Pannini, Cav Giovanni Paolo

Pannini, Cav. Giovanni Paolo an eminent Italian painter of perspective architecture, was born at Piacenza in 1691. He went early to Rome, where he studied under Pietro Lucatelli. He had a passion for painting, and applied himself with great assiduity in designing the remaining monuments of antiquity wherever he found them, especially at Rome. He formed his style on Giovanni Ghisolfi, and became a perfect master of the art of perspective, surpassing all his contemporaries. He sketched every vestige of ancient magnificence — the ruins of superb edifices, cenotaphs, columns, arches, obelisks, and some of the most ancient buildings which ornamented Rome. His composition is rich, and his perspective critically correct. His works are universally admired for the grandeur of his architecture, the clearness of his coloring, the neatness and freedom of his touch, the beauty of his figures, and the elegant taste with which he disposed them, although he sometimes designed his figures of too large a size for his architecture, which injures the effect that would otherwise be produced by the immensity of the buildings. This fault, however, is only occasional in Pannini's works. He generally painted his pictures of a large easel size, but sometimes he wrought on a grander scale. Lanzi highly commends a picture of this class in the church of the Signora della Missione, representing Christ driving the Money-changers from the Temple, in which the architecture is truly magnificent, and the principal figures are drawn with great spirit and variety of character, and of much larger size than he usually painted. His works are numerous, and are not only to be found in the principal collections of Italy, but in other countries of Europe. At Rivoli, in the pleasure-house of the king of Sardinia, and in the pontifical palace of Monte Cavallo, are some of his choicest works. Many of his' pictures have been engraved. He died in 1758.

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