(b Florence, May 17, 1610; d Florence, July 1664).
Italian etcher and draughtsman, active also in France. He was a prolific artist: 1052 prints are described in the catalogue raisonné (de Vesme; rev. Massar, 1971) and thousands of his drawings are in public and private collections. He was one of the greatest Italian etchers, whose prints of battles and sieges, harbours, festivals, plays and operas are filled with tiny figures and vividly suggest many features of 17th-century urban and rural life. Della Bella’s landscape etchings were an important influence on the prints of the Lorraine artists François Collignon and Israël Silvestre (i). His work was overlooked in the 19th century but in the 1960s and 1970s became well known through exhibitions and scholarly publications, distinguishing his work from that of Jacques Callot.
On the premature death of his father, Francesco della Bella (d 1612), a sculptor who had worked with Giambologna, and following his older brothers, also artists, della Bella was apprenticed at an early age to the goldsmith ...