Domenichino – Biography of Domenichino

Italian painter Domenichino, whose real name was Domenico Zampieri, was born on October 21, 1581 in Bologna, a city belonging, at that time, to the Papal States. He was a prominent practitioner of Baroque classicism in Rome and Bologna.

He was trained in the academy of Lodovico Carracci and in 1602 he was in Rome, where he joined the Bolognese artists in the decoration of the Palace of Farnese. He was hired by Cardinal Pietro Aldobrandini to decorate a room in the Villa Belvedere in Frascati with mythological frescoes and by Cardinal Farnese to paint a chapel in the Abbey of Grottaferrata. Both frescoes reflect the spirit of Carracci, although his more rigidly classical patterns were revealed in the Scenes from the Life of Saint Cecilia what Domenichino He painted between 1615 and 1617 for the San Luis de los Franceses church and they are among his most successful works. His altarpiece of the Last Communion of Saint Jerome (1614) shows his concern for representing precise facial expressions and for the grouping of closely united figures.

Between 1617 and 1618 Domenichino painted for Cardinal Aldobrandini the famous canvas of The Hunt for Diana, which was taken over by Cardinal Scipione Borghese. This work shows that he was a sensitive colorist, and his idyllic atmosphere stems from the arid classicism of his frescoes. Between 1624 and 1628 he was busy with the frescoed pendentives and the apse in Sant’Andrea della Valle.

Although the work of Domenichino remained in high demand, there was a certain reaction against the rigid classicism of his style and in the last works he produced in Rome Рfour pendentives with frescoes in San Carlo ai Catinari (1628-30) and the Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian in San Pedro, now visible in Santa Maria degli Angeli- he worked in a broader and less classical style. This closer approach to the Baroque is also evident in Scenes from the life of Saint Jenaro (1631-41). In Naples, his style was less acceptable than it had been in Rome, and he was the victim of systematic persecution by local artists, such as Jos̩ de Ribera.

Since the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the paintings of Domenichino they were considered the second after Raphael’s, but in the mid-nineteenth century it fell out of favor. His importance as a baroque classicist was recognized again only in the 20th century. His work is marked by lucid and balanced compositions, including serene lights and muted colors, and the sober expressions and sober gestures of his figures. Domenichino He also occupies an important place in the history of landscape painting as his work had a profound influence on the classical landscape painters Nicolas Poussin and Claude Lorrain.