CITTADINI, Pier Francesco
(b. 1616, Milano, d. 1681, Bologna)

Biography

Italian painter, also called Il Milanese. He was active mainly in Bologna and painted still-lifes.

He first studied under Daniele Crespi in Milan but, when he was 17, entered the Bolognese workshop of Guido Reni. His altarpiece of the Stoning of St Stephen (1637; Bologna, S. Stefano) suggests that he rapidly became established. He painted other works for the same church, and a Flagellation and a Crowning with Thorns survive (both in situ). His few surviving commissions from this period inevitably demonstrate the influence of Reni. Among them is the Conversion of St Paul (c. 1641; Bologna, S. Paolo), which is one of eight paintings decorating the apse around the marble group of the Beheading of St Paul (c. 1634) by Alessandro Algardi.

In the mid-1640s Cittadini made a journey to Rome, which transformed both the subject-matter of his art and his technique. Paintings of Lot and his Daughters and Hagar and the Angel (both Dresden, Gemäldegalerie) date from around this time and suggest that he was strongly influenced by the Venetian tendencies in the art of Pietro Testa and Pier Francesco Mola and to some extent by the work of Simone Cantarini.

After returning to Bologna, he received many commissions. His portraits and still-lifes, in which he united realism with classicism, won him considerable success in Bologna.

His two sons Giovanni Battista Cittadini and Carlo Cittadini were also still-life painters.



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