Cabella Ligure 1743 – Genova 1790
Giovanni David was born in Cabella Ligure in 1743 and was active as a painter, engraver, set designer in Liguria, Piedmont and Veneto. His experimental engravings anticipate the technique used by Goya. He is best known for his engravings, but he is also a skilled designer and an important painter. He does a great tour in France, England and the Netherlands. After his pilgrimage in Europe he returns to Liguria, where Marcello Durazzo hosts him in his Royal Palace, where he prematurely ends his life at a young age.
Montefortino Marche 1787 – 1863
Born in Monterfortino, a small town of the Marches , Duranti studied in Rome where entered in Giovanni Bazzani’s studio and met Tommaso Minardi, Felice Giani and Vincenzo Camuccini with whom he explored the Neo-classicism. Duranti associated also with other important artist of the period such as Bartolomeo Pinelli and Anton Koch. He was artist, collector and dealer. After 1840 he came back to Montefortino where lived in seclusion, tortured by ill health, phantasms and visions. He reacted against the formalism of Neo-classicism with a geometrical and simplified style. For his singularity Duranti is very modern artist. Large Collections of Duranti Drawings are kept at the Cooper Hewitt Museum of Design in New York, in the Rhode Island School of Design at Providence and in the Department of Art and Architecture of Stanford, California.
Mogliano Veneto 1720 – Roma 1778
Architect, draughtsman, theorist, and engraver Giovanni Battista Piranesi was an influential figure in the development of Neoclassicism. Giambattista’s initial pursuits were in architecture, for which he was apprenticed to his uncle Matteo Lucchesi. He later turned to etching and studied with Carlo Zucchi before traveling to Rome in 1740. It was in Rome that Piranesi produced his first popular etchings, and became famous for his depictions of ancient ruins and imaginary reconstructions of Roman architecture. One of his earliest collections, “Carceri d’Invenzione,” was published in 1745 and featured depictions of imaginary prisons based on existing Roman ruins. Though he was known as an engraver during his life, Piranesi also supported himself by dealing and restoring Roman antiquities. Piranesi had a lifelong interest in archaeology, and published treatises on the subject such as, “Trofei di Archi Trionfoni” (1748) and, “Antichita Romane de ‘tempi della Republica’ primi Imperatori Ottaviano” (1756). Near the end of his life, he traveled to southern Italy to pursue of his archaeological interests, and began producing images of Greek architecture.
Valenciennes 1717 - Parigi 1776
After studying with Guillaume Coustou in Paris, in 1738 Saly won the first prize for sculpture and at the end of 1740 went to the French Academy in Rome where he worked with Louis-Joseph Le Lorrain. He got to now Piranesi just arrived from Venice whose passion for Roman antiquities he admired. His Vases, produced in 1746 and dedicated to the De Troy, director of French Academy, show the strong influence of Piranesi. On his return to France in 1751 he was admitted to Académie Royale. He worked as a sculptor, received some important commissions and in 1753 left for Copenhagen to work there for the Royal Family. When he comes back to France was given to him a studio at the Louvre. However Saly interpreted the art of the times in a very personal mannner merging the vision of classical art of this contemporaries with the renaissance tradition of the “grotesque” in wich vegetables, animals and marine deities blend eleganty and harmoniously. These prints are the most fantastic and inventive etching of the time in the tradition wich began in the 16th century with Enea Vico, Saly, passing throu the Fontainebleau’s School reached the Neoclassicism.
Venezia 1727 - Madrid 1804
Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, Giovanni Battista eldest’s son, who trained in his father’s studio, had been producing commissioned works since the age of twenty. He collaborated in his family enterprise in the decoration of churches and palaces in Italy, Germany and Spain. He began etching when he was a teenager and he devoted much time to it. He became an accomplished master in both reproductive and original prints. The most important work of his own inventions is ‘The flight in Egypt’.
Pitigliano 1702 - Firenze 1788
Zuccarelli was born in Pitigliano, small city of Tuscany and his first teacher in Florence was the Roman landscapist Paolo Anesi (1697-1773). But according to his biographer 1) Francesco Maria Tassi when he moved to Rome in 1713-1714, he was taught history painting by the Tuscans Giovanni Maria Morandi (1672-1717) and Pietro Nelli (1672-1740). In the late 1720 sponsored by the Florentine art connoisseur Francesco Maria Nicolò Gabburri Zuccarelli devoted oneself to etching and began also to drawn landscapes. In 1732 he come back to Venice. After the death of Marco Ricci in 1730 he increasingly devoted his output to landscapes. Zuccarelli is better known today as landscape artist, but he was considered in his life-time as much a figure as a landscape painter In Venice his fame grew rapidly and he worked for the most famous collectors of the city such as Marshal Schulenburg (1661-1747), Anton Maria Zanetti (1679-1767) and Giambattista Albrizzi (1699-1777). His patron was Consul Smith (1682-1770) who encouraged him to move to London following the Canaletto’s example and stayed in London for fifteen years with a break of three years. Zuccarelli realized numerous drawings for local collectors such as John Barnard. His drawings were executed in painterly manner and instead of using the pen mainly drew his composition with brush and wash. He became one of founding members of the Royal Academy in 1768 before returning to Italy in the 1770 and in Venice he was elected President of the Venetian Academy. 1) F.M. Tassi ‘Vite de’ pittori, scultori e architetti bergamaschi’, Bergamo, 1973, II, pag. 93