Piero di Cosimo, c. 1462-1521Artcyclopedia Entry
Hunting Scene [MMA]
Head of an Old Man, 1480.
"He did not like his rooms to be swept, he preferred to eat when hungry, and he did not want his garden hoed or the fruit trees pruned, preferring to let the branches of his vines trail on the ground…also he enjoyed seeing everything in an undomesticated state, as his own nature. [He hated] the crying of babies, the coughing of men, the sound of bells, the signing of friars: all this annoyed him." -- Giorgio Vasari (Lives)
Piero di Cosimo (c. 1462-1521, aka: Piero di Lorenzo) studied under Cosimo Roselli (d. 1507) (his namesake) and joined the Confraternity of Saint Luke around 1504 and the Guild of Doctors and Apothecaries spring of that same year. Piero is also influenced at least by the idea of alchemy, and one can follow a theme of or concern with transformation throughout his work.
Simonetta died when she was 23. Piero's posthumous portrait is conveys the girl's early death by tying in the metaphor of Cleopatra, another celebrated beauty who died young and in the middle of so much opportunity.
Simonetta Vespucci (as Cleopatra), c. 1480.
This and The Death of Procris may have formed part of a mythological cycle. For its time, these are eccentric paintings, because Piero had a tendency to paint landscapes as predominant features in his compositions. Note the atmospheric perspective - lighter colors and softer focus in the background, which reflects Leonardo's new theories of color. In the myth we see Procris, killed by mistake, while out hunting.
The Discovery of Honey, 1505-1510. (Aptly painted for the vespine-named Vespucci family)
Detail 1 of above - satyrs
Detail 2 of above - hollow tree
Click the MMA webpage for more information on this painting in their collection. This is one of three panels that have been linked together, in which Piero depicts "the growth of civilization through the control of fire". MMA, 10/17/07.
Hunting Scene, 1490.
Vulcan/Hephaistos is a key god associated with transformation and fire, and therefore, alchemy.
Visit with St. Nicholas and with St. Anthony Abbott, c. 1490.
Madonna and Child, 1485-1500.
Nativity with the Infant St. John, c. 1500.
The Finding of Vulcan on Lemnos, c. 1495-1505.
(Vulcan is the smith god and god of fire, and Aeolus is the god of the winds - they were like mythological business partners.)
Vulcan and Aeolus, c. 1495-1500.
Piero di Cosimo also known as Piero di Lorenzo, 1462–1522.
The Death of Procris, 1510.
Venus and Mars, Piero di Cosimo, c. 1510.
Venus and Mars, Sandro Botticelli, 1483.
The Misfortunes of Silenus, c. 1505-1510.