Borgianni, Horatio

, a painter and engraver, was born at Rome, in 1630, and learned design from Giulio Borgianni his brother; but improved himself by studying the capital performances of the ancient and modern artists, which he was enabled to contemplate every day in his native city. Having had an offer from a nobleman, of travelling with him in a tour through Europe, he willingly accepted it, from a desire of being acquainted with the different customs and manners of different nations. But his progress was stopped by his falling in love with a young woman in Spain, to whom he was afterwards married; and finding his circumstances reduced to a narrow compass, he applied himself to his profession with double diligence, to procure a comfortable support. His endeavours were soon successful; and he was happy enough to find many friends, admirers, and employers, and was accounted one of the best painters in Spain. After the death of his wife, having then no attachment to that country, he returned to Rome, and painted some historical subjects larger than life; but the figures being above his accustomed size, shewed a want of correctness in several of the, members, which made his pictures not quite acceptable to the refined taste of the Roman school. He was, however, engaged in some great works for the chapels and convents, and also to paint portraits, by which he acquired honour, and lived in affluence. He died in 1681, of a broken heart, in consequence of the ill treatment he received, through the envy and villainy of one Celio, a painter, who proved a most malicious competitor, and to whom he had been often preferred, by the best judges of painting at Rome; but he died lamented and pitied by every worthy man of his profession. | As an engraver, he is probably best known to many of our readers, for his engravings of the Bible histories, which were painted by Raphael in the Vatican, commonly called “Raphael’s Bible,” small plates, length-ways, dated 1615, which are very slight, and seem to be the hasty productions of his point. Mr. Strutt says, that his most finished etching is “a dead Christ,” a small square plate, the figure greatly foreshortened, and behind appear the two Mary’s and St. John, who is kissing one of the hands of our Saviour. His etchings are, in general, in a bold, free manner, and more finished than usual, when considered as the works of a painter, but in some the drawing is not correct. 1


Pilkington and —Strutt.