Caccia, William

, an artist, knqwn by the name of Moncalvo, from his long abode in that place, was born in 1568 at Montebone, in Montferrat, and marks perhaps the brightest data of Piemontese art, though with less celebrity than merit, for no traces appear of his education: had he been a scholar of the Caracci, his first essays in fresco would have been made at Bologna, not at the stationary chapels of Monte Crea; his style of design would resemble that of Annibale more than the ideal line of Raffaello, or Andrea del Sarto, or Parmigiano; and his landscape have Jess of Paul Brill. His numerous small Madonnas breathe the spirit of the Roman and Florentine school, and one in the royal palace of Torino seems to have issued from the hands of Andrea, if we except the colour, which, though graceful and delicate, has more of the weakness that marked the tints of Sabbatini and the predecessors of the Caracci. The powers of Moncalvo were not, however, coiir fined to soft subjects: the contrary appears in the church of the Conventuals at that place in numerous instances, and still more in a chapel of S. Domenico at Chieri, where the Resuscitation of Lazarus, and the Multiplication of the Loaves, two collateral altar-pieces, vie with each other in pathetic imagery, legitimate composition, energy of expression and attitude, and correctness of design. He was assisted by several scholars of no very eminent note, but N. Sacchi of Casale, in energy of varied expression and decision of pencil, perhaps excelled the master. His two daughters i< raneesca and Orsola Caccia became, under his tuition, apt associates of his labours in fresco, a practice else unknown to female hands; they drew from the father the structure of bodies, but not their animation; and such | was the similarity of their execution, that to avoid confusion, Francesca, the younger, marked her performances with a small bird, whilst Orsola distinguished her own by a flower; she founded the Conservatory of the Ursuliiies at Moncalvo, where, and at Casale, she left altar-pieces and numerous cabinet-pictures, touched in the manner of Paul Brill, and strewn with flowers; A holy family in that taste is among the rich collection of the palace Natta. Caccia died about 1625. 1


Pilkington’s Dict.