whose fine portraits are much sought after and highly prized. He was until recently almost unknown and it is mainly due to the researches of Giovanni Morelli and Adolfo Venturi that he was identified as the author of a few striking paintings. His colour is brilliant and harmonious, his drawing hard, precise and powerful. His earliest work extant is the "Madonna" from the Casa Martinengo in Val Sansibio, now with Conte Dona delle Rose at Venice. It is dated 1502, and bears the curious signature Bartolamio mezo Venizian e mezo Cremonese. In his later signatures he calls himself simply Venetian. Other early works are the "Madonna and Child" (1505 ) with a remarkable landscape background, at the Bergamo museum, and the "Circumcision" signed and dated 1506, now in the pos session of the Hon. Mrs. Trollope of Crowcombe Court, Taunton. These works are Bellinesque; and from a "Madonna" once in the Ercolani Collection at Bologna, which bore the mutilated inscrip tion, z5og. a di 7. Aprile, Bartolamio Scholario de Ze . . . . Be . . . . it must be concluded that he was the pupil of Gentile Bellini, "Ze" standing for "Ge" in the Venetian dialect. Later in his career Bartolommeo took to portrait painting, and a number of portraits from his hand show the influence of the Milanese school. One of the finest portraits is that of Lodovico Martinengo (153o) in the National Gallery, London. The striking portrait of Massimiliano Sforza (1512), of the Holford Collection, is now in America.
The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, England, the Ambrosiana at Milan and the Budapest gallery also possess male portraits by him. His female portraits are distinguished for their somewhat fantastic and original arrangement. The Staedel Institut of Frank furt has a so-called "Lucrezia Borgia" whose golden locks of almost metallic texture are carefully arranged in rows of long corkscrews like ringlets. A similar coiffure is to be seen in the "Salome" at Dresden and in the "Woman breaking a ring" in the collection of Duca Melzi at Milan. The Conte Cesare de Mayno, Milan, has a "Lady playing a Lute" dated 15 2o, the "Ceres" of the Hertz Col lection, now in the Palazzo Venezia, Rome, has recently been ascribed to the artist. The Albertina at Vienna has a drawing of a head, of clear and masterly execution.
See S. Lermolieff, Gal. Borghese and Doria Pamf. . (189o), and Gal. Munchen and Dresden (1891) ; A. Venturi, La Galleria Crespi (i9oo) and an important paper, "Orig. d. pitt. venez." in L'Arte II. (i9o7) ; Crowe and Cavalcaselle, History of Painting in North Italy (ed. Borenius, 1912) ; J. P. Richter, La Collezione Hertz (1928).