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Renaissance painter of the Milanese school, one of the most important followers of Leonardo da Vinci.
Solari received his early training from his brother Cristoforo, a distinguished sculptor and architect. He probably accompanied his brother to Venice, where he seems to have been strongly influenced by Antonello da Messina, as can be seen in a fine portrait, â€śMan with a Pink [Carnation]â€ť (c. 1492; National Gallery, London), which displays Antonelloâ€™s sculptural conception of form. Solariâ€™s earliest dated work is a â€śMadonna and Child with SS. Joseph and Jeromeâ€ť (Brera, Milan), with a fine landscape background, executed for the Church of San Pietro Martire at Murano in 1495. The Leonardesque facial type of the Madonna suggests that after his return from Venice Solari was strongly influenced by the great Florentine artist. The colouring and lush atmospheric effects of his well-known â€śMadonna with the Green Cushionâ€ť (Louvre, Paris) also reveal Leonardoâ€™s influence, but its animated composition displays Solariâ€™s own artistic temperament.
In 1507 Solari went to France and may have visited Flanders before returning to Italy. This would account for the Flemish character of his later works, such as the â€śFlight into Egyptâ€ť (1515; Poldi Pezzoli Museum, Milan), with its harmonious and detailed landscape background. To this period belong the â€śWoman Playing a Guitarâ€ť and the portrait of Chancellor Morone, which vividly recalls the style of Hans Holbein the Younger.
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