Nuzzi, Mario

, commonly known by the name of Mario da* Fiori, a flower-painter, was born in 1603, at Penna, in the kingdom of Naples. He was educated under his uncle Tomaso Salini, and being an exact observer of nature, he employed himself in copying the finest flowers, by which a dealer made an extraordinary profit in selling them again. Mario, informed of this circumstance, and also learning that his performances sold still higher at Home, resolved to visit that capital. Here he quickly rose to a high degree of reputation, and applied himself most diligently to attain perfection in his branch of the art. His representations of nature were equally exact and elegant; he chose his subjects with taste, handled his pencil with wonderful lightness, and coloured with singular beauty; but, according to Fuseli, “the charm which Mario spread over his flowers was not a permanent one: the impurity of the vehicle soon absorbed the freshness and the bloom of his glazings, and left a squalid surface.” Hence his pictures did not long maintain the extraordinary prices at which they were purchased. He was elected a member of St. Luke, and died in 1673, at the age of seventy. 2


Ibid. D’Argenville, vol. II.