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Cardinal Bandinello Sauli with his Secretary and Two Geographers makes up a complex painting from Sebastiano del Piombo where he unusually captures several figures together.
Sebastiano's style of portraiture was influenced directly by some of the finest Renaissance artists. Michelangelo famously developed his underpainting and skills as a draughtsman after his arrival in Rome, whilst his earlier work was dominated by ideas and techniques given to him by Giovanni Bellini and Giorgione.
The artist chooses to leave the background scene as particularly plain in this painting, perhaps due to the more complex series of figures that are included here. On other occasions, when just creating a single portrait, he would often insert a landscape scene to the rear of the work.
The angle of each figure in relation to each other doesn't seem right when viewing this painting. it may have been a stylistic feature of this artistic period but it can be said that this is not one of the finest works by Sebastiano when considering his whole oeuvre. To a degree, the figures look superimposed against each other rather than more naturally combined.