Date of Degree
History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology
Once famous and influential, the fifteenth century Umbrian painter, Bartolomeo di Tommaso (1408/11–1454) has only begun to receive serious scholarly attention within the past few decades. His long obscurity was in part attributable to the fact that he was not born in Tuscany, and did not work in the great art centers of Florence and Siena, facts that by themselves would relegate him to the status of a lesser artist. Further, his paintings have never been easily reconciled with those that art history has classified as Early Renaissance in style and, indeed even when Bartolomeo was influenced by Tuscan painters, his art retains a distinctly violent, expressionistic character. Though the recent literature has taken a more positive view of Bartolomeo's achievements, for many years his work was classified as "regional" or "archaic," the usual categorization of non-Tuscan artists of the period. However, such evaluations did not take into account the power and quality of his paintings. Nor did they fully recognize the religious and historical significance of his art, the extent to which he influenced other Umbrian artists, or the fact that at the height of the painter's career Pope Nicholas V would summon him, along with Fra Angelico and Piero Della Francesca, to Rome to fulfill several important commissions. Despite the sudden renewed interest in the painter, a comprehensive study of the painter that takes into account and combines the recent research, existing archival studies, and the painter's expanded oeuvre has yet to be produced. It is the goal of this dissertation to bring these elements together into a first monographic study of the painter that can serve as a basis for more specific future endeavors. When carefully considered, compiled and chronologically juxtaposed, these resources can provide us with a more comprehensive look at the painter and, when examined against the scenario of his rich and well-documented historical context, a greater understanding of his creative and stylistic origins and artistic legacy.
Johnson, Michael Patrick, "Bartolomeo di Tommaso da Foligno" (2004). CUNY Academic Works.