Gaetano Gandolfi was a Bolognese artist that, with his brother Ubaldo, refreshed the quiet scene of Bolognese graphic since 1760. Both were born in San Matteo della Decima and both enrolled at Accademia Clementina of Bologna where, apart from some short trips, they worked almost in their city. Gaetano, younger six years than his brother, won two medals for sculpture and four medals for his drawings. He spent a year in Venice in 1760 and in 1783 he visited London, maybe after an invite of Richard Dalton who was in Italy finding objects d’art for Giorgio III.
As we said before, Gaetano received numerous commissions for altarpieces for churches throughout Emilia and elsewhere, and also worked extensively as a fresco painter. One of his first important decorative projects was a ceiling fresco of the Four Elements, in the Palazzo Odorici. This was followed by work in several other Bolognese palaces. Very rare and fine were his etchings and aquatint. Throughout his life Gandolfi remained actively involved in the affairs of the Accademia Clementina, where he taught a class in life drawing. Gandolfi was a gifted draughtsman and a fine engraver; his works were highly prized.