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Bernard Aikema

[Giannantonio]

(b Venice, April 29, 1675; d Venice, Nov 5, 1741).

Italian painter. With Sebastiano Ricci and Jacopo Amigoni he was the most important Venetian history painter of the early 18th century. By uniting the High Renaissance style of Paolo Veronese with the Baroque of Pietro da Cortona and Luca Giordano, he created graceful decorations that were particularly successful with the aristocracy of central and northern Europe. He travelled widely, working in Austria, England, the Netherlands, Germany and France.

His father, a glover, came from Padua. At an early age Pellegrini was apprenticed to the Milanese Paolo Pagani (1661–1716), with whom he travelled to Moravia and Vienna in 1690. In 1696 Pellegrini was back in Venice, where he painted his first surviving work, a fresco cycle in the Palazzetto Corner on Murano, with scenes from the life of Alexander the Great and allegorical themes on the ceiling. Here his figure style is clearly derived from Pagani, but the effects of light and the free handling suggest the art of Giordano or even Cortona, whose work Pellegrini could not then have known. By contrast, brushwork in a series of paintings of the ...

Article

Thomas Tolley

(b Padua, c. 1395; d Padua, after May 1468).

Italian painter, teacher, draughtsman and printmaker. He is a controversial figure. His mediocre qualities as a painter are less contentious than his role as the head of a school for painters, possibly the earliest private establishment devoted to teaching painting and distinct from the workshop system of instruction through apprenticeships.

Having been recorded as a tailor and embroiderer, Squarcione is first referred to as a painter in 1426, when he executed an altarpiece (untraced) for the Olivetan monastery at Venda, south of Padua. He was then living near the Santo in Padua, where he later established his school. Soon after completing this altarpiece, Squarcione left Padua. According to Scardeone, who knew Squarcione’s lost autobiography, he travelled throughout Italy and Greece (i.e. the Byzantine empire). After returning to Padua, Squarcione took on his first pupil, Michele di Bartolommeo, in 1431. Apart from a Crucifixion (untraced), completed in 1439 for a Venetian patron, he undertook few commissions at this time. His purchase in ...