PAGANI, Gregorio
(b. 1558, Firenze, d. 1605, Firenze)

Biography

Italian painter, active mainly in Florence. He was the son of the painter Francesco Pagani, then became a pupil of Santi di Tito, then entered the studio of Ludovico Cigoli. A fine colourist, he helped to renew Florentine art during the last years of the 16th century.

His earliest surviving works include the frescoes of the Confirmation of the Rule of St Dominic (c. 1580; Florence, S Maria Novella, Chiostro Grande) and the Meeting between SS Dominic and Francis (Florence, Convento dei Cappuccini di Monturghi). In 1592 he painted the Virgin and Saints (St Petersburg, Hermitage), a work that already reveals his interest in Correggio who deeply influenced him. In the same year he painted a Finding of the True Cross (untraced), a daring composition that is preserved in preparatory drawings. A number of works from the 1590s survive and show Pagani's interest in Emilian art; the Crucifixion and Saints (1595; Florence, S Bartolomeo in Pozzo) and the Virgin and Child with SS Michael the Archangel and Benedict (1595; Florence, S Michele Arcangelo Le Ville).

At the turn of the century Pagani was increasingly associated with those Florentine artists who wished to develop a new narrative clarity and directness. His pictures (e.g. Pyramus and Thisbe; Florence, Uffizi) show figures carefully posed with varied expressions and gestures. In the early 17th century Pagani became yet more attracted by naturalism, as in the St Lawrence (1600) in the basilica of the Madonna delle Grazie at San Giovanni, Valdarno.

Through his friendship with Bartolomeo Carducho he was influenced by Spanish art, as is evident in the Adoration of the Magi (1603; Florence, S Maria del Carmine). His last works are the Descent of the Holy Spirit (1603; Pistoia Cathedral) and Tobias Restoring the Sight of his Father (1604; Florence, Galleria Palatina).

Among his pupils were Cristofano Allori and Matteo Rosselli.