Pietro della Vecchia

Baroque painter of character (and characters)

Socrates and Two Students, by della Vecchia

Born in Vicenza, Pietro della Vecchia (1603 –78) probably was apprenticed to Padovanino and became known for his ability to paint in the styles of Titian and Giorgione; after a trip to Rome he became strongly influenced by Caravaggio. He was also known for his love of grotesque figures and ability to imitate old masters.

Works in Venice include the Crucifixion (1633) in San Lio and another, monumental Crucifixion (1637) in the Fondazione Cini, and landscapes in the Querini-Stammpalia. His Angel Offering a Skull to St Giustina, with saints Joseph and John (1640), was painted for the church of Santa Giustina but now hangs in the Accademia. Other paintings are in the Ca' Rezzonico.

Older books (pre-1984) sometimes confuse him with Pietro Muttoni, because of an error in one of his first Italian biographies.

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