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Parma, 1544 - Parma, 1573/74

Nothing is known of Bertoia's training, but his earliest surviving work, a fragment from the fresco of the Coronation of the Virgin (1566), formerly on the exterior of the Palazzo del Comune, Parma, shows the strong influence of Parmigianino (1503-1540), whose style as a draftsman he perpetuated in his own clever modification of his model. By 1568, he was in the service of the Farnese, the leading noble family of Parma. At about this time he was also active in Rome, where he had been commissioned to paint the fresco cycle of Scenes from Christ's Passion on the interior walls of the Oratorio del Gonfalone. He appears to have devised the feigned architectural framework and certainly painted one of the stories, the Entry of Christ into Jerusalem. Scarcely had Bertoia executed this scene, when he was summoned by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese to his villa at Caprarola in July 1569, there to continue its decoration, on which Federico Zuccaro (1540/41-1609) had worked until his dismissal. He therefore completed the Sala di Ercole before painting the ceilings of the Sala dei Giudizi, the Sala della Penitenza and the Sala dei Sogni (1569-1571). By July 1572 Bertoia had executed further frescoes and designed others at the Gonfalone; thereafter he returned again to Caprarola. During the time that Bertoia was active on the decoration of Caprarola, the Farnese also employed him on the decoration of their Palazzo del Giardino in Parma (Turner, N.: From Michelangelo to Annibale Carracci. A century of Italian drawings from the Prado, Art Services International-Museo Nacional del Prado, 2008, p. 140).

Artworks (1)

St. John the Evangelist
Wash, Pencil, Grey-brown ink on yellow paper, Second third of the XVI century

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