|rancesco Trevisani (Barbieri?) was born in Capodistria (now Koper) on April 9, 1656, the son of Antonio Trevisani, an architect of some note. It was from his father that he received his first training in drawing and design basics.||
born in Capodistria
He then went to study art in Venice at the studio of the painting master Antonio Zanchi, and then at the school of Giuseppe Henz d'Augusta (Joseph Heintz the Younger), an elderly genre painter.
When Henz died, Trevisani eloped with a young Venetian lady of high family and fled to Rome when he was 21, staying in Rome until his death at the venerable age of 90. Not long after his arrival, he was admitted to the Guild of St. Luke. He forsook the Venetian manner soon after his arrival, and adopted that of Guido, Domenichino, and others. He studied the work of Annibale Carraci (1560-1609), was inspired by Antonio da Correggio (1489/90-1534), and spent time in the company of the leading painter in Rome of the 17th century, Carlo Maratta (1625-1713) and his followers who were then in fashion.
Trevisano obtained great success as a painter of altar pieces executed for numerous Roman churches. The strong influenced by Carlo Maratta (1625-1713) is manifested in Trevisani's masterpiece, the frescoes in San Silvestro in Capite (1695-1696). In this commission, he worked alongside Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari (1654-1727), also known simply as Giuseppe Chiari, and Ludovico Gimignani (1643–1697).
Francesco Trevisani is sometimes called "Roman Trevisani" or "Il Romano" to distinguish him from his brother, Angelo Trevisani of Venice (1669-1753/55), who was famous in his own right but worked mainly in Venice. In Rome he was favoured with the patronage of Cardinal Flavio Chigi (1711-1771), nephew of Fabio Chigi who was Pope Alexander VII. Chigi employed him in several considerable works, and recommended him to the protection of Pope Clement XI. (Giovanni Francesco Albani), who not only commissioned him to paint one of the Prophets in S. Giovanni Laterano, but engaged him to decorate the cupola of the cathedral at Urbino. There he represented, in fresco, allegories of the four Quarters of the World, in which he displayed much invention and ingenuity.
Francesco became a member of the Academy of Arcadia in 1712.
Between 1721 and 1727, he also received commissions in Turin. For the House of Savoy, Trevisani painted a Madonna Immacolata, adored by San Luigi and the Beato Amedeo of Savoy. It was hung in the Chapel of Sant'Uberto at Venaria Reale. King Vittorio Amedeo II liked the painting so much that, beyond the agreed price he gave Trevisani a "country" silver set. The Saint Philip monks commissioned him for a Martirio of San Sebastiano painting, which today still hangs in the Church of San Filippo in Turin. He was also asked to paint for Palazzo Barolo, then the Provana di Druent, for whom he painted a decoration dedicated to the four seasons. He showed talent in imitating the style of the old masters, and was employed by the Duke of Modena, who then resided at Rome as ambassador from the King of Spain, in copying the works of Correggio, Parmigiano, Paolo Veronese and other favorite painters. He performed these works in such an admirable manner that it procured him the honour of knighthood (Cavaliere).
At the death of Cardinal Chigi, Trevisani met with another powerful friend in Venetian-born Cardinal Pietro Vito Ottoboni (or Ottobuoni), later Pope Alexander VIII (1689-1691), who employed him to adorn his gallery, for which he painted a celebrated picture, representing the Murder of the Innocents which hangs in the Dresden Gallery. That painting, however, is not nearly so effective a picture as the same subject by another Venetian, Andrea Celesti, who had been his brother's teacher, also hanging in that Gallery.
Trevisani's composition is grand and his chiaroscuro forcible, his execution free and bold. His figures were generally correct and graceful, and his tints were uncommonly clear, bright and beautiful. He became the greatest Roman painter of his generation and the public buildings of Rome abound with his works. The number of commissions which he received compelled him to work almost without intermission, nor did any person of consequence pass through Rome without endeavoring to procure some piece of his hand, either of a portrait, history, architecture, landscape, animals or flowers, all of which subjects he painted with equal readiness and excellence.
His altar pieces and cabinets painting depicted biblical and mythological themes in a style that varies between the classicism of Maratti and the softer, sweeter manner of the Barocchetto, and were rather sentimental in their tones. However, he is admired for his competent precise portraits, both of noble Italian patrons and visiting Grand Tourists which are distinguished by their unusual informality and the sense of intimacy between the artist and subject. He is also admired for his vast landscape scenes showing historic and mythological events, including Betsabea al bagno (Pommersfelden, Coll, Schonborn) and Banchetto di Cesare e Cleopatra.
The students of Francesco Trevisani included:
To unbend his mind from the fatigue of his profession, Trevisani associated himself with a few ingenious friends - among whom was the baroque composer Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713) who owned at least two of Trevisani's pointings - and had a small elegant theatre erected in his house where comedies were performed. Trevisani was himself a poet of some note.
Notwithstanding the great age of 90 which he reached, Trevisani preserved the same delicacy of coloring to the last period of his life, nor was the elegance of his design perceptibly impaired by his years. While painting a picture of St. Michael, for Naples, he was suddently attacked with a complaint in the throat, and he died in Rome on July 30, 1746.
Selected works (with images)
Trevisano's last painting was The Banishment from Earthly Paradise (Cacciata di Adamo ed Eva dal Paradiso terrestre / Uddrivelsen af Det Jordiske Paradis) transverse nave of Santa Maria Degli Angeli (Our Lady of the Angels), 9 Via Cernale (Piazza della Repubblica) Roma - wall of right arm of the transept;
Top prices of Trevisani works at recent auction:
Works made available at recent auctions: