Painter and printmaker Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione (1609–64) was one of the most technically superb and innovative artists of the Italian Baroque. Although he is best known for his evocative etchings that reveal a mastery of light to rival that of Rembrandt and Van Dyck, he also redefined the drawing and printmaking genres through the introduction of his monotyping technique and was among the first to conceive of the oil sketch as a finished work. Sadly, Castiglione’s prolific artistic output has been largely overshadowed by his turbulent character and troubled private life.
With this lavishly illustrated biography, leading Castiglione scholar Timothy J. Standring and curator Martin Clayton and seek to restore to prominence this forgotten master of the Italian Baroque. Drawing on extensive new research into court records and other documents of the time, Standring and Clayton have reconstructed the artist’s life, from his arrest for murder that led to the estrangement of his contemporaries and the loss of valuable patrons to his eventual decision to flee the region. The story of Castiglione’s life and important new discoveries about his art are presented here alongside one hundred brilliant reproductions of his oil sketches.
Published to accompany a major exhibition that will debut at the Queen’s Gallery, London, and travel to the Denver Art Museum in May 2015, Castiglione: Lost Genius is the first new publication on Castiglione in decades, and it is sure to bring his first-rate work and fascinating life to the forefront.