Viviano Codazzi

(c. 1606—1670)

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(c. 1606–70). The most important 17th-century painter of architectural views and capricci. Born in the valley of the Valsassina north of Bergamo, he arrived in Naples in the 1620s, already skilled in the techniques of quadratura painting. Here he collaborated with Micco Spadaro, whose elegant figures grace his decorative capricci, such as Palace with Rustic Portico, and Baldacchino with Solomonic Columns (1641; Naples, Palazzo Reale). He also assisted his compatriot Cosimo Fanzago, contributing architectural perspectives to the decoration of the Certosa di S. Martino (1644–6). In Rome by 1648, he collaborated with Bamboccianti painters, especially Cerquozzi. His repertory broadened; he painted both ruin pieces and displays of ideal architecture which are related to theatre sets; capricci, and harbour scenes. In the 1660s his pictures became grander and more scenographic. Such works as Travellers Resting at an Inn (early 1650s; Hartford, Conn., Wadsworth Atheneum), with figures by Cerquozzi, show his prowess in uniting a realism of surface and picturesque detail, with architectural inventiveness and a display of perspectival skill.

From The Oxford Companion to Western Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Art.

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