Lutti, Benedict

, an Italian artist, was born at Florence, in 1666. He was the disciple of Dominico Gabbiani, and at twenty-four his merit was judged equal to that of his master. He afterwards studied at Rome, under the patronage of the grand duke, and hoped to have profited by the instructions of Giro Ferri; but on his arrival he had to regret the death of that master. He now, however, pursued his studies with such success, that his works became much valued in England, France, and Germany. The emperor knighted him, and the elector of Mentz sent with his patent of knighthood, a cross set with diamonds Lutti was never satisfied with his own performances, and though he often retouched his pictures, yet they never appeared laboured; he always changed for the better, and his last thought was the best. There were three much-admired public works of his at Rome, viz. a Magdalene in the church of St. Catharine of Siena, at Monte Magna Napoli; the prophet Isaiah, in an oval, St. John de Lateran; and St. Anthony of Padua, in the church of the Holy Apostles; and at the palace Albani was a miracle of St. Pio, which some reckon his master-piece. Fuseli speaks of his “Cain, flying from his murdered | brother,” he says has something of the sublimity and the pati it strike in the Pietro Martyre of Titian and his “Psyche” in the gallery of the capitol, breathes refinement of taste and elegance. His death is said to have been hastened by a fit of chagrin, owing to his not having been able to finish a picture of St. Eusebius, bishop of Vercelli, designed for Turin, for which he had received a large earnest, and promised to get it ready at a set time. But several disputes happening between him and those who bespoke the picture, brought on a fit of sickness, of which he died at Rome, in 1724, aged fifty-eight, and the picture was afterwards finished by Pietro Bianchi, one of his disciples. Lutti is blamed for not having placed his figures advantageously, but in such a manner as to throw a part of the arms and legs out of the cloth. This fault he possesses in common with Paul Veronese and Rubens, who, to give more dignity and grandeur to the subject they treated, have introduced into the fore-ground of their pictures, groups of persons on horseback, tops of heads, and arms and legs, of which no other part of the body appears.

Lutti was lively in conversation; he had a politeness in his behaviour, which, as it prompted him to treat every body with proper civility, so it also procured him a return of esteem and respect. He spoke well in general of all his contemporary painters, but contracted no particular acquaintance with any, though he was principal of the academy of St. Luke nor did he court the protection of the great, whom he never visited, and who very seldom visited him convinced that the true protection of a painter is his own merit. 1


D’Argenville, vol. I.—Strutt, and Pilkington.