Painting: In His Own Dialect

No one knows for sure when he was born, or even when he died. Historians passed him by, and the only accounts he left of his own life are nagging reminders of the difficulty he had collecting payment for his paintings. One can perhaps forgive his age for slighting Girolamo Romanino. It was, after all, in love with Raphael, Leonardo, Titian and Michelangelo.

Sooner or later, eyes less jaded than his contemporaries' were bound to notice Romanino. His frescoes fill the churches of Brescia, his home town in northern Italy, and the chapels and monasteries dotting the surrounding countryside. When city...

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