BOTTALLA, Giovanni Maria
(b. 1613, Savona, d. 1644, Milano)


Italian painter, called Il Raffaellino. After receiving a literary education, he was sent by his father to Rome to study painting. There he copied the works of ancient and contemporary artists and came into contact with cardinals Francesco Barberini and Giulio Sacchetti. The latter, who nicknamed him Raffaellino, became his patron, thus allowing him the opportunity of studying with Pietro da Cortona. Bottalla, probably with Giovanni Francesco Romanelli, assisted Cortona with frescoes (1626-29) in the Villa Sacchetti (1625-29) at Castel Fusano, Rome. With the same artists he worked on the frescoed ceiling of the salone of the Palazzo Barberini in Rome, where he almost certainly painted the monochrome parts. His name appears on receipts in the Barberini archives between 1634 and 1639.

In 1641 and 1642 he painted two canvases for the Sacchetti family, the Reconciliation of Jacob and Esau and Joseph Sold into Slavery by his Brothers (both Rome, Pinacoteca Capitolina). Another canvas, the Banishment of Hagar and Ishmael (private collection), is perhaps from this Roman period.

From Rome Bottalla went to Naples, where he produced oil paintings and frescoes (all untraced). Moving to Genoa, perhaps in the early 1640s, he painted a Deucalion and Pyrrha (Rio de Janeiro, Museu Nacional de Belas Artes), and possibly a Martyrdom of St Sebastian (Ravenna, Accedemia di Belle Arti). In about 1643 Bottalla began to paint the monochrome frescoes with figures in the Palazzo Ayrolo Negrone, Genoa, but fatal illness prevented their completion, which was accomplished by Gioacchino Assereto in 1644.

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