In the 17th century Genoa had an original school of painting, which was to develop Flemish contacts (visits by Rubens and van Dyck). The best painter was Bernardo Strozzi, called il Cappuccino, of great importance also for Venice. Giovanni Castiglione, called Il Grecchetto, took up a genre already made famous by Sinibaldo Scorza with paintings of animals and still-lifes under Flemish and Venetian influence. Domenico Fiasella and Gioacchino Assereto joined the Caravaggesque followers, while Valerio Castello, the best of a whole family of painters, was more eclectic. The decorators Domenico Piola and Gregorio de Ferrari worked in the churches and palaces of Genoa. In his mature works in the 1630s, Luciano Borzone, inspired by Caravaggio, developed a new simplicity and clarity, conveying emotion with warmth and intensity.
In the first half of the 18th century Alessandro Magnasco dominated painting with his strange personality, his nervous technique and his exaggerated chiaroscuro; his expressionistic distortions created a fantastic world reminiscent of Salvator Rosa, Marco Ricci and Francesco Guardi.
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