Painter Luca Cambiasi died on 6 September 1585 in San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain.

By Livia Lupi

Painter Luca Cambiasi died on 6 September 1585 in San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain. Cambiasi, also known as Cambiaso, was born in Moneglia, a town close to Genoa, and became the most prominent painter in that city during the sixteenth century. 

Cambiasi trained with his father Giovanni, who had Luca copy drawings and study the frescoes painted by Perino del Vaga, Domenico Beccafumi and Pordenone. He took on commissions from a young age, mostly collaborating with his father. The frescoes in the Doria palace in Genoa were realised when Luca was only 17 years old. 

Historiography has associated Luca’s rendering of figures to Michelangelo’s solid, muscly bodies, whereas the softness of Luca’s modelling has been traced to Correggio’s influence. Although he found inspiration in this two painters’ work, Luca developed a technique of his own that included the use of dry paint and the simplification of forms. This is particularly evident in his very schematic drawings. 

In 1583, Philip II invited Luca to work on the decoration of the Escorial palace near Madrid, where he died two years later.


Reference: Web Gallery of Art 

Bertina Suida Manning. “Cambiaso, Luca.” Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, Enciclopedia Treccani.


Further reading: Jonathan Bober. Luca Cambiaso: 1527-1585. Trans-Atlantic Publications, 2006.

Da Luca Cambiaso a Domenico Piola: disegni genovesi dell’Accademia di Venezia. Skira, 2007.

Lauro Magnani. Luca Cambiaso: da Genova all’Escorial. Sagep, 1995.


Virgin and Child in Swaddling Clothes, 1575-80. Oil on canvas. Museo dell’Accademia Linguistica di Belle Arti, Genoa. 

Odysseus Slays the Suitors in His Palace, 1565-66. Fresco. Palazzo Grimaldi della Meridiana, Genoa. 

Diana and Satyr, c. 1560. Fresco. Loggia di Diana, Villa Pallavicino delle Peschiere, Genoa. 

Flight of Aeneas, Anchises and Ascanius from Troy, 1555-60. Pen and brush and brown was. The Hermitage, St Petersburg.

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