TROTTI, Giovanni Battista
(b. 1555, Cremona, d. 1619, Parma)


Italian painter and architect, the last important exponent of Cremonese Mannerism. He was a pupil of Bernardino Campi and inherited his workshop. The cold, brilliant colours and enamel-like surfaces of Trotti's first recorded works, the Sacrifice of Melchidesek and the Gathering of Manna (both Pralboino Parish Church), closely follow Bernardino's style. More influential, however, were the works of Antonio Campi, seen, for example, in the detailed use of light in the Beheading of St John the Baptist (1590; Museo Civico "Ala Ponzone", Cremona), and especially Bernardino Gatti. From the latter Trotti derived the elements of Correggio's style that appear in his work from the early Annunciation (Santa Chiara, Casalmaggiore).

First-hand knowledge of Correggio's work in Parma is reflected in the Nativity (1584; SS Ambrogio e Simpliciano, Carate Brianza). He also absorbed a special interest in landscape from the Flemish painters he met in Parma. He was employed by the court of Parma, along with Agostino Carracci; and Agostino found Trotti disagreeable on which account he acquired the name of II Malosso (bad bone).

From 1587 he participated in the decoration of San Pietro al Po, Cremona. His busy workshop executed an impressive series of commissions in Cremona and the neighbouring regions, for example at Salň Cathedral (c. 1590) and San Sisto, Piacenza (1603). To cope with the enormous quantities required many of his designs were executed by pupils, but he signed the finished paintings.

In the early 17th century he was employed as a painter, architect and interior designer by members of the Farnese family in Parma, for example on the decoration of the Palazzo del Giardino (now Palazzo Ducale), and was awarded the title Cavaliere. He often returned to Cremona, for example to work on the cathedral's altar of the Holy Sacrament, design decorations in honour of Philip III, King of Spain, and Margaret of Austria, and supervise his workshop, especially in the decoration of the Oratory of the Risen Christ in S Luca, Cremona.

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