COSTA, GIOVANNI (1826-1903), Italian painter, was born in Rome. He fought under Garibaldi in 1848, and served as a volunteer in the war of 1859; and his enthusiasm for Italian unity was actively shown again in 1870, when he was the first to mount the breach in the assault of Rome near the Porta Pia. He had settled meanwhile at Florence, where his fight for the independence of art from worn-out traditions was no less strenuous, and he became known as a landscape-painter of remarkable originality, and of great influence in the return to minute observation of nature. He had many English friends and followers, notably Matthew Ridley Corbet (1850-1902), and Lord Carlisle, and was closely associated with Corot and the Barbizon school. In later years he lived and worked mainly in Rome, where his studio was an important centre. An exhibition of his pictures was held in London in 1904, and he is represented in the Tate Gallery. He died at Rome in 1903.
See also Madame Agresti's Giovanni Costa (1904).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)