BRAMANTE begun c. 1492
Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan Exterior of the church dfg Italian High Renaissance Architect and Painter, 1444-1514
In the first decade of the 16th century Donato Bramante was the chief architect in Rome, which had just replaced Florence as the artistic capital of Europe because the patronage of Pope Julius II (reigned 1503-1513) attracted all the leading Italian artists to that city. It is particularly the triumvirate of artists - Michelangelo the sculptor and painter, Raphael the painter, and Bramante the architect - who dominated this period, usually called the High Renaissance, and whose influence overwhelmed the following generations.
Donato di Pascuccio d'Antonio, called Bramante, was born in 1444 at Monte Asdruvaldo near Urbino. Nothing is known of the first 30 years of his life. During that period, however, the court of Federigo da Montefeltro at Urbino was a flourishing humanistic and cultural center, attended by artists such as Piero della Francesca, Melozzo da Forll, and Luciano Laurana, who probably influenced the young Bramante. The first notice of Bramante dates from 1477, when he decorated the facade of the Palazzo del Podestaat Bergamo with a frescoed frieze of philosophers.