Mannerist With a Twist
Born in Bologna, Mannerist Bartolomeo Passarotti (or 'Passerotti', 1529–92) studied in Rome and returned to his native city, where he was considered the top painter in the 1570's, running a large and successful studio where both Agostino and Annibale Carracci spent time. His collection of antiquities was a must-see for travellers in Bologna, and like his friend Ulisse Aldovrandi he was a keen observer of nature, with a personal collection of specimens.
Passarotti was a fairly typical Mannerist painter, depicting elongated, elegant figures, and also a notable portraitist, but he also painted genre scenes (known at the time as pittora ridicola, 'comical pictures' of everyday life, notably of market stands and shops, which inspired Annibale's own genre paintings. Passarotti's name means 'little sparrow', and he often used a little bird to sign his paintings. Works in the Pinacoteca, San Giacomo Maggiore and the Galleria Davia Bargellini.