Cosimo Tura  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Cosimo Tura (c. 1430 – 1495), also known as Il Cosmè or Cosmè Tura, was an Italian early-Renaissance (or Quattrocento) painter and considered one of the founders of the School of Ferrara.

Born in Ferrara, he was a student of Francesco Squarcione of Padua. Later he obtained patronage from both Dukes Borso and Ercole I d'Este. By 1460, he was stipended by the Ferrarese Court. His pupils include Francesco del Cossa and Francesco Bianchi. He appears influenced by Mantegna's and Piero della Francesca's quattrocento styles.

In Ferrara, he is well represented by frescoes in the Palazzo Schifanoia (1469–71). This pleasure palace, with facade and architecture of little note, belonged to the d'Este family and is located just outside the medieval town walls. Cosimo, along with Francesco del Cossa, helped produce an intricately conceived allegorical series about the months of the year and zodiac symbols. The series contains contemporary portraits of musicians, laborers, and carnival floats in idyllic parades. As in Piero della Francesca's world, the unemotive figures mill in classical serenity.

He also painted the organ doors for the Duomo showing the Annunciation (1469). He collaborated in the painting of a series of "muses" for a studiolo of Leonello d'Este, including the allegorical figure of Calliope at the National Gallery. While the individual attributions are often debated, among the artists thought to complete the Angelo di Pietro da Sienna, also called Maccagino or Angelo Parrasio, and Michele Pannonio.

Selected works

  • Saint George - San Diego Museum of Art [1]
  • Pieta (c. 1460) - Museo Correr, Venice [2]
  • The Martyrdom of Saint Maurelius (1470s) - Pinacoteca Nazionale, Ferrara
  • The Circumcision of Christ (1470s) - Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston
  • Madonna and Child (1455) - National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
  • Portrait Eleonora d'Aragona, Duchess of Ferrara - Pierpont Morgan Library, New York
  • Spring or the muse "Calliope" (1460) - National Gallery, London.
  • The Princess (1470) - Museo del Duomo, Ferrara.
  • St. George and the Dragon (c. 1470) - Museo del Duomo, Ferrara)
  • Madonna Enthroned (1474) - National Gallery, London)
  • St. Sebastian - Gemäldegalerie, Dresden, Germany)
  • St. Dominic - Uffizi, Florence
  • Pietà, (Louvre)
  • St. Anthony of Padua Reading - Louvre, Paris
  • Pietà (c. 1472) - Museo Correr, Venice
  • Lamentation (c. 1472) - Roverella altarpiece
  • Saint Nicholas - Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes
  • Letter A miniature from choirbook (Metropolitan Museum, New York) [3]
  • Frescoes at the Palazzo Schifanoia, Ferrara [4]
    Allegory of September: Triumph of Vulcan
    Allegory of August: Triumph of Ceres
    Allegory of June: Triumph of Mercury


  • Haldane Macfall, History of Painting: The Renaissance in Venice Part Two, page 34, ISBN 1-4179-4507-9

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