Antonio Bellucci (1654 – 1726)
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Antonio Bellucci was an Italian painter of the Rococo period, who was best known for his work in England, Germany, and Austria. He was one of the many Venetian-trained artists of his time, including Ricci, Tiepolo, Amigoni, and others, who sought commissions north of Italy, providing patrons with the then-popular Italianate grand-manner frescoes for private palaces.
Born and died in Pieve di Soligo. He initially trained with Domenico Difnico in Sebenico (Sibenik) in the Venetian colony of Dalmatia (now part of Croatia). By 1675, he was working in Venice, painting St Lorenzo Giustiniani praying for the city’s deliverance from the plague of 1447 (c. 1691) for the church of San Pietro di Castello. In 1692, he completed four altarpieces depicting various saints for the church of Klosterneuburg. From 1695-1700 and 1702- c. 1704, he lived in Vienna. He painted the Triumph of Hercules and other allegorical ceilings at the Palais Liechtenstein.
In 1705-1716, he travelled to Düsseldorf to work for Johann Wilhelm, Elector of the Palatinate, a member of the Wittelsbach family; he worked there almost continuously until his patron’s death in 1716. For Schloss Bensberg, he painted the Marriage of John William with Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici and Elector Palatine John William Handing the Baton of Command to his Son.
From 1716-1722, Bellucci worked in England, where he fulfilled several commissions for James Brydges, 1st Duke of Chandos, including two ceilings at his Middlesex country estate at Canons and some altarpieces at the neighboring St Lawrence Whitchurch. Among his pupils were Antonio Balestra and perhaps Jacopo Amigoni. There is an almost Romantic self-portrait of Belluci, shirt open, at the Ashmolean museum.
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