Giulio Carpioni ~ Biography
1613 – January 29, 1678
Active in Italy’s early Baroque period, Carpioni was a painter and etcher of religious and mythological subjects. He first trained under the Venetian painter, Alessandro Varotari, called Il Padovanino (1588 – 1649), giving him the influence of Venetian master, Titian (1490 – 1576). Carpioni’s work also showed an influence from early Baroque painters such as Carlo Saraceni (1570 – 1620) and his Flemish pupil, Jean LeClerc (1585 – 1633), both labeled as “Caravaggisti” or “Caravaggesque”, as in the artist Caravaggio (1571 – 1610).
His works were also influenced by Lombard art, as well as another pupil of Varotari’s, Pietro della Vecchia (1603 – 1678). Carpioni’s etchings were influenced by the Bolognese artists, Simone da Pesaro (1612 – 1648) and Odoardo Fialetti (1573 – 1638), as well as Pietro Testa’s (1611 – 1650) etchings of the French painter Nicolas Poussin (1594 -1665).
Carpioni’s first dated works were executed in Vicenza between 1647 and 1651; the Apotheosis of the Dolfin Family and Allegory of the Grimani Family. He painted many important religious works including his Crucifixion, Martyrdom of Saint Catherine, Adoration of the Magi, among others. Many of these pieces were painted in a style that matched that of his contemporary in Veneto, Francesco Maffei (1600 – 1660). Also in Vicenza are his ceiling cycles depicting the Miracles and Life of San Nicola in the Oratory of San Nicola da Tolentino. Carpioni eventually made his way to Padua, where he collaborated with several artists and continued his important religious works.
Of his Mythological depictions in painting are Apollo and Marsyas, Banquet of the Gods, and his piece in the Uffizi Gallery, Neptune Pursuing Coronis. There are also a number of both Mythological and religious etchings of his now in the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, U.S. His small, festive depictions of the mythological Bacchanalia gatherings were highly praised, described as “perfect conceptions, such as dreams, sacrifices, bacchanals, triumphs, dances of putti, the most attractive caprices and fantasies that a painter, inclined to work on a small scale, has ever conceived” (Grove Dictionary of Art).