Girolamo Pennacchi, called GIROLAMO DA TREVISO

Treviso 1497(?) - Boulogne 1544


Very little is known of the early career of Girolamo Pennacchi, known as Girolamo da Treviso. Giorgio Vasari writes that he worked in Treviso and Venice – where he designed prints for the publisher Bernardino Benali - before arriving in Bologna, where he is recorded by November 1523 as having painted an altarpiece for the Confraternity of Santa Maria dei Servi. One of his first known works is a Noli Me Tangere in the church of San Giovanni in Monte in Bologna, which shows the influence of Francesco Francia and Lorenzo Costa. Early in his career Girolamo also worked as a sculptor, carving marble reliefs of the story of Joseph for the facade of the Bolognese church of San Petronio in 1524. Two years later, for the Guidotti chapel in the same church, he completed a series of eight monochrome scenes depicting the miracles of Saint Anthony of Padua. In 1528 he was in Genoa, where he contributed a fresco to the facade of the Palazzo Doria. Girolamo is also known to have collaborated with Giulio Romano on the decoration of the Palazzo Te in Mantua, and in 1533 painted a fresco of The Virgin and Child Enthroned with Saints for the church of the Commenda in Faenza. He was back in Bologna between 1534 and 1538, when he painted one of his few surviving works in the city, a Presentation of the Virgin with Saint Thomas of Canterbury for the English chapel in the church of San Salvatore. Perhaps as a result of this commission, Girolamo was invited by King Henry VIII to England, where he settled in 1538 and where, according to Vasari, his work was greatly admired. He worked primarily as a military engineer for King Henry VIII, although he also seems to have produced a handful of paintings, notably an anti-papal Allegory now in the Royal Collection at Hampton Court. The artist died during the English siege of Boulogne in September 1544.