- Dorigen Caldwell
[Abbate, Niccolò dell’]
(b Modena, 1509–12; d ?Fontainebleau, 1571).
Italian painter and draughtsman. He was one of the most important artists of the first Fontainebleau school, which was developed at the French court by Rosso Fiorentino and Francesco Primaticcio, and he introduced the Italian Mannerist landscape into France.
He was almost certainly trained by his father, Giovanni dell’Abate (d 1559), a stuccoist, and by the sculptor Antonio Begarelli. Apparently after a period as a soldier, by 1537 he was working in Modena as a painter under Alberto Fontana (fl 1518–58). There the two artists decorated the façade of the Beccherie (Slaughterhouse) from which certain paintings survive (e.g. St Geminian and an allegory of the Wine Harvest; both Modena, Galleria e Museo Estense). His early paintings clearly show the influence of Correggio and of such Ferrarese artists as Dosso Dossi. They also display a love of the picturesque and the pastoral, with frequent variations on the theme of the concert, as in the fragment of a concert scene (Reggio Emilia, Mus. Civ. & Gal. A.) from the façade decorations of the Palazzo Pratonieri in Reggio Emilia. Around ...