MANFREDI, Bartolomeo
(b. 1582, Mantova, d. after 1622, Roma)


Italian painter, baptised in Ostiano, near Mantua and active mainly in Rome, where he was one of the most important of Caravaggio's followers.

Giovanni Baglione writes that Manfredi was born in Mantua and stayed with Pomarancio while still a young boy. Manfredi's date of arrival in Rome is uncertain. Registered as living in the parish of Sant'Andrea della Fratte in 1610, he may have been in the city as early as 1603. According to Baglione, Manfredi was very good at painting in others' style. Indeed, he imitated the manner of Caravaggio in the extent that his pictures were mistaken for those of the more famous artist.

He specialized in low-life scenes of taverns, soldiers in guardrooms, cardplaying, etc., and it was he rather than Caravaggio himself who was mainly responsible for popularizing this kind of work, particularly with painters from France and the Netherlands who came to Italy. In spite of his contemporary reputation, no works survive that are signed or documented as his, and several of the forty or so paintings now given to him were formerly attributed to Caravaggio, an example being the Concert in the Uffizi, Florence.