BUSIRI, Giovanni Battista
(b. 1698, Roma, d. 1757, Roma)


Italian painter and draughtsman. His tentative beginnings c. 1720 as an amateur painter of perspectival and architectural vedute representing Rome and its environs are documented by, among other works, four paintings in tempera showing the Colosseum, the Piazza del Pantheon, the Pyramid of Cestius and the Ponte Rotto (all in private collection). Busiri preferred working in that medium rather than oil, and many of his finest tempera paintings were acquired by English and Scottish collectors in Rome during the 18th century.

Among his mature works is the notable View of the Environs of Rome (c. 1730-35; Glasgow, Art Gallery & Museum); this was formerly attributed to Jan Frans van Bloemen, whose style it closely resembles. In 1735 Busiri was documented as residing in the parish of S Lorenzo in Lucina, Rome, and in 1739 and 1740 some of his best-known pictures were acquired by the English collector William Windham (b 1717), in Rome, almost certainly through commissions to the artist. Windham purchased six oil paintings, all dating from just before 1740, including the View of a Waterfall, showing the influence of Gaspard Dughet. He also bought 26 tempera paintings, 11 dating from 1739 (e.g. Cascade at Tivoli) and 10 dating from 1740 (e.g. Bridge of S Rocco at Tivoli). These pictures are all still in Windham's residence (Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk).

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