FERRETTI, Giovanni Domenico
(b. 1692, Firenze, d. 1768, Firenze)
Italian painter, the son of the goldsmith Antonio di Giovanni da Imola and Margherita di Domenico Gori. His mother’s family was influential in Florence and proved very important for Ferretti by helping his career. In the first years of his life he lived in Imola, where he was sent to study (1708) with the local painter Francesco Chiusuri. After the family moved to Florence, Ferretti was taught there by Tommaso Redi and Sebastiano Galeotti. Later he spent five years in Bologna, an important centre for the practice and teaching of academic painting, where he absorbed that city's well-known style of studying and drawing from nature. His work acquired its characteristic style in Bologna, in the workshop of Felice Torelli.
Returning to Florence in 1715, Ferretti soon joined the Accademia del Disegno, where he later taught painting and served as Console, a post he retained almost until his death. From about 1728, he designed tapestries for the grand duke of Tuscany's tapestry workshop. He began incorporating elements of Venetian artist Sebastiano Ricci's airy manner, which had inspired Florentine artists since Ricci's 1706 visit to the city.
By the 1730s Ferretti was building a large workshop that gained fame in Florence and beyond. Outstanding for their complexity and monumentality, his frescoes in a Pistoia church transformed the solidity of his Bolognese-influenced style into a light and elegant manner via Ricci's art. He died while working on frescoes in a Florence church.