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Art  &  Artist



 Giovanni Battista Bertani



Bertani Giovanni Battista    

(b Mantua, c. 1516; d Mantua, 2 April 1576).

Italian architect, painter, sculptor and writer. He was educated in Mantua, was recorded as active ‘for many years in Rome and elsewhere’ and became known only when he was over thirty, due to his design for the triumphal decorations set up in Mantua in January 1549 in honour of Philip (later Philip II of Spain), son of Emperor Charles V. The success of these decorations won for him the esteem of Cardinal Ercole Gonzaga, and he obtained the prestigious appointment of supervisor of the Cathedral Works and in May 1549 the title of Prefetto delle Fabbriche Ducali, a post that had remained vacant for almost three years following the deaths, in rapid succession, of Giulio Romano and Battista da Covo. The decree of appointment praises him as a ‘supreme architect, excellent painter, refined sculptor’, yet the only evidence of his youthful activity as a painter consists of an order (1531) to pay him for a fresco (destr. 1899) made to Giulio Romano’s design on the façade of the Palazzina of Margherita Paleologa at Mantua; the early date of this order has given rise to discussion of Bertani’s date of birth, which has been deduced from the Mantuan register of deaths.



Engraving by Giorgio Ghisi after Bertani



The vision of Ezekiel
Giorgio Ghisi after Giovanni Battista Bertani



Hercules, engraving by Ghisi after Bertani, 1558


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