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 Bernardo Bitti



Bernardo Bitti         Pages: 1

(b Camerino, the Marches, 1548; d Lima, 1610).

Italian painter, active in South America. He joined the Society of Jesus in Rome in 1568. The origins of his style lie in late Roman Mannerism, which was influenced by Giorgio Vasari and Francesco Salviati, while his figures are indebted to Raphael. The Jesuits in Peru sent a request to the General of the Order for a painter, which resulted in Bitti travelling first to Lima (1571) and later to America (1575). His journey took him through Seville, where he saw the work of Luis Morales, whose influence is also evident in his paintings. In Peru, Bitti worked in Lima and Cuzco, where he executed some wall paintings in the Capilla de Indios in La Campañía (damaged in 1650 earthquake), and he also executed several commissions for the city of Arequipa. From there he went to the Bolivian cities of La Paz, Potosí and Chuquisaca. He established his reputation in 1600 in Chuquisaca with his painted retable for the church of S Miguel (Chuquisaca, Mus. Cat.), of which the canvas of the Investiture of St Ildefonsus is outstanding. The Virgin and Child with the Young St John (Chuquisaca, Mus. Cat.) is probably not part of the same retable. His great canvas of the Coronation of the Virgin and the painting of Candlemas (Purification of the Virgin), characterized by the elegant and elongated figures typical of Roman Mannerism, are also preserved (Lima, S Pedro).


Virgen del Pajarito


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