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Giordano, Luca
Naples (Italy), 1634 - Naples (Italy), 1705
Giordano, Luca
Naples (Italy), 1634 - Naples (Italy), 1705

During his life, Luca Giordano enjoyed a popularity in both Italy and Spain that plummeted after his death, due to two prejudices that have lasted until quite recently. The first was an association of his surprising speed as a painter with the idea that his work was somehow superficial, an accusation constantly leveled at him by advocates of the Greco-Roman aesthetic. The second stemmed from his s

Ajello, Eutichio
Gala (Messina), 1711 - Gala, 1793
Ajello, Eutichio
Gala (Messina), 1711 - Gala, 1793

This philosopher and theologist was the abbot of the Monastery of Gala, where he carried out his early studies. He taught philosophy in Paris and was a teacher and academician at the Academy of London. He was called to Spain by Philip V's wife, Elizabeth of Farnesio, where he worked as her librarian and antiquary. After returning to Italy, he settled in Naples and published his works. Towards the

Titian (Tiziano Vecellio)
Pieve di Cadore, Belluno, Veneto (Italy), Ca. 1490 - Venice (Italy), 1576
Titian (Tiziano Vecellio)
Pieve di Cadore, Belluno, Veneto (Italy), Ca. 1490 - Venice (Italy), 1576

Born to an important family from Cadore, Titan arrived in Venice around 1500-1502. There, after first working in Giovanni Bellini’s workshop, he entered that of his older brother Gentile Bellini. Around 1507, he began working with Giorgone on the decoration of the façades of the Fondaco dei Tedeschi, the German merchants’ warehouse in Venice. Today, only a small part of the original frescoes remai

Giaquinto, Corrado
Molfetta, Apulia (Italy), 1703 - Naples (Italy), 1766
Giaquinto, Corrado
Molfetta, Apulia (Italy), 1703 - Naples (Italy), 1766

Considered the maximum representative of rococo painting in Rome during the first half of the 18th century and a referent for various generations of Spanish painters, this artist produced abundant oil paintings and most of all, frescoes. He studied with Saverio Porta until 1719, moving to Naples in 1721 to work under the tutelage of Nicola Maria Rossi, a follower of Francesco Solimena. His deep st

Reni, Guido
Calvezzano, Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, 04/11/1575 - Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, 18/08/1642
Reni, Guido
Calvezzano, Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, 04/11/1575 - Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, 18/08/1642

The triumph of Annibale's oeuvre in Rome paved the way for the disciples of the Carracci family to work at the court of the popes, especially when a cardinal of Bologna acceded to the papal throne as Gregory XV. One of these followers was Reni, who is considered the best known and most prolific artist of the Bolognese school and also the most important. He is without a doubt the best artist who em

Tintoretto, Jacopo Robusti
Venice (Italy), 1518/19 - Venice, 1594
Tintoretto, Jacopo Robusti
Venice (Italy), 1518/19 - Venice, 1594

In his biography of Tintoretto Carlo Ridolfi recounts the painter’s fleeting stay at Titian’s studio. But despite the unquestionable authority of this narrative, Tintoretto’s early works bear little resemblance to those of that artist from Pieve di Cadore. His paintings from the late 1530s—The Holy Family with Saint Jerome, the portrait of attorney Girolamo Marcello (private collection, Lucerne),

Leoni, Leone
Arezzo, Tuscany, 1509 - Milan, 1590
Leoni, Leone
Arezzo, Tuscany, 1509 - Milan, 1590

The personality of Italian sculptor Leone Leoni is as thrilling as that of his contemporaries, Titian, Michelangelo and Benvenuto Cellini. In 1533, he was a twenty-four-year-old goldsmith living with his wife, Diamante, in Venice as a protégé of poet Pietro Aretino. That period was marked for him by the birth of his son, Pompeo, whom he trained in his studio and introduced to northern Italian circ

Tiepolo, Giovanni Battista
Venice (Italy), 1696 - Madrid (Italy), 1770
Tiepolo, Giovanni Battista
Venice (Italy), 1696 - Madrid (Italy), 1770

Tiepolo was famous throughout Europe as an unrivaled fresco painter and a splendid draftsman. His first teacher, Gregorio Lazzarini, encouraged his disciples to study 16th-century Venetian art but Tiepolo was also influenced by the tenebrist technique of Federico Bencovich and the monumental realism of his great contemporary, Giovanni Battista Piazzetta. His first clients were Venetian noblility,

Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri)
Cento, Ferrara (Italy), 1591 - Bologna (Italy), 1666
Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri)
Cento, Ferrara (Italy), 1591 - Bologna (Italy), 1666

Born in a town halfway between Ferrara and Bologna, Barbieri soon received the nickname "Il Guercino" owing to his squint ("quercio" in Italian means cross-eyed). He was chiefly self taught in a particularly rich artistic environment: by studying the altar paintings of Ludovico Carracci, which he was able to see in Cento or Bologna, he introduced a vehement dynamism and fluidity of execution into

Veronese, Paolo (Paolo Cagliari)
Verona, 1528 - Venice, 1588
Veronese, Paolo (Paolo Cagliari)
Verona, 1528 - Venice, 1588

Veronese was trained in his native Verona by a local painter, Antonio Badile (1518-1560), and then by Giovanni Caroto (1488-1563/66). The influence of both these masters appears in his earliest independent works, which were executed around 1546 for local patrons and institutions. He received his first commissions outside Verona in the early 1550s, when he worked for a number of wealthy Venetian fa

Leoni, Pompeo
Milan, hacia 1533 - Madrid, 1608
Leoni, Pompeo
Milan, hacia 1533 - Madrid, 1608

Working with his father, Leone Leoni, on all his pieces, Italian sculptor Pompeo Leoni was able to create a workshop in Madrid and to undertake projects beside the El Escorial altarpiece that obliged him to make repeated and lengthy visits to Milan. On September 28, 1556 he arrived in Spain with a series of imperial portraits and was assigned a salary of 30 ducats a month by the Queen Regent, Joan

Young Palma (Jacopo Negretti)
Venice, 1544 - Venice, 1628
Young Palma (Jacopo Negretti)
Venice, 1544 - Venice, 1628

Jacopo Negretti, known as Palma "il Giovane" to distinguish him from his great uncle Palma "il Vecchio," spent his formative years at the court of Urbino and in Rome, where he was influenced by Taddeo Zuccaro (1529-1566) and Federico Zuccaro (1540/41-1609). He returned to Venice around 1573 where, following the fire at the Palazzo Ducale in 1577, he received his first public commission: three ceil

Carracci, Annibale
Bologna, 1560 - Rome, 1609
Carracci, Annibale
Bologna, 1560 - Rome, 1609

Annibale was probably trained by his elder cousin, Ludovico Carracci (1555-1619), as well as by Bartolomeo Passarotti (1529-1592). In 1582, he and other family members established an academy for the study of art, later known as the Accademia degli Incamminati, which was fundamental to the subsequent development of Bolognese painting in the seventeenth century. Among his earliest works are a number

Cambiaso, Luca
Moneglia, Liguria, 1527 - El Escorial, Madrid, 1585
Cambiaso, Luca
Moneglia, Liguria, 1527 - El Escorial, Madrid, 1585

Luca Cambiaso was the most celebrated Mannerist painter of the Genoese school, and the inventor of many large-scale fresco decorations in both palaces and churches in the city. As a draftsman, he is celebrated for having invented a style of figure drawing in which form is simplified into geometric, often cubic, components. Trained by his father, the mediocre painter Giovanni Cambiaso (1495-1579),

Nani, Mariano
Naples (Italy), 1725 - Madrid (Spain), 1806
Nani, Mariano
Naples (Italy), 1725 - Madrid (Spain), 1806

Mariano Nani, arrived in Spain in 1759 as a painter/decorator for the Buen Retiro Royal Factory. Born in Naples, he was the son of Giacomo Nani, a less gifted still life artist who traveled with him to Spain. Information in different archives shows that he was an anxious nonconformist, dissatisfied with his work at Buen Retiro, which kept him from oil painting, “his main work”, as he said in 1769.

Sarto, Andrea del (Andrea d'Agnolo)
Florence, 1486 - Florence, 1530
Sarto, Andrea del (Andrea d'Agnolo)
Florence, 1486 - Florence, 1530

Vasari (1511-1574), who was himself a pupil of Andrea del Sarto (Andrea d'Agnolo) during the mid-1520s, indicated that this painter and draftsman trained under an obscure artist, Gian Barile, before moving to the workshop of Piero di Cosimo (1461/62-c. 1521). He gained independence in 1508 when, with Franciabigio (1484-1525), he established his own workshop. Around this time, del Sarto secured a n

Tintoretto, Domenico
Venice (Italy), 1560 - Venice, 1635
Tintoretto, Domenico
Venice (Italy), 1560 - Venice, 1635

The son of Jacopo (Comin or Robusti) Tintoretto, Domenico trained alongside his father and assisted him in the workshop. He joined the painters' guild at the age of 17 and is documented as a member of their Venetian brotherhood from 1594 onwards. He began his career proper as his father's assistant, helping him execute the paintings for the Sala del Collegio and Sala del Senato of the Doges' Palac

Romano, Giulio (Giovanni Francesco Penni)
Rome (Italy), H. 1499 - Mantua (Italy), 01.11.1546
Romano, Giulio (Giovanni Francesco Penni)
Rome (Italy), H. 1499 - Mantua (Italy), 01.11.1546

Giulio Romano (Giulio Pippi) worked with Raphael (1483-1520), first as a pupil and then as an assistant, and was involved in the decoration both of the Vatican Stanze, in particular that of the Stanze dell'Incendio (completed by 1517) and the Logge (completed 1519). Following Raphael's death in 1520, Giulio collaborated with Giovanni Francesco Penni (c. 1496-after 1528) on the decoration of the Sa

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