(b Rome, 15 Jan. 1613; d Rome, 19 Feb. 1696).
Italian biographer, art theorist, antiquarian, and collector. His most important work—a basic source for the history of 17th-century art—is Le vite de' pittori, scultori et architetti moderni (1672), in the preparation of which he was helped by his friend Poussin. In contrast to most authors of biographical compilations, Bellori was highly selective in the artists he discussed, limiting himself to only twelve major figures: Algardi, Barocci, Caravaggio, Agostino and Annibale Carracci, Domenichino, Duquesnoy, van Dyck, the architect Domenico Fontana, Lanfranco, Poussin, and Rubens. The preface to the work (originally delivered as a lecture at the Accademia di S. Luca, Rome, in 1664) became the classic statement of the concept of ideal art. It had a decisive influence on French academic theory and later became the theoretical basis of the Neoclassicism preached by Winckelmann.