(b Rome, March 4, 1750; d Rome, Dec 8, 1799).
Italian painter and draughtsman. He was an important history painter and decorator, whose paintings and drawings vary in manner from the Baroque to Neo-classical, and who anticipated Romantic historicism. His subjects are taken from Greek and Roman literature, 16th- and 17th-century religious history and Italian literature of the early and High Renaissance; his many drawings include preparatory studies, caricatures, genre scenes and portraits. He trained under Domenico Corvi at the Accademia di S Luca, where he won prizes with drawings such as the mannered and brilliant Tobias Healing his Blind Father (1766; Rome, Accad. N. S Luca). However, Cades had to leave Corvi’s studio c. 1766, as Corvi apparently resented his pupil’s excessive independence (Lanzi).
In the early 1770s Cades started to receive important commissions. His first large canvases were the Martyrdom of St Benignus (1774; San Benigno Canavese, Fruttuaria Abbey), which continues the classical tradition of late 17th-century Italian painting, and the ...