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Giovanni Battista Gaulli (Baciccio)

1639 - 1709

Gaulli (Baciccio is a nickname for Giovanni Battista) was born in Genoa but moved to Rome in his late teens and stayed there until his death. He established good relations with the papal sculptor-architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598 - 1680) who helped him advance his career and supported him in obtaining his most important commission, the decoration of the ceiling in the church of the Gesú, the mother church of the Jesuit Order (1676-9); this fresco shows the glorification of the name of Jesus and is one of the grandest Baroque ceilings in Rome.

Gaulli also executed many portraits of popes and cardinals, but few of these are known today.