Archive for the Borgias Category

Sebastian and Lucrezia, the wonders of Dosso Dossi

Posted in 16th cent, Apollo, Borgias, Dosso Dossi, Feast of the Epiphany, Vasari on April 13, 2011 by babylonbaroque

Lucrezia Borgia and Saint Sebastian may seem odd studio mates, but in the hands of master Dosso Dossi they are given equal opportunity to blossom into full beauty.

Dosso Dossi, 1490-1542, trained as a youth in the Roman workshop of Raphael was a master colorist. His mysterious allegories wrought in oil dazzle the eye, as do his touching and often sensual images of blessed saints.

Saint Sebastian


If you have been following the  mini-series The Borgias as I have, you might be interested in what the real Lucrezia is to have looked like, at least as painted by Dosso Dossi. This painting known as the Portrait of a Youth is now the only confirmed image of the siren.

Portrait of a Youth


National Gallery of Victoria

(Lucrezia seems a bit hotter on Showtime.)

Cesare might also have posed for Dosso Dossi,

Portrait of a Man

(possibly Cesare Borgia)

Dosso Dossi had a lush sense of coloring, unexpected bursts of visual pleasure. The Epiphany theme is always ripe for splendor, Dosso Dossi adds extra sparkle to the gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Just look at that pink, that green, wondrous.

Adoration of the Magi


National Gallery


I first saw  the work of Dosso Dossi here in LA at the Getty Center.

Saint George


oil on panel

The J. Paul Getty Museum


From Sacred to Pagan,



In Dosso Dossi’s hand even the aged ascetic Saint Jerome seems hot.

Saint Jerome

undated-16th cent.


As I am now engaged in an excellent course examining  the Renaissance, and at last reading Vasari’s Lives of the Artists ,

you might be subjected to more and more work by Renaissance masters.

Have a pleasant week,

Babylon Baroque