Online Encyclopedia

ANDREA SACCHI (c. 1600--1661)

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Originally appearing in Volume V23, Page 970 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ANDREA SACCHI (c. 1600--1661), Italian painter of the later Roman school, was born at Nettuno near Rome in 1600, or perhaps as early as 1598. His father, Benedetto, a painter of undistinguished position, gave him his earliest instruction in the art; Andrea then passed into the studio of Albani, of whom he was the last and the most eminent pupil, and under Albani he made his reputation early. The painter of Sacchi's predilection was Raphael; he was the jealous opponent of Pietro da Cortona, and more especially of Bernini. In process of time he became one of the most learned designers and one of the soundest colourists of the Roman school. He went to Venice and to Parma to study Venetian colour and the style of Correggio; but he found the last-named master unadaptable for his own proper methods in art, and he returned to Rome. Sacchi was strong in artistic theory, and in practice slow and fastidious; it was his axiom that the merit of a painter consists in producing, not many middling pictures, but a few and perfect ones. His works have dignity, repose, elevated yet natural forms, severe but not the less pleasing colour, a learned treatment of architecture and perspective; he is thus a painter of the correct and laudable academic order, admired by connoisseurs rather than by ambitious students or the large public. His principal painting, often spoken of as the fourth best easel-picture in Rome—in the Vatican Gallery—is " St Romuald relating his Vision to Five Monks of his Order." The pictorial crux of dealing with these figures, who are all in the white garb of their order, has often been remarked upon; and as often the ingenuity and judgment of Sacchi have been praised in varying the tints of these habits according to the light and shade cast by a neighbouring tree. The Vatican Gallery contains also an early painting of the master —the " Miracle of St Gregory," executed in 1624; a mosaic of it was made in 1771 and placed in St Peter's. Other leading examples are the " Death of St Anna," in S Carlo ai Catinari; " St Andrew," in the Quirinal; " St Joseph," at Capo alle Case; also, in fresco, a ceiling in the Palazzo Barberini—" Divine Wisdom "—reckoned superior in expression and selection to the rival work of Pietro da Cortona. There are likewise altar-pieces in Perugia, Foligno and Camerino. Sacchi, who worked almost always in Rome, left few pictures visible in private galleries: one, of " St Bruno," is in Grosvenor House. He had a flourishing school: Nicholas Poussin and Carlo Maratta were his most eminent scholars; Luigi Garzi and Francesco Lauri were others, and Sacchi's own son Giuseppe, who died young, after giving very high hopes. This must have been an illegitimate son, for Andrea was unmarried when he died at Nettuno in 1661.
End of Article: ANDREA SACCHI (c. 1600--1661)
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ANTONIO MARIA GASPARE SACCHINI (1734-1786)

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