Cantarini, Simone

, a painter and engraver, called often from his native place Da Pesaro, was born in 1612, and was a pupil of Pandolfi. After proving himself, by the picture of St. Peter at Fano, less an imitator of Guido than his equal, he entered his school at Bologna more as a rival than as a pupil: the humility which he had affected at his entrance, soon dissolved in a proud display of his powers; and the modest student became the supercilious censor of his companions, and of the master himself. From the general disgust, which the insolence of this conduct had excited, Cantarini fled to Rome, and for some time studied Raffaello and the antiques. When he returned to Bologna, where he taught, and from thence to the court of Mantua, his powers seemed to smooth the road to new success; but fear of those whom he had provoked by arrogance or invective, with the mortification of having failed in the portrait of the duke, impaired his health and drove him to Verona, where he died in 1648, in his thirtysixth year, not without suspicion of having being poisoned by a painter of Mantua, whom he had reviled. Cantarini | is not equal to Guido, because the most perfect imitator of a style cannot be called equal to its inventor: but the original beauties which he added, of conception and execution, raise him above all the pupils of that school. If his ideas have less dignity, they are, perhaps, more graceful than those of Guido: if he has less compass of knowledge, he has more accuracy, and no rival in the finish of the extremities. The heads of his saints have been called prodigies of beauty and expression. Sir Robert Strange had a picture of Cantarini’s, “Our Saviour standing on the Globe, attended by Cherubims,” which, he says, is nothing inferior to Guido, inimitably coloured; the composition extremely agreeable, and the whole apparently painted with great facility. Cantarini etched with great spirit. Strutt enumerates some of his works in this manner. 1


Pilkington.—Strutt— D’Argenville, vol. II.—Sir R. Strange’s Catalogue.