Bartolomeo Manfredi Biography | Oil Paintings
8-25-1582 Ostiano, ITA – 12-12-1622 Rome, ITABack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Bartolomeo Manfredi may have been a pupil of Caravaggio before Caravaggio was exiled from Rome. Certainly, he was a close follower of Caravaggio's innovatory style, with its enhanced chiaroscuro and insistence on naturalism, with a gift for story-telling through expression and body-language.
Caravaggio had a brief career, he rose to fame in 1600, was banished from Rome in 1606, and was dead by 1610. He had a profound effect on the younger generation of artists, particularly in Rome and Naples. And of these Caravaggisti (Caravaggio's followers), Bartolomeo Manfredi was the most influential in passing the master's legacy to the next generation, particularly with painters from France and the Netherlands who came to Italy to study.
Bartolomeo Manfredi was a successful artist, able to have his own servant before he was thirty years old. He built his career with oil paintings for private clients, his works were widely collected in the seventeenth century and he was considered Caravaggio's equal or even superior. At a time when artists made their name and fortune working for public and church commissions, Manfredi was not interested in that type of work. No documented, signed works by Manfredi survive, and several of the forty or so works now attributed to him were formerly believed to be by Caravaggio. The steady disentangling of Manfredi from Caravaggio has made clear that it was Bartolomeo Manfredi, rather than his master, who was responsible for popularizing low-life genre painting of tavern scenes, and characters such as soldiers and musicians among the second generation of Caravaggisti.
His Mars Chastising Cupid offers a tantalizing hint at a lost Caravaggio, the master promised a painting on this theme to Mancini, but another of Caravaggio's patrons, Cardinal Francesco Maria Del Monte, had taken it, and Mancini, therefore, commissioned Bartolomeo Manfredi to paint another for him, which Mancini considered Manfredi's best work.
Art Movement: Baroque
Artists Influencing Bartolomeo Manfredi: Caravaggio
Painters Bartolomeo Manfredi Influenced: Gerard Seghers
Artist Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from Wikipedia.