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Castiglione, Giovanni Benedetto

CASTIGLIONE, GIOVANNI BENEDETTO (1616-1670), called in Italy Il Grechetto, and in France Le Benédette, Italian painter of the Genoese school, was born in Genoa, and studied for some time under Vandyck. He painted portraits, historical pieces and landscapes, but chiefly excelled in fairs, markets and rural scenes with animals. Noah and the animals entering the Ark was a favourite subject of his. His paintings are to be found in Rome, Venice, Naples, Florence, and more especially Genoa and Mantua. He also executed a number of etchings, which are spirited, free and full of taste; "Diogenes searching for a Man" is one of the principal of these. The etchings are remarkable for light and shade, and have even earned for Castiglione the name of "a second Rembrandt." The Presepio (Nativity of Jesus) in the church of San Luca, Genoa, ranks among his most celebrated paintings, and the Louvre contains eight characteristic examples. In his closing years he lived in Mantua, painting for the court; here he received his name of "Grechetto," from the classic air of his pastorals, and here he died of gout in 1670. His brother Salvatore and his son Francesco excelled in the same subjects; and it is thought that many paintings which are ascribed to Benedetto are only copies after him, or perhaps originals by his son or brother.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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