Giovanni Battista Gaulli Baciccio

1639 - 1709

Italian Baroque Painter

Giovanni Battista Gaulli Baciccio Biography

Gaulli was born in Genoa, where his parents died from the plague of 1657. He initially apprenticed with Luciano Borzone.In mid-1600s, Gaulli's Genoa was a cosmopolitan Italian artistic center open to both commercial and artistic enterprises from north European countries, including countries with non-Catholic populations such as England and the Dutch provinces. Painters such as Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck stayed in Genoa for a few years. Gaulli's earliest influences would have come from an eclectic mix of these foreign painters and other local artists including Valerio Castello, Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione, and Bernardo Strozzi, whose warm palette Gaulli adopted. In the 1660s, he experimented with the cooler palette and linear style of Bolognese classicism.
He soon, however, moved to Rome. In 1662, he was accepted into the Roman artists' guild, the Accademia di San Luca (Academy of Saint Luke), where he was to later hold several offices. The next year, he received his first public commission for an altarpiece, in the church of San Rocco, Rome. He received many private commissions for mythological and religious works.
From 1669, however, after a visit to Parma, Correggio's frescoed dome-ceiling in Parma's cathedral, Gaulli's painting took on a more painterly (less linear) aspect, and the composition, organized __di sotto in su'__ (from below looking up), would influence his later masterpiece. At his height, Gaulli was one of Rome's most esteemed portrait painters. Gaulli is not well known for any other medium but paint, though many drawings in many media have survived. All are studies for paintings. Gaulli died in Rome, shortly after 26 March 1709, probably April 2.