- Anna Maria Fioravanti Baraldi
[Benvenuti, Giovanni Battista]
(b Ferrara; flc. 1500–after 1527).
Italian painter. The name by which he is known is derived from his father’s occupation as a gardener (It. ortolano). A document of 1512, according to which he was then more than 25 years old, supports the hypothesis that Ortolano began his career in Ferrara around 1500. Initially he was influenced by the Quattrocento style of devotional paintings by Domenico Panetti (c. 1460–before 1513) and Michele di Luca dei Coltellini. Subsequently he was drawn to the classicism of Boccaccio Boccaccino and Garofalo, which gave his painting a particular gentleness and clarity of form equally reminiscent of Perugino, as is evident in Ortolano’s Virgin and Child (Paris, Louvre) and Holy Family (Rome, priv. col.). Another work dated to this early period is a lunette depicting the Pietà (1505–6; Ferrara, Pin. N.). Probably as a result of a journey to Venice with Garofalo, he introduced warmer colours and a greater emphasis on naturalism into his painting....