Cupramontana 1892 - Roma 1963
Painter, printmaker, writer, poet and polemicist, Bartolini spent his youth in Rome, Siena and Florence, and completed his studies in 1910 at the Istituto di Belle Arti in Siena. As a printmaker, he made his first etchings around 1909 in Florence. During World War I, Bartolini fought as an officer at the Front. He resumed his artistic activity in 1919, establishing himself mainly as a printmaker. In 1932, along with Giorgio Morandi, he won a prize at the Mostra dell`Incisione Italiana in Florence and in 1935 obtained first prize for printmaking at the second Quadriennale at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome, where he exhibited 50 etchings. He again showed his prints at the Biennale in Venice, in 1942, at the Rassegna Internazionale in Lugano, in 1952, and at the Calcografia Nazionale in Rome, in 1962.
Firenze 1585 - 1644
Bilivert, although considered for a long time with a flemish- florentine or french-florentine nationality, was borne in Florence. His father Jacques Bijlevelt , a famous goldsmith, worked for the Medici’s family at the end of the sixteen century; he started his career in Siena in Alessandro Casolani’s worshop; later he moved to Florence where, thanks the interest of the Duke Ferdinando de Medici, he joined Cigoli’s studio. After a short stay in Rome with his master Cigoli, he moved back to Florence and from 1611 to 1621, thanks to Cosimo 1st’ interest, became the official designer in the Pietre dure’s atelier. He received inportant public and private commissions and built up an important workshop where talented artists such as Fidani, Furini, Coccapani and Silvestrini worked. Among his most important paintings we remind the canvas of “the Archangel rejects Tobia’s gifts” in 1612 conserved in the Palatina’s Gallery, the “Recovery of the real Cross by saint Helen”, in Santa Croce’s church and the painting “Susanna and the elders” commissioned by Carlo de’ Medici. After 1631 Blivert preferred the Old Testament’s themes: this change of taste probably is due to his stay in Rome.
Pesaro 1612 – Verona
Simone Cantarini was strongly influenced by Guido Reni in both painting and etching. Cantarini, even as a boy showed a predilection for drawing. At about the age of eleven he was apprenticed to a local artist. Sometime later the young artist went to Venice briefly. In about 1635,Cantarini entered Reni`s studio. It was here that he first began to show great promise as an etcher, working closely with Reni. This led to friction: Cantarini was loath to have his work passed off as the master`s and also rebelled against Reni`s attempt to use him to reproduce Reni`s painting in etching. After a violent break with Reni inabout 1637, Cantarini experienced hard times financially, travelling from Pesaro to Rome to Bologna, for a while earning his living chiefly by selling his etchings. In 1647 he worked, briefly and unhappily, for the Duke of Mantua in that city. He suddenly became ill there and left because of his health, reaching Verona, where he died in 1648.
Milano 1852 - 1917
Luigi Conconi was an architect, painter and illustrator. He studied architecture at the Accademia di Brera and at the Politecnico in Milan, and he used his architectural training occasionally throughout his career. Since his years at the Politecnico, he became acquainted with the literary and artistic circles of the Scapigliatura: Tranquillo Cremona and Daniele Ranzoni influenced his early activity. In the 1880’s Conconi moved from the realism of Scapigliatura toward Symbolism, developing an interest in visionary themes. He received international recognition by winning prizes in Paris in 1900 and in Munich in 1913. Conconi became a well know painter but also a skilful and sensitive printmaker, who revived the art of the etching in Lombardy, being the leading exponent of the ‘acquaforte monotipata’, an etching printed with a large amount of ink left on the plate, creating evocative effects. Conconi printed personally almost all his own plates.
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.
Udine 1510-Venezia 1561
Although born in Venice Battista Franco went to Rome where he was working by 1530, studying Michelangelo and the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel. The body corpus of etchings by Battista Franco is very large and related in a style to his drawings.
Parma, end of the XVth Century - 1538
According to P. A. Orlandi (1704) Gandini was a pupil of Correggio. Perhaps for this reason in 1535 he was commissioned the frescoes on the vault of the choir and the apse of the Cathedral of Parma, which were left unfinished after the death of Correggio. However Gandini, for his premature death (1538), failed to carry out this work, but he just realized the preparatory drawings and the sketches. After his death the frescoes were assigned to Girolamo Mazzola Bedoli, who finished them in the following year. Currently there are not many paintings and drawings attributed to the Gandini. These works present us the artist as an original and talented painter, influenced by Correggio and by Mannerism.
Genova 1639 – Roma 1709
Giovanni Battista Gaulli began his artistic career in Genova where he saw works by Rubens and Van Dyck and appreciated both their use of colour and the depth of consistency of the paint. He worked in the studio of Andrea Borzone and from 1657 established himself in Rome. He became one of the most appreciated collaborators of Gian Lorenzo Bernini who suggested him for the decoration of the crest in the dome of S. Agenese in Agone and who also introduced him to the Jesuits, thereby obtaining for him the commission for the decoration of the Chiesa del Gesu’ He frescoed the vault in which he painted the “Trionfo del nome di Gesu”, the presbitary and the chapel of S. Ignazio (1674-1679). The frescos in the vault were so well executed that they were considered the painterly equivanlent to Bernini’s altar in St. Peter’s Basilica. Bernini also put Gaulli forward for the altarpiece of S. Andrea al Quirinale and of S. Francesco a Ripa where the influence and baroque taste of the master sculptor is evident. In 1707 he frescoed the vault of the Basilica dei SS. Apostoli with the Triumph of the Fransiscan Order and he made the cartoons for the mosaics in the baptismal chapel of Saint Peter’s Basilica. He also worked in other important churches amongst which S. Rocco in Augusteo, Santa Marta, Santa Maria Maddalena, at palazzo Chigi and naturally in Genova. He was an excellent portraitist and painted Clemet IX and G L Bernini.
Verona 1528 - 1590
Bernardino India was born and mainly active in Verona. He is said to have trained with Domenico Riccio. He collaborated with Michele Sanmicheli in the Canossa palace and with Pellegrini in the chapel in San Bernardino of Verona. He also collaborated with Felice Brusasorci, Domenico's son in frescoes at Palazzo Fiorio Della Seta. He decorated Palladian villas such as Villa Pojana, Villa Foscari (also known as La Malcontenta) where Giovanni Battista Zelotti also worked, and the Palazzo Thiene in Vicenza. Orlando Flacco completed his most extensive work for the Sala del Maggior Consiglio in Verona.
Venezia 1548 – 1628
Palma il Giovane is one of the most important artists of the Venetian school around 1600. He formed an individual mannerist style wich approached Tintoretto’s painting. The artists worked together in the cycle representing scenes from the life of St. Susanna in San Marco in Venice. Palma was also influenced by the mannerist art of central Italy, known from his stay in Urbino -1564-1567 at the service of Duke Guidobaldo. In 1567 the Duke of Urbino recognized Palma’s talents sending him to Rome, where he remained until 1573 ca. He returned to Venice, the first major commission arrived after 1577 in the Doge’s Palace: three scenes in its Grand Council Hall. Palma, born in the Venetian family of artists, was the nephew of the painter Palma il Vecchio and the son of Antonio Negretti, a minor painter pupil of Bonifafazio de’ Pitati, who inherited his shop . After Tintoretto’s death in 1594, Palma became Venice’s leading artist.
Monreale 1603 - Palermo 1645
Sicily's most important painter of the 1600s, Pietro Novelli trained with his father, a painter and mosaicist, then studied painting and perspective in Palermo. Anthony van Dyck's visit to Sicily in 1624 influenced him for life. Van Dyck's altarpiece of the 'Madonna of the Rosary', still in the oratory of Santa Maria del Rosario, in Palermo, encouraged Novelli to lighten his palette, a decision that added elegance to his art. Novelli's travels also made a lasting impact on his work. Visiting Rome, he studied paintings by the famous Italian Renaissance artists. His draftsmanship in particular, with its economical line, graceful curves, and abbreviated forms, shows his exposure to the art of Giovanni Lanfranco. Returning to Sicily in 1637, Novelli painted primarily religious subjects, including canvases and fresco cycles for ecclesiastical institutions and also served as the royal architect.
As a youth Paggi was influenced by Luca Cambiaso, but when he was banished from Genoa, around 1580, because he killed the patron refusing him a proper recognition, he flee Genoa and moved to Pisa and then to Florence, where, under the protection of Francesco I de’ Medici, he lived for nearly twenty years engaged in numerous commissions. After receiving a pardon, in 1599, Paggi returned to Genoa and his work was highly demanded, particularly from the city’s leading family the Doria. His paintings made him in a short time the leader of the Genoese school. He trained many of Genoa’s artists including Giulio Benso and Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione. During his Florentine stay he was influenced by the art of Empoli, Cigoli and Passignano. His early Genoese style was transformed and his work featured softer tones and more complex compositional designs. The attribution of this sheet at Giovanni Battista Paggi was kindly confirmed by Camillo Manzitti.
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.
Bologna active 1511-1515 – Bologna 1551
Malvasia Referred to Pupini as a pupil of Francia, he is first documented as receiving a joint commission with Bagnacavallo to paint the chapel of the high altar in S. Maria delle Grazie in Faenza (1511). Many of the works ascribed to him have been lost, but a large number of drawings survive. He visited Rome where he admired Raphael and Polidoro da Caravaggio.Pupini executed frescoes with Girolamo da Cotignola in the sacristy of. S. Michele in Bosco. In 1537 he worked with the Ferrarese artist in the Villa Belriguardo for Ercole d’Este.
Parma 1523 – Ferrara 1567
Vico was an engraver and numismatist who settled in Rome when he was young. There he worked for publishers and printers, such as A. Barlacchi and A. Salamanca, and was formed mainly through the study of the engravings by M. Raimondi and his school. After a stay in Florence (1545) he settled in Venice and then moved, from 1563, to the court of Alfonso II in Ferrara. Vico did about five hundred engravings: portraits, series of ancient vessels, gems and cameos, and prints after works by Raffaello, Michelangelo and Salviati. He also produced the series Immagini delle donne auguste (taken from Roman medals). His renown of numismatist is confirmed by his works Immagini con tutti i riversi trovati et le vite degli imperatori (1548); Discorsi sopra le medaglie degli antichi (1555); Commentari alle antiche medaglie degli imperatori romani (1560).
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