Giovanni Baglione bigraphy, stories - Italian painter

Giovanni Baglione : biography

1566 - 30 December 1643

Giovanni Baglione (1566 – 30 December 1643) was an Italian Late Mannerist and Early Baroque painter and art historian. He is best remembered for his acrimonious and damaging involvement with the slightly younger artist Caravaggio and his important collection of biographies of the other artists working in Rome in his lifetime, although there are many works of his in Roman churches and galleries and elsewhere.


He was born and died in Rome, but from his own account came from a noble family of Perugia. A pupil of the obscure Florentine artist working in Rome, Francesco Morelli, he worked mainly in Rome, initially with a late-Mannerist style influenced by Giuseppe Cesari (or the "Cavaliere d'Arpino"), with whom Caravaggio trained. After an intermezzo Caravaggesco when he was heavily influenced by the young Caravaggio in the early years of the new century, and a Bolognese-influenced phase in the 1610s, Baglione's final style became more generalized and typical of Roman Early Baroque painters such as Guercino, though always reflecting his training in the Central Italian tradition of disegno, the absence of which he criticized in the Caravaggisti. To Rudolf Wittkower, his style "vacillated between progressive trends, without absorbing them fully".O'Neill; Wittkower, who relegates his account of Baglione's style to a note at n. 9, p. 514, and p. 74

He spent 1621-1622 in Mantua as the court artist of Duke Ferdinando Gonzaga, where the exposure to the fabulous Gonzaga collection of Venetian paintings influenced his style.O'Neill Otherwise he remained in Rome, where he was long successful in attracting commissions from the Papal court and aristocracy. His paintings have been described by the art historian Stephen Ostrow as "extraordinarily uneven, at best, competent, and his work pales in comparison with that of many of the contemporary artists he emulated", while his "chalk and pen and ink drawings reveal a force and lyricism rarely found in his paintings".Ostrow, 609 The quality of his work declined sharply in the 1630s, by which time he was in his late sixties.Wittkower, citing Carla Guigliemi (1954), n. 9, p. 514

He had a successful career, receiving a Papal knighthood in the Supreme Order of Christ (the highest of the Papal orders) in 1606, and his long involvement with Rome's Accademia di San Luca and his biographies reveal "an artist obsessed with status". He was a member of the Accademia from 1593 until his death, and three times President.Ostrow, 609, Dictionary Apart from the regular later title of "first historian of the Roman Baroque", in his lifetime he was also nicknamed Il Sordo del Barozzo as he suffered from deafness. He died in Rome on the 30th of December in 1643 at the age of 77.Dictionary

Litigation against Caravaggio

Sacred Love and Profane Love [[Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica Palazzo Barberini]] Baglione's best known painting, Sacred Love and Profane Love (or The Divine Eros Defeats the Earthly Eros and other variants), was a direct response to Caravaggio's Amor Vincit Omnia (1601-02). Baglione's painting exists in two versions, the earlier in the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin (c 1602-03) and the later in the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica at Palazzo Barberini in Rome. Both show Sacred Love as an angelic winged figure interrupting a 'meeting' between Cupid (Profane Love), shown as in the Caravaggio as a smaller and naked winged figure, and the Devil. In the later Rome version the devil is portrayed with the caricatured features of Caravaggio, while in Berlin his face is turned away. Both paintings were commissioned by members of the Giustiniani family in Rome: the Caravaggio by the banker and collector Marchese Vincenzo Giustiniani, and Baglione's riposte by his brother Cardinal Benedetto Giustiniani. What in the two brothers was probably a good-natured family joke reflected serious rivalry between the artists concerned. Baglione was greatly influenced by the style of Caravaggio during this period of his career, and the younger artist and his circle had claimed, with some justification, that Baglione had plagiarized his style.Ostrow, 608; Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, Prestel, 148; Wittkower, 74

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