Procaccini, Julius Cæsar

, an eminent artist, was the son of Ercole Procaccini of Bologna, a painter of considerable note. He was born in 1548, a-nd was at first educated as a sculptor, which he relinquished, and frequented the academy of the Caracci, but the principal object of his studies were the works of Corregio, and in the opinion of many, none ever approached nearer the grandeur of that style, particularly in easel pictures, and works of confined composition, though his grace be often meretricious, and his colour less vigorous. A Madonna of his at St. Luigi de Fraiicesi, has been engraved as the work of Allegri and some still better imitations may be seen in the palace of St. Vitali at Parma, in that of Caregaat Genoa, and elsewhere. Of his various altar-pieces, the most resembling the manner of Corregio is perhaps that of St. Afra in Brescia: it represents Maria with the infant, amid an ogling and smiling group of angels and saints, where dignity seems as much sacrificed to grace, as in the mutual smile of the Virgin and the angel in his Nunziata, at St. Antonio of Milan; grimaces both, unworthy of the moment and of the mystery.

He is sometimes equally blameable for extravagance of attitude, as in the executioner of St. Nazario a picture else composed of charms and beauties-. But notwithstanding the number and copiousness of his works, his design is correct, his forms and draperies select, his invention varied, and the whole together has a certain grandeur and breadth which he either acquired from the Caracci, or like them derived from Corregio. He died in 1626, at the age of 78. He had two brothers, both painters, but not of equal merit with himself; Camillo, who practised in history painting, and Carlo Antonio, who adopted landscape. The latter left a son Ercole, called the Young, who painted flower-pieces with considerable skill, and died in 1676, aged 80. 2


Argenville, vol. It. Pilkiugton by Furcti.