(b. 1694, Roma, d. 1740, Roma)


Italian painter Known as Il Creatura. His father, Giovanni Bianchi, a cooper, came from Tendola, near Sarzana. Pietro Bianchi was orphaned at the age of two and was taken in by one of his older sisters, whose husband, Arrigo Giorgi, was in the service of the Marchese Marcello Sacchetti. Bianchi was apprenticed to the painter Giacomo Triga (d. 1746) and then, when the latter left to complete his own training in Venice, moved to the studio of Giovanni Battista Gaulli (Baciccio); there Bianchi acquired his nickname on account of his youth and small stature.

In 1709, when Gaulli died, Bianchi moved to Giuseppe Ghezzi's; he found Ghezzi too theoretically orientated, but at last found a true master in Benedetto Luti, whose tradition he was to continue. He won several prizes from the Accademia di San Luca during these years, and in 1713 came second in the first class (preceded only by Cosmas Damian Asam) with a magnificent drawing of a Miracle of St Pius V (Rome, Galleria Accademia di San Luca). Pierre Le Gros II interested him in sculpture, and Bianchi later supplied designs to Filippo della Valle, Giovanni Battista Maini (e.g. St Francis of Paola, 1732; Rome, St Peter's), Pietro Bracci and Carlo Marchionni.

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