Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio

Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio

Madonna and Child (Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest)

Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio (or Beltraffio) (1466 or 1467[1] – 1516) was an Milan.


  • Paintings 1
  • Selected works with disputed attribution 2
  • Notes 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio, Portrait of a Boy as Saint Sebastian

His major painting of the 1490s is the Resurrection (painted with fellow da Vinci pupil Marco d'Oggiono and now in the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin). A Madonna and Child in the Museo Poldi Pezzoli of Milan, is one of the high points of the Lombard Quattrocento.

His portraits, often in profile, and his half-length renderings of the Madonna and Child are Leonardesque in conception, though the clean hard edges of his outlines lack Leonardo's sfumato.

In Bologna, where he remained in 1500-1502, he found sympathetic patrons in the Casio family, of whom he painted several portraits and for whom he produced his masterwork, the Pala Casio for the Church of the Misericordia (Louvre Museum); it depicts a Madonna and Child with John the Baptist and Saint Sebastian and two Kneeling Donors, Giacomo Marchione de' Pandolfi da Casio and his son, the Bolognese poet Girolamo Casio,[3] who mentioned Boltraffio in some of his sonnets. Boltraffio's portrait of Girolamo Casio is at the Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan.

The standard monograph is Maria Teresa Fiorio, Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio: Un pittore milanese nel lume di Leonardo. (Milan and Rome) 2000.

Selected works with disputed attribution

A portrait probably depicting Girolamo Casio
  • Portrait of a Young Woman with a Scorpion Chain, Columbia Museum of Art. Formerly assigned to the Louvre's Master of the Vierge aux Balances, the handsome Portrait of a Young Woman with a Scorpion Chain now in the Samuel H. Kress Collection of the Columbia Museum of Art in Columbia, SC has been reattributed to the hand of Boltraffio and dated to the period 1490-1505. Whether or not Leonardo participated in its design remains uncertain.[4]
  • Madonna Litta, (Hermitage, Saint Petersburg, sometimes attributed to Leonardo da Vinci).
  • Holy family, (National Gallery in Prague, probably a copy after the unknown original).
  • Virgin and child with donor, (Rome, Sant´Onofrio, Museo del Tasso, sometimes attributed to Cesare da Sesto).
  • Portrait of a Man(Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco) , probably by Ambrogio de Predis.
  • Virgin and Child is at the National Gallery in London[5]


  1. ^ According to his tombstone he was 49 at his death in 1516.
  2. ^ Leonardo records a "Gian Antonio" in his studio in 1491.
  3. ^ Girolamo Casio (1464-1533)
  4. ^ Mack p. 137
  5. ^ Virgin and Child, Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio, BBC, retrieved 13 July 2014


  • Mack, Charles R., European Art in the Columbia Museum of Art including the Samuel H. Kress Collection. Volume I: the Thirteenth through the Sixteenth Century, Columbia, SC: Univ. of South Carolina Press,2009, cat. #19, pp. 135–39.
  • Brief biography from National Gallery of Art entry.
  • Artcyclopedia entry on Boltraffio.
  • Pala Casio at Louvre Museum.
  • Madonna and Child(1495) at Museo Poldi Pezzoli, Milan.
  • Madonna and Child at Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest.
  • Portrait of Girolamo Casio (1500–1502) at Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan.
  • Portrait of a Youth at National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.
  • Madonna and Child and 2 renditions of Portrait of a Man (one of the latter by a follower of Boltraffio) at National Gallery, London.
  • .Youth Holding an Arrow(Timken Museum of Art, San Diego, CA) The sitter portrayed crowned with a laurel-entwined fillet, is likely to be the poet, Girolamo Casio.
  • Web Gallery of Art Gallery of Boltraffio artworks.
  • Database: Photo repertory of Boltraffio.

External links

  • Leonardo da Vinci: anatomical drawings from the Royal Library, Windsor Castle, an exhibition catalog from The Metropolitan Museum of Art (fully available online as PDF), which contains material on Boltraffio (see index)
  • Painters of reality : the legacy of Leonardo and Caravaggio in Lombardy, an exhibition catalog from The Metropolitan Museum of Art (fully available online as PDF), which contains material on Boltraffio (see index)