(b Pieve di Teco, 30 Oct 1592; d Pieve di
Teco, 6 Nov 1668).
Italian painter and draughtsman. Around 1605 he came to Genoa, where
he presented himself to a leading patron of the arts, Gian Carlo
Doria, who gave him lodging and recommended him to Giovanni Battista
Paggi, in whose influential studio he trained. Students were
required first to copy sketches, then paintings and reliefs and,
finally, to draw from nature. Benso made many copies after a variety
of source material, among them the Sacrifice of Abraham (Florence,
Uffizi) after Luca Cambiaso and the Joseph Sold into Slavery
(Berlin, Kupferstichkab.) after Raphael. While still with Paggi,
Benso produced ‘bizarre sketches of great number and variety, as he
had a fertile mind along with a lively and vigorous imagination’
(Soprani, p. 280). In order to learn perspective he constructed
architectural models, which were greatly admired; they enabled him
to achieve formidable feats of aerial perspective in his paintings,
in which figures and ornament are boldly foreshortened.
The Madonna and Child with angels, Saint
Benedict and Saint Scolastica
Entrata di Cristo in Gerusalemme
Cristo cade sulla strada del Calvario
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