(b Bologna, April 4, 1575; d Bologna, Dec 18, 1632).
Italian painter and stage designer. A specialist in illusionistic architectural settings, or quadratura, he trained with Cesare Baglione (c. 1550–1615). His dramatically lit settings, which display realistic and well-proportioned architecture, departed from Baglione’s Mannerist fantasy and established classical ceiling decoration in Bologna. His quadratura combined a recessed frame as the immediate surround of the ceiling crown, with a substantial, deeply foreshortened frame, which simulates height.
Curti’s first surviving ceilings, at the Casino Malvasia at Trebbo di Reno (c. 1610–22) and the Villa Paleotti at San Marino (c. 1616–22), were influenced by his earliest model, Tommaso Laureti’s frescoed ceiling in the Palazzo Vizzani, Bologna (c. 1562; destr.), which first combined a wall frieze, based on Palladian windows, with a foreshortened ceiling frame. In 1618 Curti travelled to Parma, where he was involved in the decoration of the Teatro Farnese, and in 1623, at the invitation of Cardinal Ludovico Ludovisi, he went to Rome, where a ceiling in the Palazzo Odescalchi has been attributed to him. In the 1620s and early 1630s he worked as a decorator and stage designer in Bologna, Ferrara (...