Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio (1467 - 1516)
RA Collection: People and Organisations
Born into a noble Milanese family in around 1467, Boltraffio studied with Leonardo da Vinci and is recorded as one of his primary pupils in 1491. With another of Leonardo’s students, Marco d’Oggiono, he painted an altarpiece for the church of S. Leonardo in S. Giovanni sul Muro in 1491 (Berlin, Gemäldegalerie).
He later painted an altarpiece for S. Maria della Misericordia in Bologna (now in the Louvre) but most of his works were made in and around Milan, either for churches or for patrons such as the Sforza family. Boltraffio was known for his skill as a portrait painter – a genre in which he tended to idealise his sitters – and these portraits are now in collections such as the National Gallery and the Uffizi in Florence.
The involvement of Leonardo in paintings now attributed to Boltraffio, or vice versa (such as the famous Belle Ferronière in the Louvre) has long been a matter for debate – an indication of how highly his work is regarded.