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Fra Bonaventura Bisi

called il Padre Pitturino, 1612–1659 Bologna

Fra Bonaventura Bisi, a Franciscan monk and pupil of Lucio Massari, was known primarily as a miniaturist. He must have been an educated and respected figure for, at an advanced age, he advised Duke Alphonse IV of Modena on acquisitions for his art collection. Bisi was also active as a printmaker. Nagler recorded just one etching, which he considered to be modelled after Parmigianino. Bisi’s artistic idiom is remarkable for its deliberately retrospective character. The elegance and fluency of the drawing and the rendering of the soft, opulent folds convey in perfect manner the spirit of the Cinquecento.