Prospero Fontana (1512 -
1597) was an Italian painter of the late Renaissance.
was born in Bologna, and became
a pupil of Innocenzo da
Imola. He afterwards worked for Perin del Vaga in the Palazzo Doria in
Towards 1550, it is reported that Michelangelo
introduced him to Pope Julius III
as a portrait-painter; and
he was pensioned at the pontifical court. He later joined
Vasari's studio in Florence, and
worked in frescoes at the Palazzo Vecchio (1563-65).
He is an early representative of
the Bolognese school
were three of his principal
pupils or colleagues. His daughter, Lavinia Fontana
, was also a prominent
painter of mostly conventional religious canvases.
to Bologna, after doing some work in Fontainebleau (France) and in Genoa, he opened a
school of art, in which he became briefly the preceptor of Lodovico and Agostino Carracci.
He has left a
large quantity of work in Bologna. His altarpiece of the
Adoration of the
, in the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie
considered his masterpiece. It is not unlike the style of Paul Veronese
. He died in Rome in 1597.