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Cosimo Rosselli
Portrait of a Man c. 1481–82, thought to be of Cosimo Roselli
Cosimo Rosselli

Republic of Florence (present-day Tuscany, Italy)
Died c. 1507 (aged 68)
Known for Painting
Movement High Renaissance
Moses Rosselli
Handing over the Tablets of the Law, Sistine Chapel

Cosimo Rosselli (1439–1507) was an Italian painter of the Quattrocento, active mainly in his birthplace of Florence, but also Lucca earlier in his career, and from 1480 in the Sistine Chapel in Rome, where he painted some of the large fresco panels on the side walls. Despite being roughly the same age (slightly older in each case) as Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino and Domenico Ghirlandaio, the other leading Florentine painters, all regarded as greater talents, Rosselli was still able to win several large commissions, which is a testament to the high level of activity in the city.

Rosselli Madonna
Cosimo Rosselli: Madonna and Child with Angels. Tempera and gold on wood, Metropolitan Museum of Art

He painted almost entirely religious subjects, with a few portraits. He did other large frescos with his workship, from which Fra Bartolomeo and Piero di Cosimo, who married Roselli's daughter, were his most famous pupils. These include a chapel in Sant'Ambrogio, Florence and one of the large spaces in the cloister of Santissima Annunziata, Florence.


Cosimo was born in Florence. In 1460, at the age of fourteen, he became a pupil of Neri di Bicci, working as an assistant to his cousin Bernardo di Stefano Rosselli.

Rosselli also spent some time in Lucca, where he painted several altarpieces for various churches. A picture attributed to him, taken from the church of St. Girolamo at Fiesole, is now in the National Gallery of London.

Rosselli was one of the painters called by Pope Sixtus IV to Rome in 1481 to fresco the sides walls of the Sistine Chapel, together with other masters including Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino and Domenico Ghirlandaio. Rosselli and his collaborators executed two or three frescoes: the Descent from Mount Sinai, the Last Supper, and the Sermon of the Mount.

Giorgio Vasari mentioned other works by Rosselli, including the altarpiece of the Madonna and Child in Glory with Saints Augustine and Francis in the third chapel on the left of the nave of Sant'Ambrogio in Florence. In the same church is the Chapel of the Holy Blood with its frescoes by Rosselli, which Vasari praised highly, especially for a portrait of the young scholar Pico of Mirandola. The main scene in this chapel is a procession of the miracle-working chalice held in the very same church. Rosselli also spent some time in Lucca, where he painted several altar-pieces for various churches.

The Gemäldegalerie, Berlin has three pictures by Rosselli: a small Entombment of Christ and two altarpieces, one of the Madonna and Child with Angels, Saints and the Martyred Innocents and another of the Madonna of the Rosary.

Rosselli's chief pupil was Piero di Cosimo but he also trained Fra Bartolomeo, Mariotto Albertinelli, and Agnolo di Domenico del Mazziere.

According to Vasari, Rosselli died in 1484, but this is a mistake, as he was known to have been living on 25 November 1506.

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See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Cosimo Rosselli para niños

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