(b. 1628, Bologna, d. 1719, Forli)


Italian painter and draughtsman. He was a pupil of Albani, but his style is closer to that of Guido Reni and he became the main force in upholding the tradition of Bolognese classicism into the 18th century.

He was the leading master in Bologna during the later decades of the 17th century, commanding a position of authority comparable to that of Carlo Maratti in Rome. He bore the title of Conte, and his biographer Giovan Pietro Zanotti wrote that he 'always worked for glory, not for need'. Zanotti’s emphasis on Cignani's 'new manner' refers to the reflective, intimate mood of his art, presaged in the later pictures of Guido Reni and Guercino, and in those of Simone Cantarini. This gentle manner, which prevailed in the second half of the 17th century, marks a break with the more energetic style of earlier Bolognese classicism.

In 1711 he became the first president of the Accademia Clementina in Bologna.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.