Mola, Pfter Francis

, an eminent painter, was, according to some, born at Coldra, and to others, at Lugano, 1609. He was at first the disciple of Gesari d’Arpino, but formed a style of his own, selected from the principles of Albani and Guercino. He never indeed arrived at the grace of the former, but he excelled him in vigour of tint, in variety of invention, in spirited and resolute execution. He had studied colour with intense application at Venice, and excelled in fresco and in oil. Of the many pictures with which he enriched the churches and palaces of Rome, that of Joseph recognised by his brothers, on the Quirinal, is considered as the most eminent. If Mola possessed a considerable talent for history, he was a genius in landscape: his landscape every where exhibits in the most varied combination, and with the most vigorous touch, the sublime scenery of the territory in which he Was born. His predilection for landscape was such, that in his historic subjects it may often be doubted which is the principal, the actors or the scene; a fault which may be sometimes imputed to Titian himself. In many of Mola’s gallery-pictures, the figures have been ascribed to Albano. He reared three disciples, Antonio Gherardi of Rieti, who after his death entered the school of Cortona, and distinguished himself more by facility than elegance of execution Gia. Batista Boncuore of Rome, a painter at all times of great effect, though often somewhat heavy and Giovanni Bonati of Ferrara, called Giovannino del Pio, from the protection of that cardinal, who painted three altar-pieces of consideration at Rome, but died young. Mola died in 1665, aged fifty-six. He had a brother, John Baptist, who was born in 1620, and also learned the art of painting in the school of Albani. He proved a very good painter in history, as well as in landscape; but was far inferior to his brother, in style, dignity, taste, and colouring. In his manner he had more resemblance to the style of Albani, than to that of his brother; yet his figures are rather hard and dry, and want the mellowness of the | master. However, there are four of his pictures in the Palazzo Salviati, at Rome, which are universally taken for the hand of Albani. 1


Pilkington, by Fuseli. —Strutt’s Dict. Argenville, vols. II. and IV. —Dict. Hist. in which it is denied that John Baptist was the brother of Peter Francis