FUMIANI, Giovanni Antonio
(b. ca. 1645, Venezia, d. 1710, Venezia)

Biography

Italian painter. He trained in Bologna under Domenico degli Ambrogi, a specialist in architectural perspective, but by 1668 he was in Venice, where he painted a Virgin and Saints, characterized by a monumentality reminiscent of the Carracci, in S Benedetto. He was influenced by Bolognese artists, particularly Ludovico Carracci and Alessandro Tiarini, and soon also became interested in the work of Veronese, so that he started to use elaborate architectural settings and brighter colours. This is apparent in the Virgin Appearing to Pius V (1674; Vicenza, S Lorenzo), whose monumentality foreshadows Tiepolo, whereas mosaics in S Marco, created in 1677 from Fumiani's cartoons, are closer to the idiosyncratic art of Pietro della Vecchia.

He contributed to the decoration of San Rocco (1675, 1676, 1678), where he painted a large canvas of the Charity of St Roch on the ceiling of the nave, and afterwards the decoration of San Pantalon with scenes from the Life of St Pantaleon (completed 1704). Here he painted canvases to cover a large ceiling (25*50 m), an ambitious undertaking, both in its scale and in the harmony and unity of the magniloquent images, that parallels Andrea Pozzo's decoration of San Ignazio, Rome. Fumiani was still inspired by Bolognese quadratura decoration, enriched by elements derived from Veronese, most notably the female figures.

In his smaller paintings, however, such as the modelli (Florence, Uffizi) painted for the Grand Prince Ferdinand of Tuscany, for whom he worked for a long time, with Niccolò Cassana acting as intermediary, Fumiani revealed a lively decorative sense and a taste for animated, sensual subjects that produced works of great quality. His last work, the large lunette depicting Frederick III Visiting St Zachary's Convent in the Company of the Doge (Venice, San Zaccaria), is still dominated by architecture inspired by Veronese; the composition of the work is complex and the colours rich.