LIBERI, Pietro
(b. 1605, Padova, d. 1687, Venezia)


Italian painter. He moved to Venice at an early age and studied with Alessandro Varotari (il Padovanino). Travels from 1628 to 1638 took him to Constantinople, Tunis and several European countries. In Rome from 1638 to 1640, he copied the frescoes of Michelangelo and Raphael, studied the works of the Carracci, Pietro da Cortona and Guido Reni, and also came under the prevailing influence of Gianlorenzo Bernini. His earliest known work, the Rape of the Sabines (1641; Siena, Pinacoteca Nazionale), richly reflects this experience of Rome. On his return journey to Venice (c. 1643) he stopped in Bologna and may have seen works by Emilian artists, from Correggio to Reni, in Parma.

Liberi was one of the most interesting Venetian artists of the seventeenth century. His nickname was "Il Libertino," because of his gracefully erotic work. His frescoes and major works decorate numerous palaces and churches in Venice (the Doge's Palace, Santa Maria della Salute, etc.), and his oils are in the Hermitage, the British Museum, the Queen's collection in Hampton Court, and the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota.

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