Giannandrea Lazzarini

Pesaro, 1710 – 1801

Abbot Giannandrea Lazzarini, painter, architect, art scholar, critic, poet and theologian, an exemplary incarnation of the eighteenth century erudite, was among the most brilliant animators of cultural life in Pesaro. He earned the unconditional admiration of such a historian as Luigi Lanzi (Storia Pittorica, [History of Art] 1809), not only as a painter, but as the most creditable of critics: “A good poet and writer of prose, extremely learned and of profound erudition both sacred and profane. Few are the writers of Italy comparable to him when he treats of paintings. [ …] to his fine writing Lazzarini added fine painting: easy, yet carefully studied in every detail; together joyous and noble; erudite when introducing the image of antiquity into his paintings, yet unaffectedly and without pomposity.”

He studied under Francesco Mancini of Sant’Angelo in Vado (1679 - 1758) and followed the classical tradition of Emilia-Romagna. His cultural points of reference were Raphael, Correggio, Federico Barocci, the Carraccis, Domenichino and Poussin.

He was in contact with the most important international exponents of culture of his time, for example, Francesco Algarotti (Saggio sopra la pittura [Essay on Painting], 1762) and Anton Raphael Mengs, a  painter and scholar of neo-classicism of Bohemian origin (Riflessioni sulla bellezza e sul gusto nella pittura [Thoughts on Beauty and Taste in Painting], 1764). Lazzarini took full part in the cultural debates of the mid-XVIII century, among them one of great interest concerning the art of antiquity as an inspirational model for the artists of his time. Lazzarini did not, however, believe that models from antiquity were exclusive. To return to idealised naturalism and pleasurable harmony in painting, he held that such models should be filtered through the teachings of Raphael and the Carracci.

Notable among the paintings in this section is Repose on the Flight into Egypt (1753), an autographed replica in reduced format of the painting Lazzarini completed in 1748 for the church of Santa Maria Maddalena, in Pesero. The work is a full expression of Lazzarini’s classicism, the visual transposition of his theories on art, in perfect accord with what he professed in his Dissertazione sopra l’arte della pittura (Dissertation on the Art of Painting) held in Pesaro in 1753.

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Pesaro Urbino
Palazzo Ciacchi
Via Cattaneo, 34
61121 Pesaro
C.F. 80005890415