NERI, Pietro Martire
(b. 1601, Cremona, d. 1661, Roma)


Italian painter. He was trained in Mantua under the tutelage of Domenico Fetti, whose workshop he attended, and whose paintings he copied. Then he returned to Cremona, where we see him already drawn to portraiture. After a first, brief sojourn in Rome, he spent time once again in Lombardy, where he was active in Cremona, Mantua (carrying out commissions for the Gonzaga), Pavia and also Milan, where he worked for very prominent families such as the Borromeo and the Counts della Riviera, a branch of the Sfondrati family.

Subsequently he moved permanently to Rome, where he lived from October 1647 until his death in 1661. We know little of his activity in the Eternal City, although he was certainly in contact with the principal figures of his time such as Diego Velázquez and Alessandro Algardi, while evolving within the circle of artists who worked for Pope Innocent X Pamphilj. His election in 1653 to the rank of principe of the Accademia di San Luca proves his renown.

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