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Gaetano Gandolfi

1734 San Matteo della Decima – 1802 Bologna

The painter and engraver, Gaetano Gandolfi, grew up in a family of artists. He was the pupil of his elder brother, Ubaldo Gandolfi, and of Ercole Lelli at the Accademia Clementina in Bologna and, in 1760, spent a year studying in Venice, where he was influenced in particular by the work of Giambattista Tiepolo. After his return to Bologna, Gandolfi became one of the most sought-after decoration and fresco painters of his time. Contemporaries reserved especial esteem for his anatomical, compositional and head studies in pen and ink, pencil and pastel. His position as a teacher at the Bologna Academy enabled him to exert a decisive influence on the work of the generations of artists who came after him. Moreover, Gandolfi produced a quite extensive printed oeuvre comprising reproductive engravings as well as works of his own invention.