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Pietro de Angelis

born in Rome, active between 1769 and 1825

The enterprising Italian artist, Pietro de Angelis, is something of an unknown quantity, his life and work having only recently attracted increased interest. Born in Rome, de Angelis in all likelihood studied at the Accademia del Nudo and received his initial training there from Anton Raphael Mengs. Later, his travels frequently took him to Venice, where he was responsible, among other things, for painting several palazzi, including the Palazzo Badoer. It was here that he may have got to know the Venetian-born painter, Pietro Antonio Novelli, whose works evidently exerted a strong influence on his artistic style. De Angelis, who from the 1790s bore the honorary title cavaliere di merito, was active as a painter, draughtsman and poet and was also a respected member of various societies and academies. At the outset of the 19th century he must have decided to live and work in Eastern Europe. A design for a ceiling painting he made in Vilnius confirms that he was in the city for a while. Later on he also completed works in Warsaw and St. Petersburg. In 1812, finally, the artist spent some time in Munich, where he drew, painted, wrote literary texts and worked as a language teacher at the city’s lyceum. A number of de Angelis’ hand-drawn designs for frescoes have survived together with a few wall paintings.