BOMBELLI, Sebastiano
(b. 1635, Udine, d. 1719, Venezia)

Biography

Italian painter. He was perhaps the most influential Italian portrait painter of the later 17th century. His early style was formed by his father, Valentino Bombelli, a painter in Udine, and his godfather, the Mannerist artist Girolamo Lugaro. In the early 1660s he was in Venice, where he responded passionately to the brilliant colour, painterly freedom and naturalism of 16th-century Venetian artists, particularly Veronese, whose works he copied. According to Sandrart, who in 1683 provided the first significant report of Bombelli's earliest activities, the artist was initially known as a history painter in the manner of Veronese, although no such painting by him has been identified. Later he became a successful portraitist and enjoyed a status in Venice which was almost that of official portrait painter. He painted several ceremonial portraits.