Ferri, Ciro

, a skilful painter, was descended of a good family, and born at Rome in 1634, where, being in. | easy circumstances, he pursued his inclination and taste for painting. He was a faithful imitator of Peter da Cortona, whose favourite disciple he was, and to whom he came so near in his ideas, his invention, and his manner of painting, that his cielings particularly are often mistaken, for Cortona’s. Generally, however, Mr. Fuseli says, Ferri has less grace of design, less ease in his actions and draperies, and less compass of mind; but he has more solidity and carefulness of finish than his master. Though he set great prices on his works, he was in continual employ. Pope Alexander VII. had a great esteem for him; and his three successors were no less favourable to him. The great duke sent for him to Florence, and assigned him a large pension to finish the works which Cortona had left imperfect. He entered so well into the spirit of them, and acquitted himself so worthily, that the whole work seems to be of the same hand. The great duke nominated him chief of the school of Florence, in which rank he continued for a long time. Ferri returned to Rome, where he appeared a great architect as well as a good painter. Several palaces and grand altars, as St. John of the Florentines, and that of the Chiesa Nuova, were raised from his designs. He diverted himself more with drawing than painting. He was much importuned for devices, figures for breviaries, and titles of books: several of which have been engraved by Spierre and Bloemart. The pope employed him in making cartoons for the Vatican; and few men have worked in more different ways. The cupola of St. Agnes, in the palace of Navona, was his last work. The chagrin he felt in seeing the angels of Bacici, a Genoese painter, which were directly under it, the force of whose colouring made his appear too weak, is said to have been the cause of his death. One day he told Lazaro Baldi, his companion, that his cupola appeared very different on the scaffold from what it did from below, and that the angels of Bacici gave him great pain; and, falling sick soon after, he died in 1689, at the age of fifty-five. 1


Argenviile, vol. I. Pilkington.