(b. 1602, Bevagna, d. 1649, Roma)


Italian painter and printmaker. He was first recorded in Rome in 1626 and was apparently trained there by Domenichino. His earliest surviving commission is the decoration of the chapel of St Philip Neri in Santa Margarita, Bevagna, with canvases showing scenes from the life of the saint (1627; in situ). In 1628 he worked with Andrea Sacchi, under Pietro da Cortona, on the decoration of the Villa Sacchetti at Castelfusano.

He received his first commission from the Barberini family, for chiaroscuro room decorations in the Palazzo Barberini, in 1631, by which time he had already been commissioned to paint a large overdoor fresco in St Peter's; the composition of the lost Baptism of SS Processus and Martinianus (1630-35; destroyed before 1700) is recorded in a modello (private collection). After completing two frescoed ceilings in the Palazzo Barberini - Apollo and the Muses on Mt Parnassus (1631; destroyed) and God the Father Dividing the Angel Hierarchies (1632) - Camassei seemed on the verge of a major career when he was commissioned to paint the ceiling of the Gran Salone. However, Camassei declined the commission because he realized that it was beyond his talents. Instead it was awarded to Pietro da Cortona. A drawing at Chatsworth shows Camassei's preliminary scheme for part of the ceiling.