Calvi, Lazzaro

, an artist, remarkable for longevity as well as skill, a native of Genoa, was a son of Agostino | Calvi, one of the most tolerable painters and reformers of the old style, and was with Pantaleo Calvi, his eldest brother, among the first pupils, of Perino del Vaga. Pantaleo was content to ^end his assistance and his name to Lazzaro, without pretending to share the praise due to his numerous ornamental works at Genova, Monaco, and Napoli; among which, none excels the facade of the palace Doria (now Spinola) with prisoners in various attitudes, and stories in colour and chiaroscuro, considered as a school of design and models of taste. In the palace Pallavicini‘al Zerbino they represented the story commonly called the Continence of Scipio, and a variety of naked figures, which, in the opinion of Mengs himself, might be adjudged to Penno. Whether or not he assisted them with his hand,* as he had with his cartoons, is matter of doubt: certain it is, that Lazzaro, giddy with self-conceit, fell into excesses unknown to other artists, if we except Corenzio. At the least appearance of rival merit, jealousy and avidity prompU ed him to have recourse to the blackest arts. Of Giacomo Bargone he rid himself by poison, and’ others he depressed by the clamour of hired ruffians. Such were his cabals when he painted the Birth of John the Baptist in the chapel Centurioni, in concurrence with Andrea Semini and Luca Cambiaso, which, though one of his best works and most in the style of his master, fell short of the powers of Luca, to whom prince Doria gave the preference in the ample commission of the frescos for the church of S. Matteo. This so enraged Calvi that he turned sailor, and touched no brush for twenty years: he returned at last to the art, and continued in practice to his eighty-fifth year, but with diminished powers: his works of that period are cold, laboured, and bear the stamp of age. The death of Pantaleo still farther depressed him, and the only remaining mark of his vigour was to have protracted life to one hundred and five years. He died at that very uncommon age in 1606, or 1607, leaving only a daughter, whom he had married to an opulent gentleman. Whatever his talents, we see nothing but what is -atrocious in his personal character. 1