Giusi Fusco

First biographical Profile of the painter Giovanni Battista Ortolani Damon (Roma 1755-1831)

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Research in Roman and Florentine archives, as well as an examination of journals and auction catalogues, have contributed to the outline of an early biographical profile of the Roman painter Giovanni Battista Ortolani Damon, and the tracing of several of his previously unreleased works. Born in 1755, Ortolani successively acquired the French surname Damon. He was a pupil Domenico Corvi and received his formation within the sphere of Roman academicism during the latter half of the 1700s, a period marked by the establishment of the New Classicism advanced by Mengs and Winckelmann. He distinguished himself by winning coveted awards from the Academies of Rome and Parma; one of his works was highlighted by two journals of the era, and in Florence he contributed to the artistic modernisation of Neoclassical models promoted by the grand duke Peter Leopold of Hapsburg-Lorraine. In Vienna and then Moscow he contributed to the success of the portrait medium within the panorama of Middle European painting. Having returned to Rome in 1818, he concluded numerous investments before his death in 1831.


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