Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Italian painter, b. at Pordenone, 1483; d. at Ferrara, January, 1539. He is occasionally referred to by his family name Licinio, at times as Regillo, but usually as Pordenone, from his birthplace, and by that name some of his works are signed. He is believed to have been a pupil of Pellegrino da San Daniello. Most of the information respecting him is derived from Carlo Ridolfi, who states that Pordenone's first commission was given him by a grocer in his native town, to try his boast that he could paint a picture as the priest commenced High Mass, and complete it by the time Mass was over. He is said to have executed the given commission in the required time. Most of his early work is to be found in the form of fresco decoration in the churches around Pordenone, where he spent most of his time. There he married twice. His work was in great demand in Mantua, Cremona, Treviso, and Spilimbergo, where his rich and elaborate fresco work, as well as decorations for the fronts of organs, and altar-pieces, are found. About 1529 he went to Venice, but little of his work remains in that city, save the two panels representing St. Christopher and St. Martin in the church of Saint Rocco. He then journeyed to Piacenza, Genoa, Ferrara, and other places, doing fresco decoration, and receiving warm welcome at each place. Returning to his native city, he received the honour of knighthood from King John of Hungary, and from that time was frequently styled "Regillo". In 1536 he was again in Venice, carrying out some commissions for the Council of Ten, and decorating the ceilings of three of their halls. These works were so thoroughly approved that further commissions were given him by the Senate, but unfortunately everything carried out by Pordenone at that time has perished. From Venice he went to Ferrara, to execute certain commissions for Ercole II, Duke of Ferrara, but he was there a short time when he died.

Rumours were that he had been poisoned by one of the Ferrarese artists, who was jealous of his reputation, but other reports state that he caught a severe chill after eating, and a third statement says that he died from an epidemic at that time raging in the city. A contemporary artist, however, gives his family name as Cuticello and not Licinio. He states definitely that the artist was poisoned by Ferrarese artists at the Angel Inn, Ferrara. His tomb is in the church of San Paolo in Ferrara. Better than most of his contemporaries, he was acquainted with the laws of perspective, and his fresco work is always well drawn, learned, agreeable, and pleasant. He possessed great facility and considerable power of originality, and being a man of strong and very determined religious opinions, devoted himself heartily to church decoration, and carried it out with exceedingly fine results. There was a strong competition between him and Titian in Venice, and there are statements in Venetian manuscripts of the time which imply that certain works of Pordenone's were intentionally destroyed by persons who were jealous of the honour and position of Titian. At the present day, to understand his painting, it is necessary to visit the various churches round Pordenone, as the quality of his workmanship cannot be appreciated from the few frescoes which remain in Venice, nor from the small number of easel pictures which can be attributed to him with any definite authority. He had many pupils who copied his work cleverly, and who probably did most of the smaller pictures attributed to him. Perhaps his finest are those in the cathedrals of San Daniele, Spilimbergo, Treviso, and Cremona ; in Munich there is a portrait of himself with his pupils, and there is another of himself in a private gallery in Rome. He appears to have founded his ideas in Venice very much on those of Giorgione and Titian, but in the cathedrals already mentioned his work is more natural and original.

More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 4:7-16
7 On each one of us God's favour has been bestowed in whatever way Christ ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5
1 [Song of Ascents Of David] I rejoiced that they said to me, 'Let us go ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:1-9
1 It was just about this time that some people arrived and told him about ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 22nd, 2016 Image

St. Pope John Paul II
October 22: Karol J. Wojtyla, known as John Paul II since his ... Read More