Carlo Cignani

A Breath of Fresh Air

Bellona in Love, by Carlo Cignani

Cignani (1628-1719) was a student of Francesco Albani and the teacher of Giuseppe Maria Crespi and Macantonio Franceschini, among many others. His work can be seen in Parma and Forlí, and in museums across Europe.

In 1681 Cignani famously opened his Accademia del Nudo in Bologna, a school to promote painting from life. It was all posed on lofty ideals, but it must be said that Cignani was quite fond of painting and drawing ladies en deshabille, and very good at it too. That, and a certain liberty of composition and the treatment of familiar subjects, makes him a rather refreshing figure in the tedious world of late Baroque Bolognese art.

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