Giovanni Battista Gaulli, Italian, 1639-1709, called Baccico or Baccicia. Italian Angels or Putti on Clouds plus a small portrait of a man is a charming example of Gaulli's work. It is 5" by 7 3/4" of pen and sepia brown ink on paper. Provenance is
Leslie Hindman Auction, Collection of P Waite, English Collection until 1994, German Collection Basenge. Condition good upper life corner restored. Giovanni Battista Gaulliwas a painter of the Italian High Baroque verging onto that of the Rococo. He is best known for his grand, Gianlorenzo Bernini-influenced illusionistic vault fresco in the church of the Gesù in Rome.Gaulli was born in Genoa, where his parents died from the plague of 1657. In mid-17th century, Gaulli's Genoa was a cosmopolitan Italian artistic center open to both commercial and artistic enterprises from north European countries, including countries with non-Catholic populations such as England and the Dutch provinces. Painters such as Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck stayed in Genoa for a few years. Gaulli's earliest influences would have come from an eclectic mix of these foreign painters and other local artists including Valerio Castello, Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione, and Bernardo Strozzi, whose warm palette Gaulli adopted. In the 1660s, he experimented with the cooler palette and linear style of Bolognese classicism.
He soon, however, moved to Rome. In 1662, he was accepted into the Roman artists' guild, the Accademia di San Luca (Academy of Saint Luke), where he was to later hold several offices. The next year, he received his first public commission for an altarpiece, in the church of San Rocco, Rome. He received many private commissions for mythological and religious works.
From 1669, Gaulli's painting took on a more painterly (less linear) aspect, and the composition, organized di sotto in su ("from below looking up"), would influence his later masterpiece. At his height, Gaulli was one of Rome's most esteemed portrait painters. Gaulli is not well known for any other medium but paint, though many drawings in many media have survived. All are studies for paintings.