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[Buoneri, Francesco]

(fl c. Rome, 1610–20).

Painter active in Italy. His nationality is not known. He was a follower of Caravaggio, and his rare works reveal a highly original and idiosyncratic response to that artist’s naturalism. Agostino Tassi mentioned him as involved, with several French artists, in the decoration of the Villa Lante at Bagnaia between 1613 and 1615, and Giulio Mancini noted a ‘Francesco detto Cecco del Caravaggio’ who was close to Caravaggio.

Richard Symonds, who visited Rome in 1650, mentioned that the model for Caravaggio’s Amore vincitore (Berlin, Alte N.G.) was one ‘Checco da Caravaggio’, ‘his owne boy or servant that laid with him’ (quoted Papi, 1992). The central work in Cecco’s oeuvre is Christ Driving the Money-changers from the Temple (Berlin, Alte N.G.), which Longhi (1943) identified as the work, formerly in the collection of Vicenzo Giustiniani, that had been referred to in G. M. Sylos’s Pinacotheca sive Romana pictura et scultura...

Article

(b Venice, 1637; d Venice, ?1712).

Italian painter. He trained first with Matteo Ponzoni, then with Sebastiano Mazzoni; Mazzoni encouraged the development of a Baroque style, but Celesti was also attracted by the naturalism of the tenebrists. The first known works by Celesti are mature in style, and he had already achieved considerable fame in Venice when the Doge Alvise Contarini honoured him with the title of Cavaliere in 1681. The complexity of his sources is evident in two canvases, Moses Destroying the Golden Calf and Moses Chastising the Hebrew People for their Idolatry, both painted c. 1681 for the Palazzo Ducale, Venice, and signed Cavaliere; they are influenced by Luca Giordano and by the narrative techniques of Jacopo Tintoretto. The most distinguished works of Celesti’s early period are two large lunettes that show three scenes: Benedict III Visiting St Zacharias, A Doge Presented with the Body of a Saint, and the Virtues Surrounding a Doge Holding the Model of St Zacharias...

Article

Francesco Frangi

[Enrico, Antonio d’; il Tanzio]

(b Riale d’Alagna, 1575–80; d 1632–3).

Italian painter. He is best known for his dramatic oil paintings executed in a unique style of Caravaggesque realism modified by the elegance of Lombard Late Mannerism. He also adopted elements of a robust and unsophisticated realism from Piedmontese art, as is evident in his frescoes for the sacromonte at Varallo (see Varallo, Sacro Monte, §2). His drawings are in the highly refined and meticulously finished technique associated with Renaissance draughtsmanship.

Tanzio’s family had lived at Varallo since 1586, and he had two brothers who were also artists: the fresco painter Melchiorre d’Enrico, with whom he may have trained, and the sculptor and architect Giovanni d’Enrico (c. 1560–1644). On 12 February 1600 a safe conduct was issued to Melchiorre and Tanzio to leave Valsesia to visit Rome for the Holy Year. Tanzio’s first biographer, Cotta, wrote that the artist studied ‘in the Academies of Rome’ and that in ...

Article

Cynthia Lawrence

(b Mechelen, March 18, 1661; dMechelen, c. 1720).

Flemish sculptor and architect. He was a pupil of Lucas Faydherbe, from whom he learnt the picturesque realism associated with Rubens’s workshop. He collaborated with the Mechelen sculptor Jan van der Steen in London before returning to Flanders and joining the Mechelen guild. Langhemans is best represented in Belgium by the works he executed for the church of St Rombout in Mechelen. The earliest is a naturalistic stone statue of St Libertus (1680) for the monument to Amati de Coriache; a dramatically gesticulating stone figure of St Mary Magdalene from the monument to Jan Baptiste and Bernard Alexander van der Zype (1701) exhibits similar tendencies. Conversely, the oak statue of the Virgin of Victory (1680), carved for the monastery of the Brothers of Charity at Kappelen, Antwerp, has a classicizing appearance, which became more pronounced in his work by c. 1700. In 1698–9 Langhemans collaborated with ...

Article

Fabio Bisogni

(b Siena, 1612; d Rome, 1676).

Italian painter, draughtsman and printmaker. His early art drew on a variety of sources, which included the naturalism of Rutilio Manetti and Francesco Rustici, the descriptive realism of the engraver Giuliano Periccioli (d 1646) and the Baroque of Raffaelle Vanni. Mei’s interests even embraced 16th-century Sienese art. This stylistic variety is evident in his first known works, such as a bier (Casole d’Elsa, Collegiata), three signed miniatures in the Libro dei leoni (1634; Siena, Pal. Piccolomini, Archv Stato) and frescoes of scenes from the Life of St Bernard (1639; Siena, oratory of S Bernardino). His experimental approach is also displayed in such works as the Annunciation (Siena, Mus. Semin. Montarioso), which may be dated between the mid-1630s and the early 1640s. Mei’s early maturity is marked by a conscious return to the naturalism of Manetti, enriched with a Baroque pathos and soft, fluid brushwork, as in the ...

Article

Federica Lamera

(b Genoa, 1632; d Piacenza, 1698).

Italian painter. He was a pupil in Genoa of Giovanni Andrea de’ Ferrari and perhaps also of Giulio Benso, from whom he acquired an inclination towards narrative and naturalism. Later he entered the workshop of Valerio Castello. About 1651 Merano went to Parma to study the works of Correggio and Parmigianino. Here he painted two oval frescoes of St Lucy and St Apollonia (both Parma, Santa Croce). These first works, stylistically still immature, were strongly influenced by 16th-century Emilian painters, especially Girolamo Bedoli Mazzola, as well as by Castello.

Probably in 1658 Merano returned to Genoa. Shortly afterwards he received the prestigious commission to paint a large lunette of the Massacre of the Innocents in the Church of Il Gesù, Genoa. Here his style is freer and more personal, revealing a close study of the works of Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione and of Rubens, whose sumptuous theatricality in particular he absorbed....

Article

Richard C. Green

(b Venice, Jan 21, 1655; d Venice, Feb 3, 1704).

Italian painter and draughtsman. He was the son of the painter Giovanni Molinari (1633–87) and studied in Venice with Antonio Zanchi. His style had its origins in the naturalism and tenebrism of Neapolitan painting, introduced to Venice in the mid-17th century. Although his work always retained some traces of this naturalism, the typically violent subject-matter and intensity of the Neapolitan style were considerably tempered by the addition of classicizing elements and of rich, glowing colours. By the 1680s Molinari had developed his characteristic manner of depicting figures in poses of extreme torsion and vigorous movement, arranged in graceful compositions. His subject-matter included episodes from the Old and New Testaments, antiquity and Classical mythology. His classical idiom was most pronounced in his large canvases painted for churches, such as the Feeding of the Five Thousand (1690; Venice, S Pantalon) and the Death of Uzzah (c. 1695; Murano, S Maria degli Angeli). In the ...

Article

Manuela B. Mena Marqués

(b Seville, bapt Jan 1, 1618; d Seville, March 28, 1682).

Spanish painter and draughtsman. He combined 17th-century realism with a taste for serene, sweet and sentimental beauty. His large output of religious works included numerous treatments of the Immaculate Conception, and he was also one of the greatest portrait painters of his time. However, his fame abroad was established most especially by his genre pictures of children. His works were highly prized by collectors, particularly in the 18th century, and his painting, which was well known in other European countries, particularly England and France, served as an example to such artists as Gainsborough, Reynolds and Greuze.

Born in the last days of 1617, he was the youngest child of Gaspar Esteban of Seville, a barber-surgeon, and María Pérez, but adopted the surname of his maternal grandmother, Elvira Murillo, and rarely signed or used that of his father. The family enjoyed a degree of social status and wealth and in 1607...

Article

John J. Chvostal

(b Venice, c. 1579; d Venice, June 16, 1620).

Italian painter. He is best known for his jewel-like paintings representing sacred and secular themes, which combine a delicate technique inspired by Adam Elsheimer with a note of observed realism owed to Caravaggio. He also painted altarpieces and worked in fresco.

By 1598 Saraceni had moved from Venice to Rome, where he studied with Camillo Mariani (1556–1611), a minor artist from Vicenza (Baglione). While the composition and modest scale of Saraceni’s earliest extant work, Perseus and Andromeda (c. 1598–1600; Dijon, Mus. B.-A.), are much indebted to the Late Mannerist style of the Cavaliere d’Arpino, the figure types and technique are distinctly his own and appear in his later paintings. The forms are softly modelled with fine brushwork. Andromeda’s elongated figure, limber pose, smooth flesh and unindividualized anatomy appear again in Saraceni’s slightly later painting of Paradise (New York, Met.). Delicately tapered fingers, round, high foreheads and small facial features are also characteristic of his style. His early Roman works reflect many sources: paintings by Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese, whose art he had absorbed in Venice, and by Adam Elsheimer, whose paintings he would have seen in Rome, and whose influence helped to shape the composition of the ...

Article

(b Naples, 1581; d Naples, Oct 2, 1614).

Italian painter. He played an important role in the spread of Caravaggism to Naples and in the development away from Late Mannerism to a greater naturalism. He was the son of the painter and gilder Sebastiano Sellitto, and he was apprenticed briefly to the Piedmontese painter Giovanni Antonio Ardito (fl c. late 16th century–early 17th) before moving (c. 1591) to the studio of the Flemish painter Louis Croys. By 1608 he had left Croys and had set up his own workshop in the Via Donnalbina, attracting to it such artists as Filippo Napoletano, Giovan Mattea Arciero (b 1591) and Francesco Abbenante (fl first decade of the 17th century). The talent for portraiture that Sellitto had shown while working with Croys brought him commissions from the court and aristocracy, although none of these documented works has been identified.

Important commissions for Neapolitan churches followed. Sellitto must have seen Caravaggio’s ...

Article

Ivo Kořán

(Šotnovský ze Závořic) [Screta, Carlo]

(b Prague, 1610; bur; Prague, Aug 1, 1674).

Bohemian painter. He was the foremost painter of mid-17th-century Bohemia, combining an experience of Italian art with a distinctive realism in altarpieces and portraits.

Škréta was the son of a royal clerk; his first mentors were probably artists of the court of Rudolf II, maybe the engraver Aegidius Sadeler II. However, when the Protestants were expelled from Prague following the Battle of White Mountain in 1620, he was forced to emigrate with his mother. He may have gone to Freiberg in Saxony and then perhaps with Wenzel Hollar to Stuttgart. Around 1630 he arrived in Italy. In Venice he became acquainted with the work of Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese and Jacopo Bassano and that of the leading contemporaries, Domenico Fetti, Bernardo Strozzi and Johann Liss. He also encountered the work of the Carracci and Guido Reni at this period. Arriving in Rome in 1634, he was influenced by the work of Simon Vouet, Poussin and Claude Lorrain. Škréta made friends in Italy with a number of painters, including Joachim von Sandrart, and gained renown there as a portrait painter (e.g. ...