Bernardo Strozzi Biography | Oil Paintings.

3-1581 Genoa, ITA – 8-2-1644 Venice, ITA

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Strozzi, Bernardo

Bernardo Strozzi called the il Cappuccino or il Prete Genovese (the Genoa priest), is considered one of the most important and prolific exponents of Italian Baroque painting. Bernardo Strozzi signature style was characterized by the use of intense colors to constitute a well-defined element rather than the pictorial representation.

In 1598, at the age of seventeen, Bernardo Strozzi joined a Capuchin monastery, a reform branch of the Franciscan order. When his father died in 1608, he had to leave the Capuchin order to take care of his mother earning a living selling his Franciscan inspired paintings. Bernardo Strozzi, while working in Venice was able to experience the new artistic influences, mainly derived from the work of Paolo Veronese. Early paintings, such as St. Francis in Ecstasy show the dark emotionalism of Caravaggio. But by the 1620's, while working in Venice, Bernardo Strozzi combined an individual style which intertwined painting influences of the North, with the style of Rubens and Veronese with a monumental, realistic starkness.

Capuchin superiors condemned the secular paintings of portraits and genre paintings, and in1625, he was charged with illicitly practicing as an artist. When his mother died in 1630, Strozzi was pressured in court by the Capuchins to re-enter the order and refusing to do so, he was imprisoned for a year and a half in Genoa, and upon his release, he fled to Venice to avoid confinement in a monastery.

Venice infused his painting with a gentler edge, a style more acceptable to the local patrons, and one derived from his precursors in Venice, Jan Lys, and Domenico Fetti, who had also fused the influence of Caravaggio into Venetian art. He was also likely influenced by Diego Velázquez who visited Genoa in the years 1629-30.

After he received a prestigious commission to paint Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi Bernardo, Strozzi fame grew, and he was approached by many of the leading Venetian artists to have their portraits painted. His exposure to the work of Anthony van Dyck, Peter Paul Rubens and other Flemish artists resident or passing through Genoa contributed to a growing naturalism, warmer colors and a rejection of the Mannerism tendencies he had previously used in his work.

Art Movement: Baroque Art.
Artists Influencing Bernardo Strozzi: Caravaggio.
Painters Bernardo Strozzi Influenced: Giovanni Andrea de Ferrari, Giovanni Bernardo Carbone, Valerio Castello, Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione.
Artist Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from Wikipedia.

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