Fetti, Domenico

, an eminent painter, was born at Rome in 1589, and educated under Lodovico Civoli, a famous Florentine painter. As soon as he quitted the school of Civoli, he went to Mantua; where the paintings of Julio Romano afforded him the means of becoming a great painter, and from them he derived his colouring, and the boldness of his characters. Cardinal Ferdinand Gonzaga, afterwards duke of Mantua, discovering the merit of Fetti, retained him at his court, furnished him with means of continuing his studies, and at last employed him in adorning his palace. Few painters, according to a modern connoisseur, have possessed a greater freedom of pencil, a more harmonious style of colouring, or a greater knowledge of expression than Fetti. If he painted a head of character, he entered into the detail of it with such spirit, that it produced an astonishing relief; and that too without the least hardness, so judiciously are the tints varied. It is the same* with his large composition* the light and shade are ingeniously balanced the figures are grouped with so much art, and the general disposition is so well observed, that they produce the most striking and harmonious effects. His pictures are scarce, and mucb Bought alter. He painted very little for churches. | Goingto Venice, he abandoned himself to disorderly courses, which put an end to his life in its very prime, in 1624, when he was only in his thirty-fifth year. The duke of Mantua regretted him exceedingly, and sent for his lather and sister, whom he took care of afterwards. The sister, who painted well, became a nun, and exercised her talent in the convent, which she adorned with several of her works. Other religious houses in Mantua, were also decorated with her paintings. 1

1 Argentine, vol. I, Pilkington. Sir R, Strange’s Catalogue, p. 41*