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Bernardo Strozzi

1581 - 1644

Strozzi was a native of Genoa, and the leading Genoese painter of the early 17th century. He developed a distinctive bold style in handling and in colour, and painted both religious and secular works. He is best remembered for small-scale compositions, which he often repeated, but he was also an accomplished painter of full-scale narratives and portraits.

Strozzi trained in Genoa. Knowledge of the work of Rubens (in Genoa 1604-7), Van Dyck, (in Genoa 1621), Barocci, and the followers of Caravaggio, especially Orazio Gentileschi (in Genoa 1621), was formative in his development. In about 1597 Strozzi became a Capuchin friar, a strict form of the Franciscan Order. He left the order in about 1610. The last years of his life, after 1631, were spent in Venice; in his work of this period the influence of Veronese becomes notable, while his own vigorous style influenced later Venetian art.