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Giovanni David

1743 Cabella Ligure – 1790 Genoa

In the overall perspective of Italian Settecento art the work of Giovanni David occupies a special place by virtue of its remarkable originality and the creative power of its imagery. David was a gifted etcher, and his extensive printed work, most of which was done between 1775 and 1779, owes its appeal to the artist’s verve and willingness to experiment with new techniques. David was also a respectable painter and draughtsman. David owed his artistic rise to the support of a single man, the Genoese diplomat and patron of the arts Giacomo Durazzo, who actively promoted him throughout his entire career and provided him with numerous opportunities to study abroad. In 1770, for example, Durazzo sent the young artist to Rome, where he was trained by none other than Domenico Corvi. In 1775 David settled for a few years in Venice, where Durazzo was also staying in connection with his diplomatic duties. Some time around 1780 David finally returned to Genoa, where he was to live and work until his death.